Dan and I were on the way to Fiji via Sydney Airport and we got hungry and came across this Chinese Restaurant. It was actually rather crowded as well. So we walked in and I was in the mood for Dim Sum, but I have this rule when I fly.. I try to fly on a empty to light stomach, and Fiji being 4 hours away made that rule necessary. Thing is I was sick the previous day and sat at the hotel all the time and only had crackers, Vegemite and tea. So I was kind of hungry.
Anyhow, the restaurant was run by Indonesian Chinese so it was quite interesting to see how different their food would be. I have never tasted Indonesian cooked Chinese food so it was going to be an experience.
Menu was simple but not cheap. The fact that this being an airport could have had something to do with that. One last meal and get slapped with a large bill. So we chose, I took a Chicken Spring Roll and a soup as by now I had totally no voice, and was whispering most of the time. Dan ordered a Fried Rice and I was quite shocked by the price. Ordinarily I would have never ordered rice, so I would not have even noticed the fried rice section. But again I was interested to see what was in a scoop of AUD20 Fried Rice.
My Soup came, ordinary, well simple just the way I wanted it. Clear Soup with vegetables but somehow there was Broccoli in the photo in the menu but none appeared in the soup. That is really a pet hate with me. You show something in a photo, then you make sure it is there or not tell me. Still I liked my soup, it was comforting for a voiceless person like me. It was made of rich stock, so that was another plus.
The rice came and still curious to know how an AUD20 fried rice looked like, I took a fork and scooped up some rice. Simple tasting fried rice, good quality rice, but then the next mouthful told me why it was that price. It was laden with fresh scallops and fresh prawns along with a good amount of fish roe. As a Cook I always like to find out why some places can sell their simple foods at a remium price and so today I found out why this AUD20 Fried Rice was available. Nothing beats Fresh Scallops and Fresh Prawns in fried rice. And this is coming from someone who dislikes seafood. The bite, the taste, the flavor was simply out of this world for me. I would like to do the same when I get back just for the sake of doing so. This is something I must try at my next dinner party. This was as good as the Crab Meat Fried Rice I had at Erawan.
The use of fresh products often means you need not use much ingredients to enhance your foods. And when I say Fresh products, I mean products that are not frozen but most probably bought and used on the day. This adds so body and flavor to your dish. Frozen foods while convenient, is somehow lacking of this added goodness.
Then I remembered we ordered Chicken Spring Rolls. I was going to cancel it but before I could say cancel, the supervisor ran into the kitchen and in a few minutes the spring rolls came out. It was nice, nice as it is as I do not like dunking my foods into sauce and when I did taste the sauce, it was quite yukky! The Spring Roll was full of chicken and I believe finely sliced bamboo pith. now on a good day I would have gotten quite sick but somehow my body must have changed. Note the yucky red sauce in the photo.
I could not believe this sauce was served in a restaurant that just served me AUD20 Fried Rice. It was just shocking.
Anyhow it was time to leave, and if you note I do not have the name of the restaurant. I cannot even find it online for some reason. So if anyone out there reads it and knows the name of the restaurant, do tell me please. I was satisfied, we boarded to plane to Fiji, for our next food and travel endeavor.
by Chef Nicholas Pillai