Market City is the cleanest and most modern of the Chinatown food courts, but we won't hold that against them. Here's a few favourite feeds...
[LAST UPDATED NOVEMBER 2013]
Market City doesn't quite have the street cred of the other Chinatown food courts but that there are many goodies to be had. It's a little more 'Westfield' than the other food courts so it's a good option for nervous eaters and germophobes, they have the cleanest loos too. Market City can be quite dead on a week night but busting at the seams on weekends as the movie and shopping punters flood in.
We must note that we didn't visit the stalls that are outside the scope of this blog: the sandwich joint, the kebab joint, the new Italian joint and the Indian curry-on-rice joint.
One stall that closed in 2011 that we sorely, sorely miss is McLucksa. If anybody knows if the McLucksa folks are cooking elsewhere, we'd love to know.
Shandong picnic chicken from Eastern Experience - twice cooked chicken, poached then fried, then drizzled with a black vinegar sauce, coriander and chili. It can take 15 minutes or so to cook but it's worth the wait, a bargain at $10.
Pick'n'mix economy rice from Eastern Experience - a big plate for only $8.30, no wonder this place is so popular with students. We recommend the more Taiwanese and and homestyle Chinese choices rather than the Aussie Chinese selections. Below is the Taiwanese classic of three cup chicken, seafood and veggie stirfry and the homespun Chinese classic of tomato and egg stirfry.
Handmade noodle with hot and sour soup from Super Chef BBQ. A lovely thick gravy-like broth that magically gets thinner and soupier as you get to the bottom. The broth has mildly tangy sweet & sour flavour. List of ingredients: everything - all kinds of chopped meats, veggies and tofu, we could imagine a Chinese nanna making this on a Sunday night. $8.50.
Salted chicken with rice from Super Chef BBQ - a simple dish of steamed chicken with rice with some ginger and shallot on the side. $8.50 - cheap, healthy and delicious. Go the roast duck on rice as well, it's cooked on the premises.
Any ramen from Hakata Maru (Japanese) - we dig the thin porky Hakata style ramen (Japanese noodle soup) here. It's not perfect, but we've never had a perfect ramen anyway. Plus it's fast, cheap, and not too punishing on the waistline.
Village Chicken from Super Chef BBQ - bit sized hunks of chook braised in a mild, sweet sauce with flavours of turmeric and star anise, tastes a little like curry. $9. On the board at the front.
Chicken and pork mince sate soup from Happy Chef Seafood Noodles - this joint does all your regular soups, a sate soup is spicy change to the regular bbq pork and wonton number. $7.80
Crispy noodles from MC Golden Tower - plain stir fried chicken, beef or prawns on a huge bed super crispy fried noodles. It's an artery clogger but man it's fun. $10.80.
Chicken and prawn pancake from Bo 7 Mon Thanh Tam ~ because a crispy, oily pancake goes perfectly with a little chicken, a couple of prawns and fresh salad. Yum. $12.50.
Charcoal pork and spring rolls on rice vermicelli from Bo 7 Mon Thanh Tam - mix up the crunchy fried spring rolls, divine charcoal pork, peanuts and chili sauce and your in heaven, or as close as you can get in a shopping centre food court. $11.50.
Three dishes on rice from Thai Thai Thai - this joint has some hard-to-find Thai classics in the bainmarie, such as pork'n'eggs and pork leg stew. Around $8 a plate. Overall we found the bainmarie stuff more exciting than the cooked-to-order stuff here.
Shredded beef in Peking sauce hotplate from Top Choice Sizzling Hotpot - we reckon all the sizzling hotplate dishes here would be winners, these guys have a master touch. Shawn's shiny favourite is this number: dried beef deep fried so it's nice and cripsy, and coated with a dark, sweet sauce. Taste buds say "yes". Arteries say "no." $9.80
For something a bit different...
Narm pik pla-tu from Thai Thai Thai - grilled fish, like a big sardine, served with a hot dipping sauce and veggies, worth it alone for the fried eggplant chips. $12.90.
Pork'n'yam hotpot from Top Choice Sizzling Hotpot - thick and super fatty slices of pork countered with slices of plain, stodgy yam. $9.80