[REVISITED SEPTEMBER 2014 - SADLY, THE KING IS DEAD]
Yee King Noodles was once our favourite Chinese restaurant in Sydney, it had a huge menu with some spectacular, hard-to-find dishes. Over the years we've noticed the crowds dwindle away, and the menu has shrunk, it seems to have changed hands. We'd spruiked Yee King so hard for so long we felt like it was our duty to go back.
We ordered our favourite dish: deep fried pork ribs with shallots ($15.80). It looked just right, and the waiter even lifted the foil and ceremoniously shredded the fall-apart tender pork, just like in the ye olden days. This dish should incredible, rich and porky, sinfully oily. But on this night it was pretty close to inedible. It arrived suspiciously fast, our guess is it was made a couple or a few days ago and reheated, but not quite enough. It was almost hot on the bottom and cold on top. The oil tasted like it was on the way to rancid, Alison didn't notice this so much but Shawn did, his taste buds pick up on old oil easily after a stint working at a potato chip company (a story for another day). We are famously unfussy eaters but man, we left three quarters of this behind.
The braised pumpkin with salted egg yolk ($13.80) was pretty good however, sweet mushy pumpkin deepfried with a light crisp batter. It had that Asian sweet yet salty flavour mix that still sits funny on our Western tastedbuds after all these years. This dish has to be eaten straight away because it looses it's pizzazz when cold.
We asked for some steamed greens which must have been around $12. The waiter asked if we would like the oyster sauce on the side which was a nice touch. The greens were ok, can't really complain, but a good chef can do wonders with their greens.
Yee King still seems to have a few fans but doesn't ring our bells like it used to, such is life.
What is this dish that makes him so happy? Toffeed sweet potato. We've been obsessed with trying this super crunchy dish ever since, but Alison has had braces on her teeth, UNTIL TONIGHT! Barely out of the orthodontist's, elephant stamp on hand, Alison and her metal-free teeth are in Yee King Noodles for super crunchy toffeed sweet potato.
Sweet Potato in Toffee - about $12. Main course and dessert all in one.
When we say it's toffeed, it truly is toffeed. Strings of toffee dangle and crystalise mid-air. Dunk it in water to temper the heat and soften the toffee. As we bite there's a shockwave from that parallel universe that dentists live in, we still hear them screaming our sleep.
Whole eggplant with pork mince and capsicum - $13.80. Eggplant is always good. Eggplant with pork is better.
BBQ Lamb Leg with Cumin & Spicy Pepper - $14.80. This is on the specials board, and yes, it is special. Slow cooked lamb topped with cumin, chili and shallots. It is perfectly cooked and spiced, we can see Neil Perry or Kylie Kwong pinching this one and charging $50 for it.
The meat falls of the bone. Mumma.
Yee King Noodles is highly recommended for anybody keen to explore the menu and try something a little different, this place rewards the adventurous eater. See our other Yee King feasts here, here and here.
Yee King Noodles is at 408 Sussex St, Haymarket/Chinatown. Phone (02) 9211 1138.
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