#navbar-iframe { display: none; }

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mr Bing jianbing pancakes, Chippendale

Jianbing pancake at Mr Bing, Chippendale

Who said Sydney doesn't do street food? The jianbing is a streetside snack you'll find all over Beijing and Taipei, a thin pancake or crepe cooked to order and eaten hot and fresh off the griddle. They come with all kinds of fillings, but a cracked egg s mandatory, the egg yolk and egg white swirled across the top so you get an omelette and pancake all-in-one.

Mr Bing, a self-declared Asian Wrap Artist (heh), only opened late last year but has quickly gathered a loyal uni student following. How have you missed them? They're a literal hole-in-the-wall takeway, positioned on City Road in-between the Lansdowne Hotel and Toby's Estate. Broadway Shopping Centre is only a few hundred metres away.

Jianbing menu at Mr Bing, Chippendale
Mr Bing Asian Wrap Artist menu

Everything's under ten bucks on this concise menu. The Chinese-style jianbing pancakes include the classic you tiao fried bread stick as well as meatier variations including a peanut chicken (Chookie Run), beef patty (Moo the Cow) and Korean barbecue pork (Miss Kim).

The Taiwanese-style ABT is lighter on the filling but cheaper too - that's ham and cheese, pork floss and crackers or all of the above for $5.90 or less.

Spreading the jianbing pancake batter at Mr Bing, Chippendale
Spreading the pancake batter on the hot plate

The open window gives you a standing view of all the kitchen action. The griddles you often see used for French-style crepes are repurposed here for making jianbing. They even use the same wooden paddles.

Spreading the jianbing pancake batter at Mr Bing, Chippendale
Flattened pancake

First goes a ladleful of pancake batter, smoothed out to an even thinness.

Cracking a fresh egg over shallots and jianbing pancake batter at Mr Bing, Chippendale
Cracking a fresh egg over shallots on the jianbing pancake

Add a handful of shallots and crack over a raw egg while the pancake is still cooking.

Spreading the raw egg across the jianbing pancake at Mr Bing, Chippendale
Spreading the raw egg across the pancake

The raw egg yolk and white is broken up and pushed across the surface of the pancake.

Egg cooking on the jianbing pancake at Mr Bing, Chippendale
Egg cooking on the jianbing pancake

What you get are pockets of egg yolk and egg white cooking on top of the jianbing pancake.

Flipping the jianbing pancake at Mr Bing, Chippendale
Flipping the jianbing pancake

The entire pancake is flipped in an impressive display of precision and speed.

Grilling spam on the hotplate at Mr Bing, Chippendale
Grilling spam on the hotplate

If you order extras of spam like I did, they get a gentle crisping on the outer edge of the griddle.

Brushing sweet bean sauce on the jianbing at Mr Bing, Chippendale
Brushing sweet bean sauce onto the Mr Bing jianbing

My Mr Bing pancake gets a generous brushing of sweet bean sauce.

Adding garlic chilli sauce to the jianbing at Mr Bing, Chippendale
Adding garlic chilli sauce

This is followed up with a layer of garlic chilli sauce. brushed evenly across the surface.

Sprinkling sesame seeds onto the jianbing at Mr Bing, Chippendale
Sprinkling on sesame seeds

Shake out a handful of sesame seeds for crunch.

You tiao fried bread stick and coriander on the Mr Bing jianbing at Mr Bing, Chippendale
You tiao fried bread stick and coriander on the Mr Bing jianbing

And add a deep fried bread stick and a sprinkle of fresh coriander.

Taiwanese streetfood jianbing at Mr Bing, Chippendale
Taiwanese street food lunch ready to go

It all gets wrapped up in greaseproof paper and handed to you in a brown paper bag.

Taiwanese tea drinks at Mr Bing, Chippendale
Taiwanese drinks including milk tea, jasmine tea and black tea

Add a Taiwanese tea drink for $2.50.

Chookie Run jianbing pancake at Mr Bing, Chippendale
Chookie Run $8.90
Chicken with peanut sesame sauce, crackers, sweet and sour carrots, fresh salad and coriander

If you're lucky, you'll score one of the four wooden stools out the front. If you ask extra nicely, they'll give you a paper takeaway box so you can take photos of your lunch before it gets eaten.

The Chookie Run is one for the peanut fans, chunks of chicken doused in a runny peanut sesame sauce and wrapped up with salad, pickled carrots and bits of crushed crackers.

Mr Bing jianbing pancake at Mr Bing, Chippendale
Mr Bing $7.90 with spam $2 extra
Fried bread stick, garlic chilli sauce, sweet bean sauce, sesame seeds and coriander

My vote goes for the original Mr Bing. It's all about the texture here: soft egg crepe, crunchy fried bread, a sweet and saucy mix of bean paste, garlic and chilli, plus the refreshing pop of coriander and sesame seeds. Add Spam just because you can.

Swing by for lunch or an early afternoon snack. They have two new menu items too: Taiwanese braised beef and crispy fried chicken bites. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Taiwanese jianbing pancakes at Mr Bing, Chippendale


Mr Bing Gourmet Wrapz on Urbanspoon

Mr Bing
20 City Road, Chippendale, Sydney
Tel: +61 (0)404 093 479

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 10.30am - 4.30pm
Saturday 10.30am - 2pm
Closed Sundays


Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Chippendale - Brickfields
Chippendale - Ester
Chippendale - LP's Quality Meats
Chippendale - Something for Jess

1 comments - Add some comment love

Bookmark and Share
posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 4/19/2015 05:45:00 pm


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Taste of Cho at Market City, Haymarket Chinatown

Taiwanese deep fried chicken at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown

You know which one I'm talking about. There's a food kiosk in Market City that always has a queue of people twenty-deep no matter what time of day. There's a good reason. Taste of Cho doesn't just cater for homesick Taiwanese uni students. It's freshly cooked. And cheap.

Constant queue at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Constant queue at Taste of Cho

It's often hard to get a look at the window of available options for the day through the mass of people lined up in front. Dishes vary each day, and I've noticed that some don't make an appearance until late lunch time - cereal prawns, I'm looking at you.

Frying chicken in the onsite kitchen at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Frying chicken in the onsite kitchen

There's an impressively large kitchen onsite, equipped with deep fryers and several wok burners. You can spy on the kitchen staff as you wait.

Canteen-style service at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Canteen-style service

Join the queue and try to work out what you want to order before the far-too-efficient staff have a chance to intimidate you and you end up pointing wildly at the closest item in a panic. Most people order a meal box with rice (two choices for $7.50, three choices for $9.50) or you can skip the rice and get the dishes on their own.

Cold marinated ox tongue at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Cold marinated ox tongue

Deciding what to have is the hardest part. There's a wide range of hot food - Taiwanese fried chicken, three cup chicken, braised pork belly and more - as well as all kinds of cold cut meats dressed with chilli and vinegar. Pescetarians get a look-in with prawn omelettes and spicy fish cutlets, and vegetarians always get a good selection of fried gluten options, vegetables and tofu.

Fried anchovies with chilli at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Fried anchovies with chilli $2 for a small box 

Fried gluten with mushrooms at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Fried gluten with mushrooms

Cereal prawns at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Cereal prawns

Taiwanese fried chicken at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Taiwanese fried chicken

Plated lunchboxes at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Plated lunch boxes ready to be picked up

Taiwanese fried chicken, pork belly and three cup chicken lunchbox at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Taiwanese fried chicken, pork belly and three cup chicken $9.50 for three choices with rice

The three choice lunchbox gives you a chance to try a little bit of everything. The three cup chicken (so named because the original recipe allegedly called for a cup each of soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil) has a balance of saltiness with sweet, and the braised pork belly is soft and inviting with its layers of fat between tender flesh.

Taiwanese marinated beef shin at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Marinated beef shin with coriander and chilli $2 for small box

The side dishes are tasty too, adding a little pep between each mouthful of your main. The marinated beef shin is cool and refreshing, with a tangle of fresh coriander and sliced chilli.

Taiwanese marinated ox tongue at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Marinated ox tongue with cucumber and chilli

I also dig the marinated ox tongue, tumbled with crisp wedges of cucumber.

Braised pork belly with bamboo shoots at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Braised pork belly with bamboo shoots $4

Eliminating the rice component gives you more room to focus on the good stuff. Four bucks for a small dish is unbeatable value. You can see why so many people end up getting takeaway for dinner.

Spicy fish cutlets at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Spicy fish cutlets $4

I'm impressed when I score two spicy fish cutlets for $4 too. They've been deep-fried then drenched in a spicy marinade that is sweet and sticky.

Taiwanese deep fried chicken at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Deep fried chicken pieces $4

And you know I couldn't resist the deep fried chicken. I get this every time. The chicken fillets are lightly floured and then plunged into the deep fryer until golden. They're ridiculously addictive although they tend to make you thirsty later on.

Taiwanese pickled vegetables at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Taiwanese pickled vegetables $2

The Taiwanese pickled vegetables are a great replacement for rice, allowing you to refresh the palate and then continue to plough through the deep fried bonanza.

Good times for less than $10? No wonder there's always a queue.

Taiwanese deep fried chicken at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Giant woks in the kitchen

Lunchtime queue at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Lunchtime queue

Dine-in seating at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown


Taste of Cho on Urbanspoon

Taste of Cho
Market City
Level 1, 9-13 Hay Street, Haymarket, Chinatown, Sydney

Open daily 10am-7pm (til 8pm on Thursdays)


Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Market City - Poporo
Taiwanese - Cho Dumpling King, Haymarket
Taiwanese - Taipei Chef, Artarmon
Taiwanese - TeaPlus, Burwood

18 comments - Add some comment love

Bookmark and Share
posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 4/12/2015 06:21:00 pm


Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Ashin Japanese Restaurant, Campsie

Sushi train at Ashin, Campsie

Sushi train or a la carte menu? If you place yourself carefully at Ashin Japanese Restaurant, you can manage both, nabbing a table that's big enough to accommodate all your ordered dishes as well as staying within reach of the sushi plate conveyor belt.

Ashin has been open for over three years now but is easy to miss on the northern end of Beamish Street. It's a modern-looking dining room awash with chocolate browns and dark timber furniture. On a Friday night the place is busy with a stream of locals arriving in pairs or small groups, congregating either at tables or taking up stools at the sushi bar.

Sushi and sashimi sailing boat at Ashin, Campsie
Sushi and sashimi sailing boat $39.70
10 nigiri sushi, 12 pieces fresh sashimi and 4 pieces mini rolls

We sit down and immediately order the biggest sushi and sashimi plate available, a 26-piece bonanza that arrives with a bonus nigiri sushi. We don't complain. It's on our table within five minutes, presented not on the wooden boat that we'd hoped for, but on a simple rectangular white platter.

Salmon nigiri sushi at Ashin, Campsie
Salmon nigiri sushi

There's all kinds of seafood deliciousness here, from soft and fatty slices of raw salmon to the sweetness of cooked prawn.

DSCF2273-1504
Tinned tuna, sweet corn and cucumber mini inside out rolls

Mini uramaki, or inside out rolls, hold a filling of seasoned cooked tuna with sweet corn and cucumber.

Tuna nigiri sushi at Ashin, Campsie
Tuna nigiri sushi

The tuna has a reassuring deep red colour, and is firm to the bite.

Salmon sashimi at Ashin, Campsie
Salmon sashimi

Our twelve pieces of sashimi net us fat slices of salmon, tuna and kingfish.

Raw scampi nigiri sushi at Ashin, Campsie
Raw scampi nigiri sushi

The raw scampi nigiri sushi takes pride of place, highlighted by the scampi head in the middle of the platter. The flesh has a glassy sheen and is delicately sweet.

Raw scallop nigiri sushi at Ashin, Campsie
Raw scallop nigiri sushi

We also relish the raw scallop nigiri, sliced in half and draped over a compact bed of sticky sushi rice.

Pork katsu don at Ashin, Campsie
Pork katsu don $11.80

The a la carte menu has a little bit of everything, running from gyoza, takoyaki octopus balls and karaage fried chicken to udon noodle soups, Japanese curries and seafood nabe hot pots. A couple of Korean dishes also sneak in, like hoi dup bap, a kind of sashimi bibimbap with raw salmon and shredded vegetables on rice, and al bap, substituting the salmon sashimi with tobiko flying fish roe.

The wet night calls for comfort food and we head straight for the pork katsu don, a panko-crumbed pork cutlet on rice covered with egg, sauteed onions and a sweet and salty sauce made from dashi, soy sauce and mirin. Strips of nori seaweed give an umami lift. Pickled ginger shreds provide palate cleansing refreshment and crunch. A bowl of miso soup makes this a complete meal on its own.

Beef yaki soba at Ashin, Campsie
Beef yaki soba $15.50

Plumes of steam surround the arrive of our beef yaki soba. A stir fry of chewy soba noodles contrasts against the crunch of fresh cabbage, shredded carrot and bean sprouts. Across the top is the crowning glory of beef slices, piping hot and tender marinated in a teriyaki sauce.

Sushi train at Ashin, Campsie
Sushi train

The non-stop army of sushi plates is too hard to resist. It's a mesmerising catwalk of temptation.

Korean spirits at Ashin, Campsie
Korean spirits

We notice, too, that they cheekily add bottles of alcohol onto the sushi train.

Korean black raspberry wine at Ashin, Campsie
Korean black raspberry wine

Soft shell crab sushi at Ashin, Campsie
Soft shell crab sushi $4.50

The sushi plate pricing ranges from $3 to $5.50, distinguished by the colour of plate. A pictorial menu allows you to order as you please, or you can help yourself as sushi plates are placed onto the revolving sushi train.

The soft shell crab sushi yields an impressive tangle of deep fried crustacean. The inclusion of a fresh strawberry within the roll is a little disconcerting at first, but it works surprisingly well, especially against the briny pop of ikura flying fish roe.

Raw scallop nigiri sushi at Ashin, Campsie
Raw scallop nigiri sushi $4.50

We'd fought over the raw scallop nigiri sushi on our sushi platter. An additional plate quickly makes amends. The raw scallop is markedly fresh and sweet.

Spicy prawn box sushi at Ashin, Campsie
Spicy prawn box sushi $4.50

We finish with box sushi, compressed blocks of sushi rice topped here with spicy prawn, cheese and chilli sauce and blow torched to a smoky crisp. It's a winning finale to the evening.

Total damage? About $28 per head. I was tempted to grab another plate of raw scallop sushi for dessert.

Sushi train at Ashin, Campsie


Ashin on Urbanspoon

Ashin Japanese Restaurant
161 Beamish Street, Campsie, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9787 2800

Opening hours:
Daily 11.30am-3pm, 5pm-10pm


Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Campsie - Albee's Kitchen
Campsie - First Taste
Sushi - Ken's Sushi Bar Dining, Bexley North

11 comments - Add some comment love

Bookmark and Share
posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 4/08/2015 02:17:00 am



      << Read Older Posts       |       >> Read Newer Posts