Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hua's Restaurant

My father likes to boast that we have been to all of the Chinese restaurants on the North Shore and that he can pretty much memorise the menu at each one. This sounds very impressive until you realise that there's actually only 4 or 5 that we frequent and we rarely branch out so it's always exciting when we venture over the bridge to try something new.

This time we headed over to Hua's Restaurant in Newmarket to celebrate a birthday with my aunts and uncles.

Wasabi Duck Feet - $18.80
We started off with some braised duck feet tossed in wasabi sauce and wasabi oil (and a bit of peanut butter I think). Needless to say, it was hot. Not the normal chili hot that I'm used to but the wasabi kinda hot where it creeps up on you and gives your brain a big shock because you ate too much in one go. Other than that, I really enjoyed the creamy texture of the duck feet and kept forgetting about the wasabi shock that would soon follow. Vicious cycle.

Salad of Bean Seeding - $13.80
Next was a cold salad of bean sprouts and peanuts which I thought was so nice that I actually forgot to take a photo before diving into it. It was nice enough for me to forgive the mistranslated title.

Chef cutting up various parts of Peking Duck
After the first two cold dishes, the chef came in with our Peking Duck and began to make a show of carefully slicing the crispy skin, then the very top layer of meat followed by pieces that had a little bit of each. The only other time I had seen this done in such a meticulous fashion was at 全聚(Quanjude), Beijing -the home of the Peking Duck.

Peking duck with flour wrap, veggie wrap, 3 sauces and 3 vegetables - $68
Our hostess then gave us a lesson in the proper way of eating Peking Duck -first by eating the skin dipped in white sugar, the breast meat dipped in sweet chili or garlic soy and finally the remaining pieces wrapped in steamed pancakes with sweet bean sauce, cucumber, spring onions and turnip. This is the same order we were taught to have Peking Duck in Beijing and it was great for me to relive the memory.

Made from pumpkin, I thought the veggie wraps were a great idea although they came out from the steamer a little soggy.

House Special Roast Lamb Chops - $36.80
The presentation of the lamb chops was absolutely delightful and it was not let down by the taste. Each piece of lamb was generously dusted in cumin and was crunchy on the outside while melt in the mouth on in the inside.

Sweet and Sour Fish - $48.80
The sweet and sour fish was everybody's least favourite dish of the night. Although it looked impressive, the thinly cut pieces of fish had dried up and disappeared during the deep frying process and we ended up with sweet and sour batter.

House Special Lamb Kebabs - $24.80
A variant of the lamb chops mentioned above, this was ordered for the kiddies to snack on (not that it stopped me..). The tiny pieces of lamb were leaner than the lamb chops and had the texture of jerky.

Sichuan Boiled Beef in Fiery Sauce
Sichuan boiled beef is one of my favourite hot dishes and one we have quite often when we go out. This version had just the right amount of kick and numbness and a HEAP of garlic!

Egg Yolk Fried Pumpkin - $22.80
I was a bit surprised when a plate of chips was brought to the table (very UN-Chinese) but it had to admit that they were quite nice. Although it was another dish for the kids, I found myself loving the salty, crunchy outer and the sweet pumpkin centre.

Pork mince, cow pea stir fry wrapped in steamed pastry - $24.80
By the time our last dish came, I was full to bursting point. 

That didn't stop me from taking one anyway. The steamed buns were very fluffy and the stir fry well seasoned although the filling was quite loose and kept falling out. Needless to say, I had to have a long sit down before feeling well enough to stand up again.

Hua's is a great restaurant to visit if you want to try Chinese cuisine with a twist. The menu, although pricier than your average Chinese restaurant, has some items that are definitely worth trying out!

Hua's Restaurant
410 Khyber Pass Rd, Newmarket

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