Peking Duck, you say? No way I would turn down that invitation. And Dan’s House, Sydney has delicious Peking Duck, and much more. Invited through a chain of friends of the owner (thanks, Thang & Heidi), I humbly accepted the opportunity to sample the menu at Dan’s, just two weeks prior to the Grand Opening (April 26th). Dan’s is located on George Street near World Square, and swankily fills two floors above street level (meaning you get to feel VIP taking the lift to dine). Dan’s specialties are of course roast duck dishes, and handmade noodles.
The food preparation area of the first level dining room is glass faced so you can watch all of the noodle-making action.
The meal started with a beautiful tofu dish and humble garden salad. IF I understood correctly, the vegetables are all grown fresh by the restaurant. In any case, it was all extremely fresh and lightly dressed with a sort of soy & wasabi combination. Being the health nut that I am, my favourite part was the crunchy-fried noodle.
This dish, cold tofu with salmon mixed with sweet soy sauce and wasabi, was at the same time so subtle, with the creamy textures of the tofu and slight bight of the salmon, but also complex and tart from the soy and wasabi (which also had some garlic and chilli if my senses tell truth). To be honest, this was my first time having cold tofu. I loved the presentation of the dish — the green chive really sparkles on the plate. Notice the intricate cut of the salmon. The black pearls of row were a nice touch. I should mention, they make their own soy sauce, and it’s damn good.
The duck skin. That’s it…need I say more? We dipped it in a small bowl of white sugar before eating, which seems unusual based on the reactions of everyone I’ve mentioned this to.
On the regular menu, the Peking Duck is served three ways (the skin, breast with pancakes, thigh stuffed into small pastries, and a duck soup). The lot came accompanied by the traditional sauces, radish, and spring onions so finely sliced I thought they were sprouts at first. The duck was very tender and flavoursome, the pancakes were neatly textured and subdued as they should be.
Give me wagyu any day, it’s the presentation of this dish that stands out. The wagyu beef with red wine and garlic sauce (look at those bits of garlic!) is served on a sizzling hot stone straight to the table. The server or chef will pour a shot glass of red wine over the meat forming the sauce and a spectacular steam show. The wagyu melted on my tongue!
When I spotted this dish on the menu presented to us, I was doubly excited. First, I had not had XO sauce before, and second, I love scallops. Apparently, as my co-diners told me, this is not an XO example to judge others against, so I should maybe wipe it from my taste memory of what XO is. Again, it is homemade, reflecting the quality and aspiration of Dan’s House, and it was very good tasting, whether true XO or not. The scallops were like butter. Delicious, scallopy butter. There were some tasty mushrooms and onions in the dish for good measure, but they’re just the side act to those noodles enveloping the package. If Dan’s House keep frying all these noodles I’m gonna start raiding the kitchen. Presentation is nice, n’est pas?
What did I just say about fried noodles? This was one of the more interesting dishes. It seems to be made of very thin, long noodles formed together into a cake and pan fried. It was mildly sweet, crunchy, and moreish.
The Longevity Noodle is literal. I’m not making a spelling error, and it’s not an ESL error on their menu. What this is is one big, long noodle topped with Zhajiang sauce. In a normal dish, this noodle can be as long as 40 metres, and the goal is to slurp it in one go (take your time, though.) The longer you slurp the noodle, the longer your life…and I could think of so many jokes right now. The menu expresses it is a Shanxi Province birthday tradition, I think it tastes a little like Asian spaghetti bolognese.
This, my friends, is a Teepee. Ok, not really. It’s dessert! The toffee apple is bits of apple in a batter, fried, arranged and drenched in sticky, beautiful toffee. You dip the yummy apple bites in ice water to cause the toffee to harden, and then pop it in your mouth!
Noodlie’s Thang Ngo took the opportunity to don an apron (for once :P) and make some noodles! If Thang makes noodles, do they become noodlies?
Dan’s House is a new wave style of Chinese cooking, serving beautiful, old and well-loved dishes in new ways. Make sure to check it out.
Level 1&2, 710 George St
Sydney NSW 2000
02 9211 1112