Monday, April 23, 2007

Yee King, Sussex St, Chinatown

Yee King, Sussex St, Chinatown
Monday 23 April, 2007

I knew tonight was going to be a laugh before we even set foot in Chinatown. For almost 2 months my China buddy and I have been attempting, I'll say that again, attempting to learn Mandarin. This has all been in aid of an upcoming trip to China that we are incredibly excited about. Our teacher, Jing Jing, has been incredibly patient with us and by way of incentive, promised to take us out for a meal once we completed the term.

So, tonight we met Jing Jing in Chinatown for our Chinese feast. The instructions were to meet her under the Golden Water Mouth tree in Chinatown. I had no idea where this was and we weren't provided with a street name or point of reference. However, that's what made it all the more hilarious. We wandered around until we found our fellow Mandarin students.

I absolutely love Chinese food so was thrilled to have Jing Jing lead us into the unknown. We weren't told what restaurant we were going to so just followed her aimlessly through the crowded streets. We ended up on Sussex St directly opposite Golden Century at a small restaurant called Yee King.

The entry level dining space was small with low wooden tables and wooden box seats. We sat near the kitchen and were offered large plastic covered menus with pictures of their main dishes on one side and a complete listing of their menu on the other. Hanging on the walls was another lists of specials and chef's favourites. The staff were young and spoke English and also Mandarin - so they were very accommodating as we attempted a mix of Mandarin/ English to order. Our table of 9 ordered Tsing Tao beers all around and:

- Cucumber & garlic (this is a dish I have yet to find on any Sydney menu and the staff highlighted that it was a traditional Northern Chinese dish that you would typically have at home - not in a restaurant)
- Spicy tofu (also known as Grandmother's bean curd & delightfully hot & spicy)
- Salt & pepper calamari (very light and mildly spicy)
- Kung po chicken
- Sweet & sour fish
- Chicken fried rice
- Vegetable dumplings (the outer dumpling layer was a little thick for my liking)
- Vegetable noodles (Yee King are known for their handmade speciality noodles)
- Deep fried pork ribs with shallots (deliciously tender but very light on the meat)

The food came in quick succession and was surprisingly good. We passed each dish around and polished off everything on offer. Yee King is not a flash place rather a cheap & cheerful restaurant offering good, fresh food at very reasonable prices. The lighting is bright and felt almost fluorescent on this dark and wet evening. For this feast we paid $18 pp.

Yee King - 408 Sussex St, Chinatown - (02) 9211 1138


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