Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Relish Noodle Star, Military Road, Neutral Bay

Relish Noodle Star, Military Road, Neutral Bay
Wednesday 3 October, 2007

This has to be my all time favourite Chinese dish and I've been searching for a local place to satisfy my cravings. I was first introduced to Ma Po Tofu in 2005 in China - I didn't really know what it was and described it as a chilli soup with tofu. How things have changed.....

When I returned to China in 2006 I learnt that this dish actually goes by several different names (how helpful)....Granmother's beancurd, Ma Po Tofu or just plain spicy tofu. The interesting thing is back home i.e. here in Sydney this dish is a rarity, however if you ask for it they will deliver.

My quest to find a great local offering has taken my across Sydney:

But finding somewhere closer to home has proved difficult until now. Located on Military Rd just opposite Big Bear shopping centre, Relish Noodle Star looks really tacky. It's a no frills place with no decor, ambiance or care factor. They rely on their food, low prices and there's a steady stream of customers to keep them in business.

Upon entry you are met with ugly tables and basic chairs and there is a counter at the rear where you can order. There are coloured pictures of their menu offerings - your typical Chinese fare and lo and behold - there's a picture of Ma Po Tofu. How on earth could I go past it?

The staff barely acknowledge your presence but again, it's all about the food. Once you order and pay take a seat and wait. No more than 15 mins later a fresh batch of Ma Po Tofu is delivered to the table - again there's no acknowledgement or words shared.

So, what is Ma Po Tofu? It's basically a whole lot of chilli, pork, and silken tofu - click here for the recipe courtesy of the Food Network.

The taste? Well, I had requested extra hot so it was riddled with fresh chilli that lit my mouth up like a Christmas tree and I enjoyed every mouthful. Each serve comes with steamed rice which is perfect for soaking up the chilli sauce.

This is a cheap & cheerful option for dinner.

Relish Noodle Star - 55 Military Road, Neutral Bay - 9904 5454


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the mapo tofu at

It being a szechuan dish, the best version's usually found in a szechuan restaurant.

11:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a horrible experience here, portion sizes were too small for my liking and I also got food poisoning from them. Threw up an hour after eating their meal. The customer service is terrible and I as much as I smile and try to be friendly to the staff they never smile back and I feel like a piece of dirt. 1/10

12:02 am  

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