Vanessa: Having never ventured to Top Ryde Shopping Centre, I made my way up to level one where the latest addition on the food scene, Lan Yuan Restaurant & Bar is located. For a shopping centre restaurant, Lan Yuan has put a lot of thought into creating a relaxed, zen atmosphere that sets its self apart from the bustle of the shopping scene.
With cleverly placed bamboo features that create a tranquil ambience, this Cantonese restaurant is serving up Yum Cha, dumplings and Cantonese dishes that will definitely appeal to the masses. We gathered last Saturday afternoon for lunch with some familiar faces to see what Lan Yuan had to offer.
Having prepped for the occasion by not eating a thing all morning, I was initially concerned when one lonely plate of Steamed chicken with bok choy was set down before all twelve of us.
Needless to say that tricky situation was quickly rectified with the spread that you will see below! For the first dish of the day, I have to say I was little underwhelmed by the flavor of this dish. It didn’t really have any punch and perhaps would have been aided with some sort of side sauce.
The dishes started coming at us thick and fast from that point and there were some real winners that stood out from the pack.
I (and most people on the table) were loving the Hokkien-Style deep-fried eggplant with chili and garlic. A really unique way of cooking eggplant and the flavour worked so well – crispy, crunchy outside with the softness of the eggplant inside – absolute winner!
I personally also enjoyed the Egg yolk tofu that had been lightly fried and tossed with salt and pepper. I found this to be a lovely, soft textured dish and one that I would add to the repeat order list.
The Sweet and sour pork was another crowd pleasure as the pork was tender and generously coated in the well-balanced sweet and sour sauce.
The Yuan beef eye fillet was completely overpowered by the strength of the wasabi and was unfortunately a bit of a miss for me. Even as a wasabi lover I have limits!
The Shandong Chicken has firmly cemented its position in the must re-order list. The crispy skin was complimented well by the moist chicken and accompanied with Shandong sauce of soy, chili and shallots. A generous portion and very tasty dish.
The crispy Sweet and sour barramundi had strong flavours and presentation. It’s not easy to make a fish head look appealing but they have managed to do it!
The award for best visually appealing dish goes to the Wok-fried Singapore mud crab with noodles. This dish was very impressive the only caveat was that it was somewhat difficult to get stuck into…as crab generally is!
To finish off our Cantonese banquet we were treated to a round of Deep-fried ice cream that was the usual crowd pleaser with its crunchy, coconut flavoured exterior.
I see great potential for this becoming another yum cha hot spot for people who are doing their weekend shopping at the centre. It certainly does offer relaxed atmosphere and some great dishes that are worth returning for!
Photos by Bianca
*For Foods Sake were invited to dine by Wasamedia, all opinions however are our own.