Monday, 27 August 2007

heroin junkies, stolen cars...mudcrab? iron chef restaurant

This is a tale of a journey. A journey to the farthest reaches of the galaxy (aka Sydney) for the promise of almightly delicious mudcrab and the people who dared to go there.

On the promise of delectable (and, I won't lie, cheap) mudcrab in addition to other Chinese delights, me and my brave food warriors ventured to Cabramatta to clash with the Iron Chef.

No, not just a cult television show, but an actual (ridiculously large) restaurant, near the train station that screamed "Have your Chinese wedding here!".

I have to say, I love a bargain. And at 50% off the market price of mudcrab on Thursday evenings, cooked any of 6 different ways, I had to try it.

I am happy to say, I found Cabramatta and the Iron Chef easy to find, friendly and, my car was still there at the end of the meal.

Iron Chef is one of those refreshingly old school Chinese restaurants where you still recieve the 'House Soup' prior to the meal and fruit and other refreshments after (first tick of the night).

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Other items on the menu aside from the famed mudcrab (I'll get to this shortly) were interesting takes on old favourites, some with an interesting twist.

The roast duck pancakes were deliciously crisp and arrived with the clatter of the wheeled tray and envious looks from fellow diners. Back on the value bandwagon, the price of the duck included a second dish, made from the succulent meat that was not attached to the crisp, tasty skin. This came in the form of Duck San Choy Bow, complete with perfectly selected lettuce cup leaves, trimmed with pinkinshears..nice attention to detail.

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Other items included tasty Xin Jiang lamb cutlets with enough cardamom, coriander, garlic and black pepper to echo its origin without being too pungent. The wasabi beef (beef marinated in wasabi, then wok fried), could have had more of that kick you come to expect, nevertheless, tender and juicy.

The crisp skinned chicken was nothing to write home about, but at least delivered on its promise of 'crisp skin' without compromising the moisture of the chicken.

Now to the star dish, the reason for our adventure- we ordered 5kgs of mudcrab and elected to have it done 'salt and pepper style', as per the reccomendation of our helpful waitperson. Now, the thing about 'specials' on food is that I become rather skeptical about the quality or quantity of the produce. I needn't fear as the ever helpful waitperson decided to let me decide for myself, whether the mudcrabs were he brought them to the my approval.

I have to say, I've never had such lick-your-fingers tasty salt and pepper *anything*, there was more than enough meat (ask for boys) and everyone was indeed happy.

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So, if you're willing to break perceptions of this still-rather-obscure and less mainstream food destination, I'd highly reccomend you venture out of your regular confines and give it a go.

(photos courtesty of simonlovesfood)


Radge said...

holy fucking shit i need this