[invite] Bianca: New to District Dining and perched above Chatswood train station is General Chao. This modern Asian fusion restaurant alongside Mama Mulan (down the road) are re-defining modern Asian food in Chatswood.
The fit-out is sleek, with striking painted murals and an eye-catching feature bar. As well as two private dining rooms for special occasions.
We mostly relinquished the ordering to the kitchen, allowing them to showcase some of their finest dishes.
Starting with a cocktail each, the Jean Claude Pandan $19 with its clever name and Vanessa’s classic Elderflower Tom Collins $18.
The Giant Pork Bun – w/ pork belly, chestnuts, mustard greens and shallots, served w/ smoked black vinegar $13.50. Is every bit the show stopper, the pork belly was particularly tender and gelatinous and full of flavour. I did think, that perhaps the ratios were slightly off, as I found it to be quite ‘bready’.
A lighter, fresher starter is the Cured & Smoked Kingfish -w/ black sesame, & yuzu mayonnaise $21.
Chao’s Jerky $7 marinated in Soy & black vinegar is an intensely rich concentrated beef hit.
Almost stealing the show was the Prawn Toast -w/ Ginger, sesame & white pepper. Served with a spicy XO Mayo $14.50. Three to
The General’s Fried Chicken -w/ herbs & spices and served with house-made sriracha $10.50 (2 per serve). Will have you licking your fingers in delight. The crispy skin super moreish and making way for the tender, juicy chicken within.
The Chicken Kung Pow- w/ Sichuan chilli sauce, cashews, capsicum, celery and black vinegar $30. Tender, bite-sized pieces of chicken but I did struggle with the overwhelming pepperiness of this dish.
Spring for Chao’s Special Fried Rice $30, with a treasure trove of ingredients, all tied together with the classic XO sauce. It’s the perfect base, to mix with various proteins, or on its own…
Equally delicious was the Charred Corn -w/ seaweed butter, sesame & Parmigiano Reggiano $7. As well as being one of the most visually striking dishes to hit the table.
The Crispy Caramelised Pork Belly Salad $24 was another strong favourite. With thin pieces of pork belly, crackling, pineapple and green apple. It was a celebration of sweet, salty & sour. Plus, greenery, so you can absolutely fool yourself into thinking it’s healthy!