Friday, June 09, 2006

Yings, Pacific Highway, Crows Nest

Yings, Pacific Highway, Crows Nest
Friday 9 June, 2006

Yings was awarded one chef's hat in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2006 and has been on my list of 'must visit' restaurants for sometime. Tonight I was catching up with an old friend who shares my passion for great food, so I knew we would order up a feast.

On arrival I realised I had been there several times, but hadn't recognised the name or address. There are gawdy orange signs out the front and upon entry you walk past several large tanks of seafood - crabs, fish, lobsters etc. It's not the most impressive entry as the tanks look old and are mouldy. There were also plastic tubs stacked up on the floor - nice. Just past the entrance is a long bar where most of the staff were standing.

The staff were pleasant and once we were seated we engaged the staff in a conversation about some traditional Chinese food. The Manager explained to me that they don't serve Shanghainese food - so that meant they didn't serve one of my favourite starters, cucumber with garlic & chilli.

My recommendation is go to the 'Home Style Cooking' section of the menu first - don't muck around with the 'typical' Chinese menu that is largely tailored for the western palate and in no way represents authentic Chinese food. The Home Style Cooking section offers some wonderful dishes and I was keen to try their Grandmother's beancurd (seeing as though it is my absolute favourite Chinese dish).

We ordered San Choy Bow to start, followed by spicy salt & pepper squid, grandmother's beancurd and chicken with XO chilli sauce and fried rice. The San Choy Bow was OK but it tasted a little oily. The highlight dish was the spicy salt & pepper squid - it was sensational - the best I've ever had (so much so that we contemplated ordering another plate). The beancurd was good but needed more kick and the chicken was bland.

The restaurant filled up and we noticed some partitions that separate the private banquet areas towards the back. After dinner we were presented with a plate of fresh fruit that was on dry ice, so the vapour dramatically spilt out onto the table. Whilst it was interesting for a minute, it just looked tacky.
Overall, Yings didn't live up it's reputation as the best Chinese restaurant in Sydney.

Yings - 270 Pacific Highway, Crows Nest - (02) 9966 9181


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