Posts Tagged ‘eating out’

Sky Mountain Hand Made Noodle Restaurant, Ashfield

I remember visiting Sky Mountain Hand Made Noodle Restaurant one rainy evening around the Christmas/New Year period perhaps two to three years ago. It was cold, wet, and the place was deserted whilst the two restaurants next door were buzzing.

Now, several favorable reviews later, Sky Mountain is filled to the gunnels. Confucius Palace restaurant has been replaced with another and the Chinese Dumpling Restaurant is up for lease. The latter had quite good food (so much so that a place up the road came in one night to buy their frozen dumplings to sell to their own customers!), but had been very rude the few times that we had visited.

We wait about 15 minutes to get a table for two, pre-ordering beforehand and getting a little tear off raffle ticket in return.

sky mountain handmade noodle restaurant

The place is filled about 50/50 with Westerners and Chinese locals, so comfy with the place that they’ve turned up in their pyjamas. The lamb skewers are very popular, and in particular the majority of the Chinese tables have ordered the Lamb bone with Family Sauce in Hotpot. I know this place has the word “hand made noodles” in their restaurant name… but I could only find two dishes with that ingredient. A soup dish, and a stir fried dish.

Last time I remember we ordered Boiled Fish with Pickled Cabbage and Chilli ($18.80). I know I took a photo then, but in lieu of that I show you the picture from the menu:

Boiled fish and pickles

This dish is huge, and is better to be shared amongst big groups. The broth was heavy with sichuan peppers and had a slick of oil on top. But it’s not really a drinking ‘soup’. Once you could get past that, the white fish underneath was very nice, but I did tire of the overwhelming mouth numbing qualities of the sichuan pepper.

This time we ordered Soup Noodle with Braised Beef ($10.80):

Braised beef noodle soup

Ever since visiting Taiwan and discovering the ‘national dish’ of beef noodle soup, this style of this has become a firm favourite for eating out. Take a tough cut of meat and simmer it in a heady broth with star anise until it becomes meltingly soft. Add hand made noodles, some greens and coriander – yum. So satisfying. This broth had the star anise and cassia elements and was refreshed with the coriander, and starched up with potato. If I had any complaint, there weren’t quite enough noodles!

Also on order were the boiled pork and chive dumplings ($9.50):

Pork and Chive Dumplings

These are no nonsense wheat flour encased salty pork and chives. Shui Jiao. Good old rib stickers that you eat plain or flavour with the soy sauce or black vinegar on your table. Since the dumplings are boiled, there is a tendency to oversalt the filling mixture

I also have a thing for pancakes, but this time we tried the egg and chive pie ($6.50):

Egg and Chive Pie

Fry and egg. Saute your chives. Stuff in a pancake. Ordinarily: Awesome.

Today, not so much. Why? Today I was too overwhelmed with the saltiness and chive-y-ness of the dumplings, and this just tasted like more of the same. Don’t order two sets of chive dishes!

Next time I’m going to have to try those hot pot lamb bones, I just need a cold Sydney day. On the other hand, there is a cold mix your own salad (Mix been sparach sheet, cucumber, wombok in family sauce with fried shredded pork) for those roasting hot days I could try instead…

Sky Mountain Hand Made Noodle Restaurant
web: www.handmadenoodlerestaurant.com
Street: 355B Liverpool Rd, Ashfield NSW 2131
Phone:+ 61-2-9797-1699
M-F: 1600-2200
S-S: 1130-2200.

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Jasmin Restaurant, Lakemba

A colleague had told me about El Jannah, and the tip had paid off. He had also told me about Jasmin Restaurant Lakemba as being one of his favourite places to go. The kids were about to visit, and more mouths means you can try more dishes, so I made a booking.
Except in a brain freeze moment, I had Jasmin Bankstown in my head.
After a shuffling of bookings, we fronted up at Jasmin restaurant Lakemba at 830pm and worked out why we didn’t need to book: there were three tables free and we were in the last stages of service!
So we got a mixed plate which contained hummus, babaganoush, two felafel, one thing like a felafel but with meat inside. There was the complimentary plate of pickles and basket of bread including chilli pickles which were quite bitter, and segments of raw onion. Whoa. A plate of felafel went down very well, and very quickly! They were football shaped, crispy on the outside, delicate on the inside with little flecks of green from the split peas I think. This and the tabouli were favourites around the table. During our initial order, when we also asked the waiter if he thought we had enough food for four; he recommended that we also try the plate of lamb shish kebab. The meat itself was quite fatty, but provided a nice change from the other flavours.
It was a lot of fun assembling your own little wrap with lashings of toum, tabouli and chilli sauce. I was surprised how filling felafel can be! With a bottle of Pampa tamarind drink each, and one coconut pudding (Muhallibia) to go, the bill was approximately $12.50 per person. The Muhallibia looked quite solid, but was very light in texture.
Afterwards, we wanted to try the sweets at Patisserie Arja but they were already shut for the night!
I worked out later how I had confused restaurants. I had overheard a radio station doing an outside broadcast from Lakemba Mosque. As part of this OB, the chef of Jasmin Bankstown had done a bit if a promo and cooked up some dishes live on air. The secret behind the light and fluffy interior, and crunchy exterior of each felafel us to cook it fresh everyday! Talk about subliminal messaging.

Jasmin Restaurant
30b Haldon Street, Lakemba
Telephone 02 9740 3589
Open 0830-2130, every day.