Top Ryde Shopping Centre isn't somewhere I would usually go to very often since it is nowhere near where I live or work. Despite that, I was pleased to hear that there's a new Cantonese yum cha restaurant to cater the Chinese local in that part of Sydney. A few weeks ago, I attended a special blogger lunch thanks to the lovely folks at Wasamedia to sample a range of dishes that Lan Yuan has to offer.
Steamed chicken with bok choy
Chicken Dim Sum
Very satisfied with their dumpling offerings. Both the prawn har gow and the chicken siu mai were juicy and firm. They were also made to order in a similar format to the food at Tim Ho Wan.
Hokkien-style deep fried eggplant
Found that the deep fried eggplant was very addictive thanks to the seasoned and crispy batter as well as the firm and juicy eggplant. Ended up eating a few too many of this dish.
Sweet and Sour Pork
Sure the sweet and sour pork sounds like a dish you would spot at numerous Chinese restaurants but the one that I tried at Lan Yuan was delightful. This traditional dish has that lovely crispy texture combined with the sweetness from the sauce and pineapple.
Yuan beef eye fillets with wasabi sauce
At first, I thought it was just a generic beef dish similar to what I would get at home but then that wasabi kicked in. While it wasn't as lethal as that wasabi sushi in Wagaya's sushi roulette (a video of my luck with that roulette is actually somewhere on Youtube), it still had a strong kick, which made this dish unusual yet interesting.
Egg yolk tofu
The egg yolk tofu was soft in the inside and lightly battered on the outside. While I do like anything with egg yolk, I thought that this was actually quite salty for my preference.
By this point, we have only eaten the entrees and my stomach was slowly filling up. Our main dishes started with the roasted chicken, which was tender and succulent. I really enjoyed the taste of the chicken that rolled well on the tongue. It wasn't too flavoursome but the soy sauce and the texture of the chicken takes this dish up a notch.
Wok-fried Singaporean mud crab with vermicelli noodles
Out of the many dishes I've sampled, this would be the highlight of the day. While it was hard to handle with the lack of tools to open the shell for the hidden crab meat, this traditional Singaporean dish was full of wonderful, saucy and tangy flavours. The vermicelli noodle base added a crunchier texture to this visual feast. Would gladly make the long trip to Ryde for this dish alone.
Fried rice with fresh prawns and scallop topped with crab roe
I normally don't care too much for rice but I ended up enjoying this version of the usual fried rice. With the scattered crab roe as well as the moreish prawns and plump scallops, this dish would be an ideal one to accompany some of the meatier dishes on the menu.
Sweet and sour barramundi
I was too full by the time I got to sample this plate. The crunchy skin and batter covering the barramundi lying on pool of sweet and sour sauce was surprisingly visually spectacular. It didn't came across my mind that there's a fish head in front of my face!
Deep fried vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce
Deep fried vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce
I thought I was ready to throw in the towel but I knew I will regret not getting my hands on the fried ice cream. You get vanilla ice cream with the option of chocolate, strawberry, or caramel sauce. The smooth ice cream, the hint of coconut and the crumbed outer batter made me keen to devour more of this sweet treat. A nice way to end an epic lunch feast.
While Top Ryde is a bit too far for me to return on a regular basis, it's an ideal restaurant for a family outing or a catch up with friends. With a bar area at the front, there is a modern vibe to this venue in addition to the attentive staff. With its modern green decor scattered with bamboo and plants, the restaurant aims to create a calm atmosphere even with the busy and noisy yum cha crowds. You wouldn't even notice that the restaurant is inside a shopping centre because it really felt like the restaurant was holding well on its own with its serene atmosphere.
Disclaimer: The Random Foodie dined at Lan Yuan Restaurant, courtesy of Wasamedia. Opinions are however, my own.
Lan Yuan Restaurant
Shop 4005, Level 1, Top Ryde City Shopping Centre
Cnr Blaxland and Devlin Street, Ryde NSW 2144
(02) 9808 1030
Mon-Sun: 10:00am - 11:00pm