What happens when one gets a group of bloggers together?
We eat, we take loads of photos and more importantly, we laugh lots. And eat lots and lots and lots…. And I learnt that most of us will do whatever it takes and help each other out for the money shot. It will all be revealed in the post below.
Dan’s House is now officially opened. It is located on George Street in Haymarket. This modern Chinese restaurant is dressed in silver, gold and white bling on the first level and in darker tones and blues on the second level. The first level is more family oriented and I love the natural light that floods into the space. The second level is more catered to the evening crowd with a bar upstairs as well as a private room with a personal karaoke set!
Many thanks to Thang (Noodlies), Heidi (friend of Thang) and owner, Diana Ren for allowing us to run amok pre-opening of the restaurant. The bunch of us were treated to a taste of Dan’s House and we were all in for a treat. Dan’s House is trying to steer herself away from the typical Chinese restaurant that serves sweet & sour pork or lobster noodle. She will like to present Chinese dishes in a more modern way. They specialise in hand made noodles and the very delicious and addictive Peking duck!
This is Dan’s signature Peking duck. I had many Peking ducks in my lifetime and there are only 2 places (1 in Melbourne and 1 in Beijing) that I absolutely love and will go back for more. The one in Melbourne is, of course, Flower Drum and the one of the Beijing is Li Qun which resides in the hutong area. Both very different in style but great in their own ways.
So what did I think of Dan’s? The Peking duck skin is super crispy and light. The meat is very tender and easy to bite through. I love the pancakes which is hand made and done well. And I especially love the pita like bread where I am able to stuff it with all the delicious meat, skin, cucumber, spring onion and drizzle it with loads of sweet sauce. YUM! They do it well. They aren’t sloppy like most cheaper places are. Don’t get me wrong. Some of the cheaper ones are great but there are many more that do it seriously wrong!
I quite like the cold tofu with salmon sashimi. The sauce is the bomb! I love it. It is a house made sweet sauce and not just any plain old soya. It tasted a little like sweet bean sauce mixed with wasabi, maybe sesame and some other secret ingredient. I love this sauce on just plain noodles and a touch of crispy shallots. This dish makes a great appetizer or starter.
And for the health conscious, have you ever had a Chinese salad before? This is Dan’s garden salad. The greens are all very fresh and I love the dressing. It was quite earthy and Heidi said that it might be the Chinese mustard that was added to it? It looks like a plain salad but that dressing makes it kind of special. And I love the fried noodle that they added for the crunch and texture.
I love crispy duck skin. This is what both Heidi and Angie thought about it. We were told to dip the uber thin and crispy skin into sugar. Hear what they both have to say and also what do food bloggers do to create that “money shot”.
Let’s move on to the next dish which is rather entertaining for both eyes and nose. It’s the pan fried Wagyu beef on a stone hot plate with red wine and garlic sauce. I wish I captured this on video but too many hands in front of me and the chef was pouring it in front of me. It was different to get a shot. We all had to take our shots quick as it will such a waste if the beef got overcooked and it’s our fault! I love this dish. The red wine gave it more depth and the beef was just so melting tender. Beautiful.
Fried scallops in XO sauce?! Bring it on baby. I love XO sauce and we all know it is not cheap to make it. It requires a fair bit of dried scallops if you really want to do it the right way. I might attempt it at home soon since @mamajeroxie has left a box of dried scallops at our place The scallops were quite sweet but maybe a little overcooked. But I do love the sauce that coats it and how it is presented in this carefully fried twisted and twirled noodle. I kept going at the sauce. Could not get enough…. seems to be a thing here. The sauces are all really well made and has a lot of flavour to it.
Next up was the longevity noodle. The noodles are hand made by the shifu in the kitchen. I love the silkiness of the noodles and the simple meat sauce is clean and delicate tasting. I will prefer a little more seasoning but this is personal preference.
To eat this noodle, you need to find the end of the noodle and slurp it up in one go. In the olden times, this noodles is usually eaten during birthdays. The longer the noodle, the longer you live and you need to have it in one go! We all had a shot at it! Heidi is the expert on this!
Master holding up one of the few strands of longevity noodle. I can’t remember how long was the world record but it was a ridiculous length. Watch the video further down to see how the shifu does it.
Before dessert arrived, we headed towards the kitchen where the master (or shifu) demonstrated the skill and art of noodle making. I wanted to have a go at it but refrained myself after I saw what Thang had to go through and how loud all of us laughed. Check out the video and watch the master and apprentice in the zone of noodle making.
Here comes the very delightful and well presented toffee apple. This dessert waits for no one. The deep fried apple dumpling is coated in hot toffee and therefore, one it hits the table, everyone needs to grab a toffee ball, dip in cold water and eat it. Because we are bloggers, we had to take the photos first and hence the balls were all stuck to the plate. I like how this dish lifted the mood even more. We were grabbing cameras and snapping at a million miles an hour and then trying to unstick the balls and all fell into childish giggles. Really fun!
I miss the Melbourne bloggers and am slowly getting to know a few Sydney ones. They are a great bunch of people as well and a whole lot of fun and laughter. And it is funny to observe the length that the food bloggers go into to get a shot and to help others get a shot. There is no selfishness and only generosity on this table.
I had to put a photo of Thang showcasing their Chinatown boss pose! I love bling and I think I found another bling buddy here in Sydney. This is the upstairs area. The decor is darker and definitely for the more upbeat night time crowd.
Dan’s House is now officially opened for business. And many thanks again to Diana, Thang and Heidi for organising this really special lunch.