Yuan's BBQ Chinese Restaurant is the holiest of hole-in-the wall joints in Campsie.
We were lured into Yuan's by a saucy, seductive looking bbq duck in the window, and the exceptionally wonderful low rent decor. Plus any joint with the words 'Chniese Restaurant' on their awning is a must-try in our books.
The couple that run this joint are welcoming and friendly, lovely folks. The boss dude tells us he is from Shanghai, and he and the boss lady have been running the joint for fifteen years. It doesn't look like the décor has changed in fifteen years, and that's the way we like it. Regulars drop in for a quick takeaway, collect their food then sit and chat for twenty minutes, it feels like a bit of a community hub in here.
These old school 'Formica Table' joints are starting to disappear, even our beloved Marrickville Vietnamese joints are getting a makeover. One day we'll be looking back nostalgically on this type of place, like the corner milk bar or the old Greek cafe, so we're making sure we enjoy them while they are still here.
We ask the boss man for some duck and he says "ten dollars for half duck ok?" Yeah baby! He says this is Shanghai style soy duck, the flesh is a little drier and perhaps less fatty than your regular bbq duck, and it's smothered in a thick, dark, rich, sweet sauce. It's fiddly but rewarding work getting all the flesh off the bones, there's slow eating pleasure like picking at crab. Halfway through the duck Alison absent-mindedly thinks aloud, "you can stick your Mr Wong's up your arse."
A side plate of braised veggies with sauce soaking fried tofu puffs - $5.
As we eat Mr and Mrs Boss sit down to a huge plate of noodles and some wonderful looking Shanghai pan fried dumplings, the kind with the crispy undersides, we'll be back for some of that.
There's a menu with soups, dumplings and other dishes if the window temptations are not enough.
Yuan's BBQ Chniese Restaurant is at 199 Beamish Street, Campsie - almost opposite the train station. Phone 9787 9896.
View Larger Map