Dan’s House, Haymarket
So, earlier this year, I made a commitment to myself to meet more like-minded people. The life of an entrepreneur can be a bit lonely if you don’t have like-minded people to share experiences with. Since this realisation, I’ve picked the brain of many great minds over coffee, I’ve become a part of several awesome networking groups and whenever a friend, or a friend of a friend, or a blog reader wants to meet up to chat about their desire to take the plunge and pursue their passion… I’ve been saying yes, let’s do it!
Believe it or not, but since June 14, I’ve been blogging for six years!
Happy blogoversary to me! And in a few months time, I will have been my own boss for three years.
Plus my birthday is fast approaching and some of you will know of how I
use that date as a goal post to measure my achievements. I’m so excited.
A few weeks ago, I caught up with childhood friend, S, who is in a similar dilemma to what I went through three years ago.
Of course we caught up over some good food…
I chose Dan’s House because of all the photos of their Peking duck that had been popping up in my Instagram and Twitter feeds. The thought of sensational Peking duck being served at a new Sydney restaurant, and myself, having not tried it yet… It was driving me insane! So with the promise of amazing Peking duck, I easily convinced S that Dan’s House was where we should go!
The concept of modern Asian sharing plates at Dan’s House somewhat reminds me of Chef’s Gallery minus the queues. It’s a Thursday night yet the restaurant is relatively empty. I feel like a complete fool to have made a booking!
We start with the cold tofu with salmon sashimi mixed with special chilli sauce ($11.90). Cold tofu is incredible. The lightness of it is so refreshing and the slippery softness is flawless. Everything about this dish is delicate and subtle. The robustness of the chilli sauce just lifts it a bit, making it even better.
I’m obsessed with all things that use Szechuan peppers so the Sichuan numbing chicken with fresh fruit salad ($12.90) is an instant must-order.
While the sauce hits the mark, the so called fruit salad is rather disappointing. The cubes of avocado and watermelon are bland and don’t offer much to the overall dish. It’s such a shame because conceptually, I thought I was going to fall head over heels for this dish!
On the other hand, Dan’s garden salad ($8.90) takes both of us by surprise. This salad is full of pizzazz!
It’s a mix of humble iceberg lettuce, capsicum, and cherry tomatoes with some intriguing additions of wood ear fungus, chrysanthemum leaves, hard tofu, crisp noodles and finished off with a soy and wasabi dressing. It’s very Asian, very textural and very tasty.
In hindsight, we could’ve done without the pan fried noodle cake ($3.90). It’s a little sweet, a little chewy and a lot of crunch. But it felt like it was missing something…
So the Peking duck is what we’re here for.
We order the half serve ($39.90) because we’re sensible eaters.
The duck is no doubt visually appetising, just like all the pics I’ve seen floating around the interweb. The floral-like arrangement of thin duck slices glisten the whole way from the open kitchen to our table.
We’re served some pickled radishes and two sauces – a hoisin sauce and an amazing kumquat sauce. S and I ponder upon whether the kumquat sauce is housemade or not, but the fact of the matter is that it’s an uplifting twist on your common Peking duck. Love, love, love!
The pancakes, shallots and cucumber are all beautifully prepared as well.
The main let down of the Peking duck was that it didn’t meet our expectations. While the skin looks inviting, it was merely crisp. Plus because of the way it has been sliced, it was hard to appreciate my favourite part of Peking duck… The indulgently moreish crisp skin!
One big lesson I’ve learned through being in business is that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. This is applicable in so many business scenarios. I’ve asked for discounts, I’ve asked for different contract terms, I’ve asked for special exceptions, I’ve asked for new business…
Now, I don’t know if our duck soup was ever going to be served or not, or if the waiter had forgotten, but we were nearing the end of our meal when it occurred to me that the Peking duck set included soup… So I asked for it.
I’m so glad I did. The broth has a luscious fragrance from the bones
of the duck and the flavour is rich and velvety. So wholesome and
warming…And every bit rewarding.
Overall I think Dan’s House warrants a return visit so I can explore the rest of their menu. I won’t be ordering the Peking duck again but I’m intrigued by their creativity and play on Asian flavours.
Level 1 & 2, 710 George Street, Haymarket, Sydney, NSW
Phone: (02) 9211 1112