Chef’s Gallery was one of the first restaurants I ate at when I first moved to Sydney eighteen months ago. It is one of the most well-patronised eateries in Sydney, with regular groups of diners waiting for a table outside its location in the Regent Place mini-mall near Sydney Town Hall.
With full window views into the kitchen and the chefs at work, it’s a great dining experience for those who enjoy having that ‘sneak peek’ into the inner workings of a commercial kitchen. For others, it’s all about the freshly wrapped dumplings and hand stretched noodles. For the couple at the table next to K and I on the night that we went, it was their chosen venue for a first date. With our own first date far behind us, it was entertaining for us to overhear their awkward, forced conversation, and we ate much of our meal in silence as we strained our ears trying to listen to them!
We ordered four dishes on the night, and I also ordered a hot Coke with mandarin peel, which is a ‘traditional’ Chinese remedy to help stave off a cold. The little teapot that my drink came in was just adorable, as the waitress prepared my drink for me at the table. Try it the next time you’re there – it’s just delicious.
These mini burgers were just heavenly. The fried Chinese bun with the tender pork and slight sweetness of the mayo…the flavours just worked really well together. So simple, but really well executed.
I try to order a vegetarian dish every time I go to a Chinese-style restaurant. Even if my order is as simple as stir-fried Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce, ordering a plain vegetarian dish makes me feel more virtuous because in my mind, it balances out the amount of sugar and sodium that normally goes into most Chinese cooking.
This however, was not the simple vegetarian dish that I would normally order – the sauce was quite thick and rich. However, the shiitake mushrooms were plump and juicy, and the egg and spinach tofu was truly original and unique. It’s not the type of dish that someone who hasn’t had a wide variety of Chinese foods would enjoy, but I really liked it.
The mixed dim sum sampling platter was the perfect size for two. My pick of the bunch would probably be the siu mai – the meat was firm and tasty, and there was a good amount of mushroom mixed in with the meat. The radish cake was disappointing though – it was very pasty, and didn’t have as many ingredients inside as it should. I never consider radish cake complete without some Chinese sausage, mushroom and dried shrimps!
This roti was delicious – crisp on the outside, and nice and soft and doughy on the inside. I’ve never had roti with ‘Western’ style ingredients like cheese and mushroom before, so this was really something different for me.
Overall I rate Chef’s Gallery an 8 out of 10 – the food is quite consistently good, and the menu can cater for inexperienced palates as well as offering more challenging dishes for experienced diners. Chefs Gallery is on the pricier end of Chinese restaurants in Sydney however, and you can get a meal of a similar quality though not variety, for much more reasonable prices elsewhere