Friday, 15 June 2012

Taste of China and Obun Chef - again, Adelaide Central Market Food Court

I know I usually review luncheon locations but 'cos you can eat in the Adelaide Central Market Food Court at pretty much any time I thought I'd take quick snap of what I'm eating and tell you a bit about my dinner - fragrant pork with rice.

The main reason I want to share my dinner is because Taste of China can do no wrong in my eyes. Served with creamy tofu, boiled egg and a really salty, rich sauce the fragrant pork was beautifully fatty and tender while the chilli flecked sweet vinegar dipping sauce added some sharpness that cut through the rich pork. Likewise the quick pickled carrot and radish.


I've mentioned before that I'm ambivalent about obun but I'm pretty easily talked into them. Tonight I ordered the red bean filling. The obun was obviously fresh but didn't have that tooth-achingly sweet caramel flavour I usually associate with red bean - underwhelming unfortunately.


Again, I know this is technically a dinner review but you could order this stuff for lunch too, so suck it up (both the food and your 'tude (that's gangsta for attitude) towards me reviewing outside my usual reviewing hours) - this was a pretty succinct posting.

Miss Mai, James Place

I introduced a colleague to Miss Mai a few weeks. He cannot get enough of place so I joined him there for lunch today. Browsing the menu I found something I hadn't ordered yet - a pork and spring roll noodle box. Two of my favourite things (pork and spring rolls) together in one meal. Excitement!! Lunch was served in this groovy plastic bowl. Actually, the plastic bowl isn't all that groovy but vibrant orange sticker sure is! 


Choc full of mouth-watering goodies the lid of the plastic bowl could hardly close. Noodles, nuts, fried onions, crunchy salad, fresh herbs, ngoc cham dipping sauce - this bad boy had everything. But lets talk about the heroes of this dish - the pork and the spring rolls. Chopped up and tossed through the salad the spring rolls were crunchy, porky and slightly herby - very well executed spring rolls indeed. Glutinously fatty and tender but with a great crackling crunch the warm pork was the perfect protein to crown this textural and tasty salad.


Everything I've had from Miss Mai has been excellent. So, do me a favour - if you haven't checked this place out yet - please don't. I'd prefer Miss Mai remain mine.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Dozo Sushi Express, Pirie St

A conversation with a fellow twitterer (have we come to consensus on what we call people who tweet? Twitterers? Tweeters? Twits?) made me realise that Pirie St is a bit of a blind spot for me. To restore my eating vision I ventured off to Dozo Sushi Express for lunch.

Armed with the knowledge from a colleague that I should get a bento box and skip over the sushi I ordered the Japanese curry bento. Served with dumplings, potato salad, rice and pickles this was I promising looking lunch.


The easiest way to describe the Japanese chicken curry is to take you back to an Australian 1970's dinner party. In those days curry was virtually unknown to Australian diners and our attempts at cooking curry were clumsy - gritty and sickly sweet with a pinch of Keens Curry Powder more for colour than flavour (but no more than a pinch! For all we knew foreign spices could lead to... dancing), no chilli (dancing again presumably) and dotted with sultanas. The Japanese curry was just like this - except much, much better. No grittiness, the sweetness was handled with a deft touch, there certainly more flavour than a pinch of curry powder and more than a suggestion of heat, and no bloody sultanas. An excellent curry.


I love Japanese potato salad and this was a good one - rich, creamy and dotted with peas and corn. The crunchy yet creamy texture of the pickle was a pleasant surprise - I don't think I ever described a pickle as creamy before but this one definitely was. The miso soup was hot, salty and riddled with creamy tofu and seaweed.


The dumplings were a real disappointment. They were dry and cold and flavourless. The dough had the texture of cardboard and withered lump of meat inside had nothing to recommend it. There is no excuse to serve a dumpling this awful.

For 10 bucks a bento box at Dozo is a reasonable price for pretty tasty food - except for the awful, awful dumplings. The seating space is limited at Dozo so be prepared to either squish in, wait for seating or take your lunch away.

I noticed that Dozo has Japanese sandwiches on the menu. I have no idea what this would be but I'm curious enough that I'll be coming back to try these soon.