Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Dae Jang Kum BBQ Buffet - Campsie - Sydney, Australia

Dae Jang Kum BBQ Buffet



Looking at the pictures and advertisements in those free Chinese magazines distributed monthly can actually prove to be useful even though I can't read many Chinese words. There were a section advertising Dae Jang Kum Korean BBQ in Chinatown and I noticed in small print that there were the words 'opening soon' in Campsie. Yay to another Korean BBQ in proximity of the Shire!


Not knowing whether the establishment was open or not, I did a quick search on Google and on its main website it said it was open but since year 2008! Now that didn't make sense. I then called to see whether they were open yet and they were. I made a booking and they said it was a fully booked for dinner, but if we went earlier then there would be tables available. Without a booking in tow, we were on our way to Campsie to try our luck.

Arriving just after 6pm on a Saturday night, we were told it was full and the only remaining table left was at the back in the open air.  Fortunately, we got a table and there was a slight breeze which made sitting outdoors pleasant though not preferable. Unfortunately, this meant that we faced the backyard, and there was no proper ventilation set up.

After speaking to the waiter at the restaurant, he said the restaurant seats 100 patrons but they only take bookings for 40 patrons. Do book ahead or arrive early to avoid not getting a table or having to queue for a long time.


The interior is clean, spacious and well decorated. I like the Korean vibe and loud chatter as we step into the restaurant, just like how a Korean BBQ restaurant should be.

I was expecting them to adopt the exact same menu as its sister restaurant in the city, which offers an al la carte menu but they opted for the buffet style instead. Possibly due to the success of the Korean BBQ restaurant a few blocks down at a restaurant called Se Jong Korean BBQ which I previously blogged about. At $32 a head, this is affordable considering you can eat to your hearts content.





The buffet spread is exceptional. It's lined at the center and there is plenty to go around. There are a lot of pre-cooked dishes and the BBQ spread is generous too. However, we find that throughout the night, some items aren't replenished such as the watermelon slices due to the lack of staff. One thing that they didn't have was ice-cream. It would have been nice to cool down with a cold dessert after the BBQ but then again we can't demand too much.






There a is nice selection of pre-cooked foods and if you eat these then you would probably be too full for the BBQ. You must get the kimchi as I saw one lady actually making it from scratch which shocked me as these can easily be bought outside.




I especially like their marinated meats and seafood here. It's marinated well in that it's not too salty and the flavours are well balanced.


Wrap some cooked meat in lettuce and then nom.



Cook meat, cook! The power level of the grill was rather weak and it took a long time for the food to cook. That gave us time to digest and eat more.

We really liked the Korean BBQ here at Dae Jang Kum as the selection was diverse and the food was fresh. If we had a seat inside it would have been perfect. Service could be better but then again they are relatively new so do give them time to adjust. A great place to catch up with friends and be prepared to scream or talk over each other.

Where?
115-117 Clissold Pde
Campsie NSW 2194
Australia

Phone no: 02 8033 3436

Opening Hours
Lunch
11:30am - 3:00pm
Dinner
5:30pm - 10:00pm

Website
http://www.daejangkum.com.au

Dae Jang Kum on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Dainty Dumpling House - Miranda - Sydney, Australia

Dainty Dumplings 


With the makeover of Westfield Miranda in process, a number of new eateries have started to open or are due to open soon. Stage 1 of the renovation is now complete and it looks amazing. Westfield Miranda has been in need of a restoration for a long time as it has been a while since it was last re-done. I would imagine that the rent for shop or restaurant spaces would be exorbitant, hence the higher prices for the food that is charged to compensate for the rent.


Dainty Dumpling House is well, a Chinese dumpling restaurant. An unusual name I would probably associate with a tea house of some sort.  Located on the lower floor of the complex, this restaurant occupies a large corner space with an open kitchen and fresh dumplings prepared daily.


They also have items other on their menu such as handmade noodles and roti, but as they haven't been open for long, these are yet to be made available. There are a substantial number of items on the menu but they have been tagged 'coming soon' unfortunately.



From the outside, you could see the chefs busy preparing and cooking. Can you see those colourful dumplings? It's one of their speciality items.


On a Sunday morning, we arrive before 12pm and the restaurant is at full capacity. We join the queue and get a table shortly.


We notice that service is slow and disorganised as there are only two waiters to take the orders. I find myself having to go to the waitress to ask her if I could place my order as she is preoccupied with other things. The patrons on the tables next to us look frustrated as their orders haven't been taken, having arrived way before us. The main problem here is the restaurant is new and they are adjusting to the new environment, so do give them time.


I do like their cutlery.




We start off with 'Xiao Long Bao ($10.80)', described as steamed pork dumplings with soup. The dumplings are made in house so they are as fresh as they can be. Eight morsels of delicate, nicely pleated skins encloses a glorious soupy and juicy mince pork inside. We ordered two trays of this and it still wasn't enough.


'Shaomai stuffed with Abalone and Pork ($10.80)' sounds fancy doesn't it? It's the usual Shaomai you would find at Yum Cha restaurants with the addition of a thin slice of abalone on top of each. We found the prawn and pork mixture to be tough and dry.


'Fried Rice with Chinese Mushroom and Diced Chicken ($13.80)' is last to arrive. A mound of rice is stir-fried with Chinese mushroom, diced chicken, egg and shallots. We liked that it wasn't bland but we felt the rice was ultra soft and lacked that wok flavour one would usually associate with cooking fried rice.

The 'Xiao Long Bao' was delicious but the other items weren't as good in comparison. Service can be improved as a lot of diners were left angry at the slow and at times, non-existent service. It's not a cheap place to dine but for those living in the Shire, it saves having to travel to Hurstville or the City for a fix of dumplings. I can't wait till Din Tai Fung opens in Miranda, one of my favourite dumpling restaurants in Sydney. Do give Dainty Dumpling House a chance as I'm sure once they're open longer, service will pick up and more menu items will be available.

Where?
Shop 1012/600
Kingsway Miranda NSW 2228
Australia

Phone no: 02 9188 2589

Opening Hours
Contact restaurant for opening hours.

Website
http://www.daintydumplinghouse.com.au/

Dainty Dumpling House on Urbanspoon