Dreamer, wordsmith, mum of two - I enjoy the outdoors, good food and good company. Subscribe to my articles to follow what I've been up to, and like those articles you want to see more of so I can tailor what I write to my audience.
Published October 29th 2016
Even more delicious dishes to devour
Chefs Gallery is one of my favourite restaurants to come to when I'm catching up with a fellow foodie friend, and for those work celebratory lunches which come up from time to time. Delicious, tasty food, an open kitchen to admire the chefs plying their skills, and classy enough to feel like you've chosen a finer restaurant to celebrate the occasion in, without the exxy fine dining price tag attached.
I fell in love with their hand pulled noodles the first time I ate at Chefs Gallery, and continued the love affair with their well-presented desserts and dumplings.
So I was thrilled to be invited to try out their new menu additions, which are described in more detail below.
The experience started out with this refreshing little number, an artfully composed salad of tossed fresh mixed leaves, with the crunch of toasted almonds, a few little juice bombs of cherry tomatoes, and the added textural notes supplied by enoki mushrooms, all positioned to heighten the experience of the star player in the piece, which was the roast duck. Being picky, I probably would have preferred a little more duck - but the combination was lovely, and there's nothing wrong with being left wanting more when you're planning on stuffing yourself with several more dishes.
Handmade Salt and Pepper Tofu - crispy on the outside, silkily smooth on the inside, $19.90
The tofu dish was surprising because I don't generally like tofu - but I loved this dish! Crispy on the outside, silky smooth on the inside, with a beautiful crisply deep fried and spicy salt and chilli pepper spice mix sprinkling over it - I'm pretty sure I helped myself to more than my fair share of the plate.
Sweet and sour pork is a Chinese takeaway standard, beloved by so many, but done pretty poorly a lot of the time. Not this particular version. The meat was juicy with a thin, crisp batter, and the sauce was thick, dark and glossy - just the way I like it. None of the pineapple chunks tossed through a thin tomato based sauce for Chefs Gallery - hell no! They added some sultanas through the mix - something I had never seen before, and which added a depth of flavour and sweetness to the dish which worked fabulously.
I love handmade noodles, and Chefs Gallery's are fantastic. The mouthfuls I had were up to the standard I've come to expect from Chefs Gallery - springy, slurpy, flavoursome noodles. I didn't get any of the crispy crackling, but I think that's because my fellow food reviewers all dived in before I could stick my chopsticks in, and I was sadly left with the dregs.
Dongpo Pork belly - unctuous and sweetly delicious, served atop steamed radish cake, $27.90
Who doesn't love pork belly? I'm a sucker for pork crackling, but this soft cooked style of pork belly is also a winner. The sauce was lip-smackingly sweet and rich. It apparently takes six hours to prepare the pork, cooking it with a medley of spices. It's definitely a dish to share - eating one of these plates by yourself would give you a heart-attack.
mango granita with coconut cream, nata de coco and fruit, topped with granola, $13.90
So refreshing after such a flavour-packed lead up of dishes.The mango granita melted away on my tongue leaving a zing on my lips, and the textures of the fruit and coconut cream and the crunch from the granita melded beautifully.
Sesame panna cotta with kaffir lime dusted meringue, $13.90
If you love brandy snaps, you probably will like the snap of the sesame tuiles in this dish. Again, the contrast of textures (silky white creaminess of the panna cotta against the brittle bitter shards of the sesame tuile) was very pleasing, and the citrus hit from the lime against the sweetness of the meringue and the bitter notes from the sesame tuile - truly sublime.
My overall verdict - if you like a full flavoured, multi-textured food experience, the new additions to Chefs Gallery's menu will definitely fit the bill. Your only real problem will be choosing what to have. The extensiveness of Chefs Gallery's menu is phenomenal - you could easily eat there every day for a month with your friends and eat different dishes every single time. I haven't yet tried the Chinese doughnut filled with Nutella, peanuts, caramelised banana and ice-cream ($13.90), or the Chinese-Mongolian skewers selection, both of which are also new to the menu. Looks like I'm going to have to return too.