peking vip restaurant

peking vip exteriorWe are not very hungry. Actually, that's an understatement. We are, in fact, quite full. It has been a long day of long, large lunches and yet here we are, Friday Dinner Club, debating about where we should go for dinner. The original question was an if, but this idea has been quickly quashed. "You don't want to get to 10pm and be hungry right?" I say to Miss Shiny. She nods in a vague semblance of agreement. "And maybe we can get something light? Try something different?" I continue. She looks at Mak. "I guess dinner is on then."

I had heard things about the Peking VIP Restaurant. A couple who had recently holidayed in China came back and told me that the food was identical. Or close to identical anyway. I had, however, never experienced it. You have to look hard, you see. Because the entrance sits right in between the super discount CD shop and the normal discount shop on Pitt St. And then you have to go round to the stairs, then up, up, up the stairs until you reach the landing. And then you have to turn left and up again. I make it sound like there are many stairs. There are probably only about 20 of them.

peking vip statue
an imposing figure

We are greeted by a friendly face and seated under an imposing figure. When SuperDanny arrives, some 20 minutes later, he drops his bag at the statue's feet, mutters a "Mind that for me, would'ya?" and picks up the menu. Which, by the way, is big and all encompassing. There is fish. There are dishes of chicken and pork and other assorted meats. There are veges. There are noodles. There are dumplings. We debate for a bit, then make our orders.

shanghai fried pekingese noodles
shanghai fried pekingese noodles $8.50

This dish is selected for its name alone. Two Chinese locations in a dish? Sure! And excitement is added by the fact that, apart from being fried noodles, we have no idea what it will contain. It ends up containing strips of pork, pork mince and chinese cabbage, all mingled together with a slippery, round rice noodle. It is tasty, if a bit fatty on the tongue. But we kinda like it that way.

shanghai noodles in soup
shanghai noodles in soup $8.50

The next item contains the same noodles, but in a broth. It has a fainter flavour when compared to the first, and contains the refreshing tang of ginger. The ginger has been sliced oh-so-thinly. So thinly that it is unwittingly picked up and chomped on along with the noodles. I love this for its eye-popping "Oh! Hello!" factor. Miss Shiny reacts by saying "Ahh! Ginger!" everytime she strays on a piece.

peking vip menu
the menu & a warning

We order some dumplings. There is a bit of confusion at first, but after a quick explanation all is made clear. Beef Dumplings need to be ordered a day ahead. So no beefy dumplings for us. I find this odd, but not completely off putting. There are, after all, other dumplings to be had.

burnished bottomed dumplings
burnished bottomed dumplings

And when they arrive, hot from the pan, their bottoms are cause of glee! Happily burnished bottoms. A vinegary dipping sauce. A couple of almost-burnt tongues. Let these ones cool for just a minute before trying to pop them in your mouth. They are served hot from the pan. And by hot, I mean hot.

prawn scallop and pork dumplings
pan fried prawn, scallop and pork dumplings $10.70

We liked these the best. And considering the ingredients, the price is not too bad either. Biting into the dumpling, you could see a good chunk of whole prawn - none of this ambiguous minced stuff. Ditto the scallop. And the light flavours were complemented, rather than overpowered, by the pork. Full as I was, I managed to stuff a couple of these down.

pan fried minced dumplings
pan fried minced dumplings $8.50

The minced dumplings come resplendent with chives. They are not the hearty, meaty dumplings that one may stumble across in Chinatown. Neither are they the beautifully made, light as air dumplings you'll find at a more sophisticated joint. But they are, by all accounts, tasty. And just what is needed to round off a quick, quiet meal between friends.

the bill!

The Bill is presented, and we are on our way. There has been a charge for the tea we drank, but we drank so much of it that I'm not too fussed. And it really was essential considering the fatty nature of the dishes we had ordered. A return visit? Maybe. And next time, I might order something mroe substantial. Other tables were there for birthday dinners and others still were having a quiet, intimate meal. And that food? Well it sure did look good. But for a not-so-hungry quartet, what we ordered was just right. And it didn't come at too high a price either.

peking vip interior

Peking VIP Restaurant
Shop 7, 238-242 Pitt St
Sydney NSW 2000
ph (02) 9283 3606

9 bites more:

Smileona said...

hey shez You come up with the most unique little hidden restaurants. wowww thats super cheap! I love cheap asian restaurants with good food! it always makes ya feel satisfied.

My first thought when you mentioned "PEAKING" I thought of peaking DUCKKKKKK hehe ^_^

Betty said...

what an interesting find!
i find chinese food in a lot of restaurants too oily, even when i went to shanghai, i found the food really oily. but i do love the dumplings.. :)

billy@ATFT said...

Did you ask what the "vip" in the name stand for? :P So is this better or Sea Bay?

Stephcookie said...

Oh I didn't know about this place! Been looking for a good inexpensive Peking restaurant ever since my favourite one shut down :( The shanghai noodles in soup sound good!

Belle said...

I love these 'insider' places you find that have good food at reasonable prices. I'm adding this to my growing list!

Anonymous said...

Hee hee shanghai fried pekingnese noodles?! A must try!

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Those burnished bottom dumplings look great! I love a crispy bottom :P

Howard said...

Nice find indeed! always good to find restaurants off the beaten track.

shez said...

Smileona: hehe. i love peking duck. its the bomb!

Betty: it can get that way, but i find the tea helps immensely.

Billy: what do you think it stands for, hmm? ;) and they're different. i like the scallop dumplings here, but the noodles aren't handmade & there's no pork pastry.

Stephcookie: how serendipitous! hope you find this one ok.

Belle: it's more a feat of necessity than anything else. there's only so many times i can eat at the same place in a row...

FFichiban: two in one! two in one!

Lorraine: oh me too. on my dumplings that is ;)

Howard: i reckon. the other good things is the lack of a queue. yahoo!

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