08 January 2013

Cho Dumpling King - Taiwanese ~ Chinatown

This dang blogging caper, this obsession with trying every joint in town has kept us away from Cho Dumpling King for three years. Stupid us.

This tiny, tiny little Taiwanese hole-in-the-wall is one of our very favourites. Part of the attraction is the ordering system: normally there's a queue outside and you order before even stepping inside by a roving waitress. It's a novelty we've always enjoyed.

Our second favourite thing about Cho Dumpling King is the help-yourself to the side dishes in the window. There's always an interesting selection and it's top notch stuff, always fresh, always good.

Our third favourite thing about Cho Dumpling King is they don't make dumplings, it's the Chinatown equivalent of the pub with no beer. Love it.

The side dishes for $3.50 are one of the best parts about this place. You can also get them takeaway, a good addition to a take home roast duck from Emperor Noodles. Clockwise from top left: a salad of soy beans, pickled mustard greens and grated bamboo shoot, or was that potato; cold baby octopus in a light soy; hard pressed tofu sliced with chilli; dry fried green beans with speckles of pork mince.

Braised beef soup - $7.50 - from the 'soup' section of the menu. Order it from the 'value meal' section and it comes with noodles for a couple of bucks more. Sometimes it's nice to have noodle-free soup for a change. Excellent broth with a couple of hunky chunks of slow cooked beef. Yay.

Peking Style Meat Sauce Noodle - $8.50. Often called Chinese spaghetti, this is an old favourite. Minced pork with udon-style noodles and grated zucchini. Mix it up, add a dash of dumpling vinegar, enjoy.

The 'Taiwanese Set Meal' is a sweet deal, you get a bowl of Taiwanese stewed mince pork on rice, then choose one of twelve side dishes. $10 for a small, $11. for a large. Add an extra $1 for and ice tea or a soup.

We try the fried chicken pieces which are excellent: nice and crunchy with a salt'n'pepper kind of flavour.  Awesome. And the pickled veggies help cut some of the oil after. Sydney's eminent professor of fried chook, Helen from Grab Your Fork, includes Cho Dumpling King in her fried Chicken top 12 list. What further recommendation could you need?

Cuttlefish bar in soup with Taiwanese satay sauce - $9. The soup had a gravy-like consistency, a little like a lor mee, that thinned out as you got to the bottom. Cuttlefish bar turns out to be soft croquettes of squid, gently squishy with hidden pieces of chopped cuttlefish inside like takoyaki. A dollop of satay paste gave it a little more flavour, and the thin rice vermicelli was more filling than we expected.

Fried chili fish with rice value meal - $10. A good sized bento with rice, pickled veg, braised bean sprouts and tofu and fish in a sweetish sauce. The crunch of the fish was a little underdone and the sauce a little too sweet for our liking, but the meal is great value with a $1 iced green or black tea. There's even an orange quarter for half time.

Cho Dumpling King is at 8 Quay St Chinatown.

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  1. I really want to go here...I'm always intrigued by the goodies in the window...and LOL at Helen being the Professor of Fried Chook. I think she'd like that esteemed title.

  2. The fried chicken here is super tasty - and particularly impressive even when cold. I've nabbed a sneaky takeaway order when cravings have struck. Best snack ever. And lol love the new qualification. Should I add them to my cv now? Haha.

    1. Yes, I think you could add PFC at the end of your name!

  3. Can't believe how cheap the food is here. I must admit I don't think I've come across it but it looks like I'll be on the prowl for this.

  4. this place is awesome! i've neglected it for 4 yrs as can't walk past chinese noodle house, and also with all the cold dishes and crowds i got scared as looked a bit too hardcore... dumb gweilo!

    so much variety and so fresh and well done, and cheap cheap!

    we had the fried chicken (how could we not after the comments above) and i realised i've not given fried chicken the respect it deserves and allocated more of my life to it. some salt and pepper, some garlic and ginger, perhaps some soy, lotsa taste.

    minced pork on rice solid. fried cuttlefish ok, better colder so the subtle sweetness of cuttlefish comes out. braised beef good. fried pork chop good and sliced so easier to eat.

    sides had cucumber chilli salad (ok), school prawns very good and insane for 3 fity, and mash (good).

    asked for chilli side which also had black beens, garlic and ginger which was nice and different.

    i need to get the ice tea next time, served in a schooner glass and had a frothy head like a beer. perfect to convince myself it is actually a beer.

    tks guys for motivating me to finally get to this place. definitely a staple, and can't wait to explore the diverse menu.

  5. I work in haymarket and go to this place with a good friend at least once a week. I have even stopped by to get the pork & rice + side dish + soup to have for breakfast over the week (gawwwd i hate toast and cereal!). So delicious!

    One of my favourite dishes is the eggplant! YAAARMY

  6. Psst...a little secret, there's a new place in Chinatown called the Secret Alley that belongs to the same group with this Cho place. Also from the same group with Taste of Cho.

  7. Oh man that's a great tip Deo. We'd been eyeing this place off, the menu is really interesting, now we know it's by the Cho we're there tomorrow (silly buggers should have put it in big letters on the front window). Ta heaps!

    1. You're welcome. If you go there, look into a small section of yellow metal fence inside the restaurant and you will notice that it is the same one placed at the new Taste of Cho in Market City. The staff members also wear the same pink apron and hat with the one at Taste of Cho. In this new place, the signature dish is the fried pork with red-yeast marinade along with its other signatures e.g. minced-pork rice and basil fried chickens (like you have in Cho Dumpling King).


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