31 October 2013
Vincent BBQ and Chinese ~ Pittsway Arcade Food Court, CBD
Office worker bees have known about this spot for eons, but our path of food eating adventures has meant we have never made it into this small, busy, city centred locale.
The Pittsway Arcade can be a little tricky to find if you don't know the secret entrances. There's two ways in, and one way down. You can choose to enter via the ground floor of Woolworths, exiting out the back way into a small arcade. Or you can enter from Pitt Street into the same arcade. Once inside, you need to go down a twisted stairwell and you're in. Watch out for the fountain.
Find a seat and you are on your way. This place gets really crowded at lunchtime, you will probably share a table. Our tip if you are dining solo is to get a takeaway food container at the same time you order so your left overs don't get tossed or eaten by someone else 'free mealing' (eating someone else's leftovers, it's an art we have seen practised at many a food court.) Try going early or later or avoid Thursdays and Fridays when it is busiest. It's not open late so lunchtime is your only option.
So the first place we try is Vincent BBQ and Chinese, offering a range of dishes that will be familiar to food court fans but also a few special numbers that make it a worthwhile visit. They have a bain marie of love at the front offering the standard aussie chinese fare of Mongolian lamb etc, but look behind the counter for the hand written signs for some more unusual dishes.
Roast duck with taro - $9. Alison actually asked for the roast pork but was not upset to find she had duck instead. Taro has a floury starchy goodness that worked amazingly well stewed with the duck pieces. The colour is brown and a little unappetizing, but the flavour is great.
Roast pork with taro - $9. Same same duck with taro but with lovely fatty roast pork. Ugly but super filling.
Beef mince and rice with a raw egg on top. Now this dish might look weird, odd or downright horrible to some, but to us it's a joy. The heat of the cooked mince mixes in with the egg to get a sukiyaki kind of flavour happening. It's filling and homely and frankly delicious.
Spicy Szechuan chicken noodle soup $8.50. A generous serving of soft braised chicken pieces on a bed of thin egg noodles. Not really super spicy or subtle but a hearty belly feeder.
Beef with Chinese long melon and black fungus $9.00. This dish is plain, even boring at first bite, but amazing by the end, the flavours meld and grow as you work your way through it. The melon was soft and tender like the white part of a zucchini. The generous pieces of fungus were a chewy balance, soaking up the flavour of the sauce while still retaining their own subtle mushroomy-ness. The beef was cooked with a tender braised style instead of stir fried. Served on rice noodles with a small bowl of clear soup flavoured with a little tomato.
Vincent is owned by Vincent the wonderdog from Lost. He's a silent partner.
Smiling and friendly chief duck and pork chopper.
The arcade has spots for everyone, young and old. Grab a spot, read the paper and let the time pass.
Vincent BBQ and Chinese Food is at Shop BC, 303 Pitt St Sydney.