Birthday's don't tend to be huge affairs for my family, except for my Grandma in which we always go and have a sumptuous meal at Red Emperor. But that will be another story in about a month's time (Yay!).
It was my Aunt's birthday, so into our Prado we clambered and off we went to Bamboo Chopsticks in Doncaster.
It's as much of a hole in the wall sort of restaurant that Melbourne can get, sparse and simple, yet very authentic and in a way kind of cute. It's the place that serves (according to my dad) a very typical Chinese working man type of meal. Whilst in Western cultures it's more of the steak and three vegetables, here, there's still a fair bit of meat and proteins, but a variety of solid flavours. The Chinese really do have it good with food hey?
The menu is quite simple, surprisingly almost, as I'm used to Chinese restaurants with menu's 20 pages long. One A4 sheet, size 14 text (around there I'm sure) on both sides. Oh and a whiteboard of scribbled specials, all in Chinese though.
My dad serves sparkling shiraz the classy way....got to add a little pizzazz since it's a birthday still right?
Now you'll have to forgive me, my parents did most of the ordering and as always, I never know what we end up getting.
As with most affordable and good Chinese restaurants, the food was out in a flash, plates accumulating far more quickly than we could eat on our table. First thing to come out was the sweet and sour pork, which was actually quite funny because I was looking at the menu and commenting to Brad that I have cravings for it but didn't end up requesting it.
Well it came out anyway. Yes sweet and sour pork tend to belong in the domain of incredibly Westernized Chinese food that often comes out looking like some neon coloured thing from the 80's. This however, is much more authentic and far less...palate destroying. The sweet and sour sauce was slathered lovingly over the pork chops, which were not battered (yay!) as they typically are at a lot of other places. The pork was tender and the sauce was nicely savoury and not too sweet.
This I did request for however, since I am always the sucker for eggplants. Very lightly coated in a batter and fried, and topped with chilli and minced pork. The light batter was nice and a bit different. Was a popular option on the table, between the 7 of us it disappeared very quickly!
I love hot pots, isn't the little container cute? This one was a tofu hot pot with seafood, some squid, I think there was some scallop and fish cakes. Piping hot saucy goodness, what more are you asking for?
Prawns and vegetables, unexciting, but tasty.
And last up was the prawn and fish cake on beansprouts and gai lan (I think). Love the nice chunky pieces of fish cake, which I'm assuming is made in-house (or in-shop wherever they get it from) and made with real prawn and fish, and not just that soft, white artificial stuff.
I might've said the previous dish was the last one...but we decided that we still had more room, so we ordered half of a soy braised chicken. Oooh, just look at that gorgeous colour! The chicken was meaty and beautifully juicy. Great flavour, within minutes it had been absolutely destroyed. Asian families never really fill up do they?
Incredibly popular with the locals, there was a continuous stream of people coming into the door and leaving with plastic white bags filled with hot goodies. My mum reckons they do more takeaway orders than in store business!