The first time we went to Chefs Gallery was a fly by visit before a performance at Town Hall, without much time to peruse the menu or try everything we wanted to, we were in and out in a flash. But that quick visit was all it took, we just knew we would have to get back when we had a little more time – and a catch-up with my brother Kieran and his girlfriend Raelene was the perfect excuse.
Wok fried medium grain rice with three kinds of eggs (chicken, salted duck egg and century egg) ($14.90).
Straight off the bat we ordered two servings of the 3 kinds of egg rice dish. We’d had this on our first visit and really enjoyed it. The rice was cooked well and there was a nice amount of egg scattered throughout – chicken, salted duck and century egg. Sadly this serving lacked the balance that made the dish so endearing first time around, but while it may not have been as impressive this time, no doubt I will order it again.
Fluffy Chinese roti with pork floss ($8.90).
The photos of the roti in the menu grabbed me straight away; I was keen to try the pork floss or the egg, shallot and onion varieties. Kieran and Raelene are Chefs Gallery regulars so we went with their recommendation of the pork floss. I was surprised by its sweetness but pleasantly so, the floss was delicious, while the roti was fluffy and flakey just how it should be. Google tells me pork floss is pork that has been stewed in sweet soy sauce and then dried, I’d never had it before (or Chinese roti for that matter – yup my knowledge of Chinese food is quite lacking) but now I know a few more things I have been missing out on. Raelene recalls memories of her earlier years in Malaysia eating pork floss sandwiches and I can only imagine how awesome they would be – I want one!
Chef’s own mini pork burger ($13.90).
Oooh how cute is anything ‘mini’. I’d heard these were good but was a little unsure if they’d be a Lex style dish, until I took my first bite that is. They were awesome with the oily, deep fried, sweet sugary bread roll and a little slice of sticky sweet pork wedged in the middle. Definitely not for anyone on a diet, but they were so delicious they are definitely worth the calories!
Lightly pan fried pork and cabbage dumplings ($9.90).
We’d had the prawn pan fried dumplings previously so we opted for the pork and cabbage this time around and I’m glad we did. The pan frying gave the dumplings that gorgeous crispy outer crust (without being deep fried) that I just love while still retaining the soft delicateness associated with steamed dumplings. The pork and cabbage filling was piping hot and packed full of flavour – something that some of the other dishes I’ve tried at Chefs Gallery have been missing.
Chef’s own handmade egg and spinach tofu lightly pan fried, topped with preserved vegetables ($16.90).
The menu had changed considerably so I’m unsure if the tofu dish was different from my first visit or if my memory of it is skewed, but as with the fried rice I didn’t enjoy this as much second time around. While creamy and light, the tofu wasn’t as crispy as the original dish and was a little lost on me. If they’d upped the ante on the light pan frying it probably would have reached the epicness of the original. Hopefully next time it will be perfect.
Fried mini bread rolls with condensed milk ($7.90).
While the piggy buns are adorably cute I am not a huge fan of black sesame paste bun thingos, so towards the end of the night we thought we’d order some mini bread rolls for dessert. You won’t find these in the dessert section of the menu, though I’m not sure why as they are after all served with condensed milk, but anyway. These little bread rolls were like little balls of doughnut-y goodness. I’m not convinced about the condensed milk accompaniment but the deep fried bread was awesome. I don’t usually order so much fried food but I think I was just in deep fried heaven tonight. Dylan was not a fan (he’s crazy).
We probably should have ordered a meat dish or some vegies but instead we went for the heavy fried dishes and I loved them all! Next time I would probably order some greens to help lighten the load (slightly!). With 7 courses (including the second serving of the 3 egg rice) the bill came to a total $100 for 4 of us. Then we got a nice discount thanks to the Entertainment Card offer and the end result was a mere $20 each.
Everyone on the blogosphere raves about Chefs Gallery and I can see why. Love the prices, love the variety in the menu, the service was a little better second time around (and while they will never win an award for awesome service, it’s not a place you go and expect great service either). And best of all the food is quality and very good value for money.
Shop 12 (facing Bathurst Street)
Ground Floor Regent Place
501 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9267 8877
Chefs Gallery Website