Vanessa: It is a common site on Bathurst street in Sydney’s CBD to see a queue of people eagerly waiting for a table at Chef’s Gallery. The large street facing windows allow you to see into the tastefully decorated dining room where people flock to sample Chinese food of the finest quality. Chef’s Gallery has always been on my list of places to try and a few weeks back Alex and I got to experience it.
We attended an event that showcased the fusion between Chinese art, culture and cuisine that sums up what Chef’s Gallery is all about. If you have dined at Chef’s Gallery in the CBD you may have noted the art work both on the wall and in glass casings. We were priveledged to meet the designers and curators of the restaurants artwork and it was very interesting to understand more about where they drew their inspiration from.
I will not pretend to know much about art, so it’s probably best I turn your attention back to what I am passionate about..food!
I had quite high expectations of Chef’s Gallery, not only because of the constant queues but also because word on the street was that it was very good. I definitely did not walk away disappointed and it is evident that the chef’s are sourcing high quality produce.
We were treated to the aptly named ‘art and artistry banquet’ that evening which meant we were really able to try a good cross-section of dishes on the menu.
A large sampling platter offering four of the menu’s cold dishes was served up first. This consisted of silken tofu topped with pork floss, seafood and jellyfish salad dressed with black vinegar, sesame and chilli oil, cucumber ribbons marinated in chili oil and a Chinese mixed vegetable salad. Two notable stand outs on the platter were the silken tofu which was perfectly light and smooth as well as the cucumber ribbons that were taken to a whole new level by the chilli oil.
Next up a number of dishes were brought out in fairly quick succession. Smoked salmon, cucumber ribbon and enoki mushrooms was a great dish that I really enjoyed this and I’m not usually a fan of smoked salmon. It was not overpowering and the cucumber really complimented the salmon.
I was really impressed by the shredded lamb with spicy cumin rolled inside a fluffy casing. The flavours were very middle eastern and the taste of cumin is strong in the dish, which I enjoyed.
The lightly battered king prawns served with wasabi mayonnaise and flying fish roe were a hit! These were absolutely delicious. Super crunchy and the wasabi mayo was perfect, not too much of a hit but enough to give the dish a good kick!
One of the popular dishes on the menu is the roast deboned duck with lychee and covered in a mint/plum sauce. The duck was cooked perfectly and paired well with the fruit flavours of the lychee and the plum sauce.
Chinese broccoli cooked two ways was blanched and fried then dusted with sugar. It’s a real sweet and savoury combination.
Chef’s Gallery is well-known for making fresh noodles in-house so it would have been remiss of us not to try them.
We tried the homemade noodles served with slow cooked beef brisket and minced beef with chilli. The noodles being so fresh gave the dish a real edge and the brisket was so moist it almost melted in the mouth.
Now you have no doubt seen this image that has dotted your Instagram feed of late.
The Piggy and Eggy Fairyland Sesame Buns (with the added effect of purging) have definitely been getting some airtime. Prince and Princess Piggy are joined by their friends Eggy and Yolky,(egg custard buns) in a milky way surrounded by magical stars…ice cream…fairy floss = sugar overdose. Personally, I thought this was more of a novelty dish rather than something I would necessarily order for dessert.
Chef’s Gallery definitely brings the goods when it comes to high-end Chinese cuisine. Be sure to time your visit to avoid peak times and queues!
Photos by Alex
*For Food’s Sake dined as a guest of Chef’s Gallery, all opinions however are our own and independent. Thank you to T for the invitation.