I’m back! Did you miss me? It’s Delia – your one and only Chinatown food tour guide! I know it’s been a while… you’ve forgotten me haven’t you… well this is awkward. Let’s talk about someone you might actually know: *drumroll* Alvin Quah, of MasterChef fame! Simmer Huang (think Chinese hot pot, but with a twist) hosted a MasterChef Simmer Series coinciding with the opening of their restaurant in Chatswood. Here’s how the simmering went.
We started off with a little Asian twist on the classic Lemon Lime Bitters, this Lychee Lime Bitter is made of lychee puree, lime juice and lemonade bitter. I love me some lychee, and was immediately sold.
The Bubbling Asian is concocted with sweet osmanthus honey, ginger, Makgeolli, and Calpis soda in sweet fermented rice wine. I love fermented rice, so of course I couldn’t resist ordering this when I saw it. Sweet and not too much of a liquor taste, exactly the way I like it.
The Plum Blossom is made with Hibiki 12YO, Aperol, osmanthus with smoked plum juice, lemon juice and ginger ale. This tastes similar to sangria and was the favourite drink on my table for the night!
The Grapefruit Daiquiri has a strong hit of liquor taste but is refreshing at the same time. But what struck me most about it is the grapefruit inside – doesn’t it look like sashimi?
The entrees included Hometown Chicken, which is served cold with a spicy satay sauce. Good for those feeling *peckish*. Get it.
The Spicy Tofu Noodles are made with thin strips of beancurd served with chilli and spicy sauce. I also shamelessly mixed this with the satay sauce from the Hometown Chicken dish above. Shamelessly.
Ahh Edamame beans, lightly salted and topped with black pepper. Classics done right!
This is Alvin’s special Duck Salad – just spicy enough to have a kick but not leave me dunking my tongue in water. The salad dressing was light and subtly sweet, matching the umami flavours from the duck.
And the feast officially begins! I’m a sucker for fatty pork belly – especially when the fat melts away a la Alvin’s Pork Belly Hotpot. This bordered on the salty side and left me craving some rice – but there’s a reason for this! Read on.
After demolishing half the dish, our waitress came out and poured hot soup into our hot pot. And all became clear! The saltiness of the pork belly mingled with the soup to help it become perfectly flavoured. But we’re not done yet.
The final surprise of the night – and I had no idea what it was.
Out came our talented waitress again to clear my confusion. She pulled and whipped what turned out to be noodle sheets until it became just the right length, and placed it into the boiling hot pot. I loved that these noodles were thicker and had some bite to it – definitely my favourite food element of the night!
So kick back your feet. Enjoy a drink (or two..or three).
And join me in a toast to fatty pork and evolving hot pot dishes courtesy of Alvin and Simmer Huang!Simmer Huang
The District, Podium Level
436 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9411 3335