We were beside ourselves with anticipation when a new Chinese restaurant opened in Enmore this week. "Please let it be something interesting and not a RSL-sweet-and-sour-pork joint" we prayed to the gods of gluttony. And the gods delivered Zheng Hao Chinese Restaurant, we are happy piggies.
It's a simple little hole-in-the-wall place with a Shanghai influence. They do the standard "beef in blackbean" stuff but the goodness is in the Shanghai specialties, dumplings and noodles; these dishes are also the best value, and the most filling.
If you are fan of a good, simple noodle dish then the stir friend Shanghai noodles is a winner. Also available in XO sauce if you want some spice. About $8, even cheaper as a lunchtime special.
Pork and chive dumplings, always a winner. About $8.
Pan fried pork and chive dumplings, these were sensational: the casing was lovely and crispy without being greasy. About $8.
We asked for a bowl of plain broth even though it wasn't on the menu, not a worry.
We walk out stuffed to the gills for only $25. There are quite a few interesting choices on the menu, particularly the Shanghai style snacks. We wanted to try the fried rice cake with pork chop and Shanghai steamed pork and crab meat dumplings but alas they were not available yet, the place has only been open a couple of days and they are still working things out. Also the foi gras and eggplant has to be tried, conscience willing.
It is fun dining when such a restaurant has only been open a couple of days: the service is Rolls Royce and owners are chatty and friendly. We just hope Zheng Hao catches on: it's not quite Chinatown and not quite Newtown, they will probably thrive on takeaways anyway. It had a few diners when we were in which was pretty good for a two day old restaurant on a cold Tuesday night. It has far better odds of survival than the new crepe restaurant a few doors up. I am yet to see a successful crepe venture...
Zheng Hao Chinese Restaurant is at 83 Enmore Road Enmore. It occupies the space where the Masala House Indian takeway once proudly stood on the corner of Wilford Street. Checkout the great graffiti and knitted sign-pole around the corner.