Mama Mulan for your next event!

Having opened it’s doors in June, an elegant interior of free form art provides an irreproachable setting for celebration and purlieu.

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The vision of their menu is one that triumphantly reimagines Chinese cuisine.  The impact on classic dishes many have come to know and love as staples in this food is subtle, yet compelling.   Second generation restaurants you could call them, as the palette  of the multi-ethnic Sydney dining culture is ever evolving.

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(Mud Crab)

 “Mulan” meaning wood orchid or magnolia blossom, said to represent femininity, power and strength in Chinese culture.   Mama Mulan, therefore a place of warmth, love and passion setting the tone of what to expect in your dining experience.  Chef Marble Ng (ex Lotus) has created a menu focused on the Shandong regions of northern China.

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(Signature Dan Dan Noodle soup with pork, chilli and peanut sauce)

The ingot shaped dumplings are preserved in their usual crowd pleasing form.  An appropriate introduction to the Mama Mulan dining experience while saluting the old belief of wealth and prosperity, the handmade pot stickers of pork and cabbage, spicy wontons with pork and watercress and pork xiao long bao set the standard of what to expect. 

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The setting for our dining experience takes place in Mama Mulan’s Den – the largest of its private dining spaces easily seating 16-20 guests.  It attracts alot of natural light and has it’s own private balcony.  

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In contrast, the Magnolia and Blossom Rooms have a roundtable configuration for 8-10 people.  Great versatility in the number of functions and gatherings the space (total capacity 180) can accommodate as we enter the peak planning season of Spring/Summer celebration.

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Offering a range of banquet menus and dishes, expect to spend anywhere between $41-$100 for a three course experience.

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There are some very interesting ideas in Chef Marble’s menu.   The sashimi is available only in lobster, the unexpected salad pairing of pear and cucumber, the use of rockmelon in duck pancakes and mushroom as the hero in their spring rolls,  in its ambition to make its mark and cement itself as the definitive in north shore Chinese, they’re definitely playing a different game to many in the area and making us re-think our ideas on this cuisine.

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Location:

The Concourse, Level 1 above Willoughby City Library, Chatswood NSW 2067

(02) 9157 1488

reservations@mamamulan.com.au

Online Reservations:

https://www.opentable.com/r/mama-mulan-reservations-chatswood?restref=53168

Joseph Lloyd, Contributor

images supplied

Mama Mulan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Japanese Omakase @ Sashimi Shingensumi

If you’re mad keen on Japanese like we are, then you will most certainly want to check out Sashimi Shingensumi. But be warned, it’s not an easy feat to get a booking. Why? Firstly, the restaurant only seats two tables of 6 people. Secondly, the restaurant only takes reservations 6 times a year. This is part of the charm though, right? The phone line for bookings opens up on a Monday evening, in the third week in February, April, June, August, October, December. You cannot book via text or facebook messages. We had all hands on deck to make those phone calls one evening with about 5 people calling many times over the evening, we managed to secure a booking a month later.

6 of us visited the restaurant for their dining experience. For $80, you receive a multiple course omakase, which is a Japanese phrase that means “I’ll leave it to you”. This involves the Head Chef Shinji Matsui presenting a series of dishes including an appetiser, soup, sashimi nigiri and dessert.

Our appetiser is a small piece of tuna, cooked salmon and a huge oyster. Following this we get piece by piece of amazingly fresh sashimi.

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There were so many courses it seemed as though we sampled every fish in the sea. Highlights include the bug, bass grouper, anago eel, samsom, Kampachi sushi with cooked snapper roe .

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Uni Sea Urchin Roe (chef’s favourite), always very polarising, the urchin roe is very rich and exhibits a strong taste of the ocean. There were more; scallops, chotoro tuna, akami tuna, john dory with its liver, Shimaji striped mackerel, aburi king fish, salmon belly sushi, shima aji yellowtail mackerel.

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Our favourite was the scampi, this is the single best piece of nigiri we have eaten, super fresh with an amazing sweetness to the flesh. The rice is nicely seasoned and we also get soy sauce, and some of the sushi has a touch of wasabi too. I think we must have had at least 13 pieces when the chef says “one more” and we agree, receiving the raw squid sashmi which was expertly prepared with what seemed like a thousand small incisions, the squid was very tender with a creamy texture.

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Chef moves between our table and the other as we rest our stomachs for more courses. The last dish was tamagoyaki, a rolled omelette made with dashi. It was incredible to watch chef’s care and technique, preparing all the layers of this omelette infront of engaged diners, this was truly a spectacle.

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The restaurant is located in Crows Nest, just off the main strip. It is a small shop with a basic kitchen and two dining tables. They have a small open display fridge that sells sashimi to the daytime shopper too. We sit at the stools across from the chef watching him in action which is art in motion and ends up being displayed on the plate. Watching in awe as the food is expertly prepared, slicing the fish with precision knife work.

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A wall poster shows all the fish on offer at Sashimi Shingensumi. All is super fresh and prepared beautifully.

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You can take both non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks with no corkage fee. There’s also green tea ice cream for dessert.

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Highly recommended for that one of a kind dining experience.

Sashimi Shinsengumi 

Shop 10, Crows Nest Plaza

103 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest

Bookings (for minimum of 5 people) by phone on 0434 108 526

Sashimi Shinsengumi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ho Jiak is a top Malaysian Restaurant

Ho Jiak has long been in Strathfield but has now found a second home in the relatively new Haymarket location. Ho Jiak specialises in Nyonya (Chinese Malaysian Cuisine), which which we can only describe as flavour upon flavour and even more flavour! The food is inspired by the Chef’s Grandmothers home cooked meals with exotic ingredients making for a flavorful dining experience.
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The interior of the restaurant is set up into two dining spaces. The downstairs portion of the restaurant reflects how we picture the streets of Penang in Malaysia to look with plenty happening – there is a hawker style set up, with splashes of colour everywhere. Beautiful artworks adorn the walls. The upstairs section takes you into Grandma’s home, with some beautiful mosaic tiles imported from Malacca, some elegantly painted family portraits and family photos. There are also Malaysian antique crockery and cookware, adding to the authentic homely feel, it definitely feels like you are visiting someone’s home. The upstairs part is perfect for larger dining groups as well.
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Ho Jiak is a licensed venue, so you can enjoy a glass of wine, which the suggestion of Pinot Gris perfectly matched the food. We visited with foodie friends Spooning Australia and e.m.i.l.y_eats which afforded us to try many dishes on the menu. The starters were creative and moreish. The Pai tee was a big hit, with paper thin crisp pastry cups you can fill with a tasty topping, they also come with lettuce cups to make a type of san choy bao. If you want to try something a little different, try the loh bak which is pork jowl wrapped in bean curd and deep fried. It is damn tasty.
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We of course had to try some Malaysian favourites, what we know as comfort food including: the char kway teow, this is simple and delicious. This noodle dish could never disappoint. The Ho Jiak version is super tasty and had a good whack of chilli. Their indomee goreng with the inclusion of premium ingredients with the salted duck egg and crab meat elevating this dish to next level and the chilli also providing some heat.
Another display of premium ingredients is the wagyu portion of the menu, the Rendang Gu another traditional meal. This version was made with quality wagyu. This stew was popping with colour, full of flavour and the meat melt in your mouth.

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All of the items served were of a high standard, but there were some particular standouts. These included the Sam Wong Dan: a savoury custard made with a trio of egg; the century, duck and humble chicken egg. This dish had amazing flavour and silky texture and is a must order. The most suprising was the kangkung belachan. This is one for the vegetarians. The kiam ah nui squid, stirfried with salted duck egg yolk, butter and curry leaves was a flavour sensation and we would go back and undoubtedly order this. The Laksa is one of their signature dishes, and as to be expected was also very good, and be prepared – this is also hot.
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Desserts are inspired by Teh Tarik (pulled tea), or poured back and fourth between two jugs. This is the national drink of Malaysia  and is a mellow way to finish after a taste sensory overload from the preceding meal. To sooth the taste buds a teh tarik ice cream or teh tarik affogato made with the teh taic ice cream with kopi(coffee). Ho-Jiak also do a housemade teh tarik liqueur or a cognac hot chocolate to sip on, these options are great if you have gorged and are lacking capacity for dessert.
Ho Jiak is a top spot to get a Malaysian meal. The chef’s inspiration from his Malaysian upbringing evident in the setting. He is passionate about his restaurant and his cooking and this was inspirational to hear. The food is ridiculously good, using premium ingredients and traditional Malaysian flavour. It is at the top of our list for Malaysian food in Sydney. Make sure you pay it a visit.
92 Hay Street,
Haymarket, Sydney NSW

Ho Jiak Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato