Sunday, October 13, 2013

Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine, Chinatown

Usually when it comes to eating joints with a substantial amount of hype, I would have first heard about it through various blog reviews appearing at once. For Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine, I actually first heard about it through CC who checked it out one night with a mutual friend when it only just opened. At the time, I did not hear any word about it even when we did a quick stop for takeaway once about a week later. Eventually the reviews came through and then the queues appear out the door of the grand-sized restaurant. Strange how things work out.

When entering inside the restaurant, we thought that the decor of this eatery kinda reminds us of Mr Wong even with the two-levelled, spacious and old fashioned Colonial Style layout. The difference here is the lower prices which is evident throughout the entire menu with the majority of dishes priced at less than $20. Furthermore, the service at this restaurant is incredibly friendly and attentive which is saying something for a Chinese/Asian restaurant in Haymarket/Chinatown area.

We were greeted with a crowd of people standing outside the restaurant. Thankfully, the people were served really quickly so it didn't take too long for us to get to our tables. We ended up sitting by the bar near the kitchen area where we saw roasted meats hanging around like those Asian BBQ butcheries in the Cabra area. We didn't mind at first because we wanted to sit down since the weather was freezing that night (damn you cold winds). We eventually wished that we waited for a proper table because our dishes were delivered all at once. Which is good if you are in a hurry but not so good when you feel rushed and want some time for your food to settle down. Still, bonus points for quick service.

Roasted meat display

Complimentary Tea

Since it was cold that night, CC was craving for a hot drink and was recommended to try the hot milk tea. She didn't end up enjoying the taste though and struggled to finish it. 

Hot Milk Tea ($3.50)

I was craving for lemon lime bitters all of a sudden despite the weather. Was nice to try and quite balanced with its flavours though I drank the whole thing way too fast.

Lemon Lime Bitters ($4.50)

Because of the vast amount of dishes on the entire menu, we took a while to decide our dishes. We did try to order the pan fried pork buns but it always sells out each time. Must be an incredibly popular choice or there are limited batches. Instead, we decided on the Old Town pan fried pork and vegetable dumplings. The skin had a nice crisp and the pork filling was juicy to our liking. Similar to Chef Gallery's version but much cheaper. 

Old Town pan fried pork and vegetable dumplings ($6.80)

With all the hype about buns (or baos) lately, we couldn't help but try all the buns that Old Town has listed on their menu. Each one of them were delicious to try with its sticky and sweet bun, hoi sin sauce and shreds of green onion. CC's fave was the roasted pork belly bun with its thick slab of meat. The peking duck was also a winner with me with its crisp skin and tender meat. While the BBQ pork bun was tasty, it didn't wow us as much as the other two flavours. I still prefer the Ippudo pork buns for its secret sauce but these ones impressed us enough to order again at our next visit. 

Old Town buns (L-R: BBQ Pork, Roasted Pork, Peking Duck)

Roasted Pork bun ($8.00 for 2 buns)

When we saw this dish we immediately thought of those restaurants that serve handmade noodles (like Chinese Noodle Restaurant, Chefs Gallery and Seabay). I didn't end up trying this meal but CC enjoyed the plump dumplings and the light soupy broth since she was craving about it in further visits.The amount of noodles served was too generous for one person to finish so it was a struggle and ended up doing take away. 

Shanghai Wonton Noodle Soup ($10.80)

I went along with the Old Town Homemade Noodles with XO Sauce since I have been craving for handmade noodles lately. The noodles were actually very oily for me to enjoy though the spiciness from the chillies and the XO sauce balanced the overall flavour. It's a decent serving so I would recommend this dish to share. 

Old Town Homemade Noodles with XO Sauce ($12.80)

We made another visit at Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine recently on yet another cold and windy night. Damn cool change. CC decided to get the Seafood Congee which ended up working a treat in warming yourself because she was still noting that the bowl was still very hot later that evening. While I didn't end up trying the congee, it appeared to be creamy and lumpy. While the below photo did not show it, CC mentioned that there was a decent amount of seafood. 

Seafood Congee ($12.80)

When there's congee, there's gotta be fried doughnut fritters. I always loved eating these crispy treats on its own since I was a kid. Can never get sick of it. Old Town's version appeared to be two fried fritter sticks stuck together. Great match to have with the creamy seafood congee. 

Deep Fried Fritters ($2.50) 

While the serving size of the Soy Sauce Fried Egg Noodles was still generous and oily like the handmade XO noodles, it was easier to finish due to the crispy texture from the egg noodles. The presentation might be simple but the taste was delicious. 

Premium Soy Sauce Fried Egg Noodles ($10.80)

We were planning to get the below dish as our entree but I guess a lot of precision was involved in creating the bird's nest so it would have taken its time. It was a tad pricier than many other dishes but it ended up being one of our favourites. The laced nest was crunchy which matched well with the succulent, piping hot and juicy pork dumplings. There was eight dumplings served so it's great as a shared dish. 

Pan Fried Pork Dumplings in a Bird's Nest ($14.80)

Good selection of desserts

The decor may appear to look modern and contemporary like Mr Won compared to the old school Chinese restaurants in the Chinatown area but the prices remain cheap and friendly to those on a budget. What should be noted is that the dishes were delivered incredibly fast though rushed. There were moments when many dishes were delivered at the same time which was overwhelming for us. Still I would say that this dining joint is great for a catch up with friend after work or class. The crowd was mostly students so the atmosphere had a casual and noisy vibe. You can even check it out after a night out at a bar or clubbing or a drunk karaoke session because it opens till 2am every night. Will definitely return to try the many other dishes on the menu including the dumplings, desserts and the specialised Hong Kong dishes. Would still like to know how I could get my hands on those pan fried dumplings that always sells out every time I'm there.

Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine
10 Dixon Street, Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9264 3888
Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine on Urbanspoon


  1. Gotta have fritters with congee! And I love the lacy birds nest they manage to create with the dumplings.

  2. if I'm eating congee outside of home, i need them cripsy fried donut bits. It's not the same without it!

  3. Ahh I've heard things about their peking duck buns! Those dumplings looks like they've got an extremely crispy bottom - yuuum!

  4. their siumai here is good too...! I actually prefer eating it here than most other places these days.

  5. The pan fried pork dumplings in a bird's nest look so pretty! Hot milk tea looks soothing! Looks like you had a feast Annie! :)

  6. I still have yet to try this place!! :)
    Would you say it's a little over rated though, I don't know why I have a feeling I'll feel disappointed when I visit... ><"

    - cassie

  7. I keep hearing about this Bird's Nest Dumpling! AHHH Got to try it some time :P

  8. I am seriously going to have to check this place out with the tribe.