chow’s eating house, surry hills

In the left corner we have the bakery bloggers. By day they are accountants and web designers, by night they  create Pinterest boards of beautiful baked goods. Their steady hand, their incredible talent, beautiful photography and the child like wonder that’s created by their cake and cookie creations.

In the right corner we have the professional food writers. They’re all professionally trained and well travelled with their finely tuned palettes and their connections in the food industry and their big words ;)

And then there’s me. Someone who thinks because she’s eaten her whole life is somehow qualified to comment and write about food. And there are thousands of us. Filling dimly lit dining rooms with flashes of photography, savouring mouthfuls and swapping plates to get an expansive fast tracked sample and using online thesauruses for alternate words for ‘delicious’.

Tonight me and my tastebuds are heading to new casual chinese restaurant Chow’s Eating House and if iPhone snapping your dinner, taking note of the best bits whilst attempting to be engaging company wasn’t hard enough, tonight I’m seated next to Terry Durack my food idol and fellow eater of Sydney finest, newest and greatest restaurants.

Chows Eating House

Chows Eating House

In addition to me and Terry the place is jammers with people trying Chui Lee Luk’s post-Claude digs. If being the chef from Claude’s isn’t enough Sydney is actually full of fabulous Chinese/Asian Eating House with MsGs and Mr Wongs a couple of my absolute favourite places to get my fill. Expectations are pretty high (particularly following a 45 minute wait).

My overriding feeling following a couple of visits is this Chow Eating House is quite literally hit and miss with dishes that I loved and others that I would simply never order again.

The beautiful duck served with thinly sliced cucumber is incredible which you build yourself into a doughy, asian style open sandwich. It’s super tasty, generous and satisfying (hit!).

Duck & Buns (marinated cucumber & onion, yellow bean sauce)

Duck & Buns (marinated cucumber & onion, yellow bean sauce)

Duck & Buns Open Sandwich Style

Duck & Buns Open Sandwich Style

On the second visit the canon ball dumplings are up there as one of the most tragic food blogging pics I’ve probably ever taken. These little morsels taste more like mini spring rolls than dumplings. They’re ummmm … fine (probably a miss).

Canon Shot Dumpling (roast pork, shiitake, yambean)

Canon Shot Dumpling (roast pork, shiitake, yambean)

The green vegetables with five spice tofu unexpectedly served cold is just not something you are going to crave again (miss).

Wild Greens (light soy, sesame oil, five spice tofu)

Wild Greens (light soy, sesame oil, five spice tofu)

Am a massive fan of chinese style whole fish so the snapper with black beans is hard to pass up and as it turns out the highlight menu item from all our visits. Beautiful fresh fish elegantly prepared and balanced (mega hit).

Whole Fish (Black bean, chilli sauce)

Whole Fish (Black bean, chilli sauce)

Wish I could say the same of the Explosive Lamb which with a name like that I expect to be a flavour sensation. It’s good – in that the lamb is tender but flavour-wise, it’s a little short on explosion for me and I find myself fishing around for the pretty bowl of condiments that were offered up front (miss).

Explosive Lamb (dried chillies, sichuan pepper, ginger)

Explosive Lamb (dried chillies, sichuan pepper, ginger)

I love fried rice and would happily eat a simple bowl of egg fried rice for dinner with nothing else. This is well done and tasty (hit).

Chows Fried Rice

Chows Fried Rice

Lemon Chicken is an old favourite from the days of chowing down on Chinese from your suburban local. Forget that ’cause this is nothing like that. I was expecting tender, juicy sticky lemon chicken but what was served was a crispy, crunchy deep fried chicken wing type construction sitting on a sticky, tangy sauce. I hate to say it, but miss.

Lemon Chicken (on-the-bone, lemon confit)

Lemon Chicken (on-the-bone, lemon confit)

For all my visits I didn’t get as far as desserts but I did sample my fair share of watermelon cocktails and they were beautiful.

Chows Interior

Chows Interior

Chow Eating House is a 50/50 restaurant for me.  Without exaggeration I enjoyed exactly half of what I’ve ordered and the remainder I feel like I would never order again. For most that is probably not enough for a return visit when there are so many other great eating options, but I think I’m going to persevere. Will be interesting to see how th emenu evolves over time based on the crowd favourites.

320 Crown Street, Surry Hills | 02 8095 9058

Chow Bar and Eating House on Urbanspoon

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