So the Gouger Street challenge continues and the good news is… I have picked up the pace and am now bowling these eateries over as quickly as Brett Lee! If anyone thinks that I Wikipedia-d that cricket fact… well they’d be right. Anyway! Yesterday’s Gouger Street outing found me at the oh-so-tasty Ding Hao and I was looking forward to this one like a housewife looks forward to some time alone with her copy of Fifty Shades of Grey. So… a whole bunch. This was the first Asian restaurant I ever remember going to and it lit a fire in me which has now grown into a raging Gouger Street obsession inferno!
The first thing that hits you when you enter Ding Hao is the décor. MUCH classier than the cafeteria get-up that many of the cheap eats on the street have stuck with. This sophisticated noshery is dominated by dark wood and a rich red which makes it rather cosy and inviting on these cold winter nights.
As soon as my dining partner, Ryza, and I perused the menu we were surprised by how large the font was and how the menu was much more restricted than some of our regular Gouger Street haunts. We then noticed that the walls were covered with dish options, so much so that I wondered if I had been sucked into my menu and had now been transported to some kind of Narnia-back-of-the-cupboard world. Alas, this was not the case, but hey, it would have been cool. Anyway as a result of the extensive menu and the need for a chat, before we knew it, we had been there for 45 minutes before we finally ordered. In my book – only the juiciest of gossip takes priority over food which Ryza always provides.
We decided to go with shallot pancakes to start, followed by Peking beef, a hokkien noodle dish and the ol’ classic BBC. The Peking beef was crispy and tasty strips of meat which they still managed to keep tender and juicy in the centre. This dish was certainly a highlight for me… I’m not exactly sure what Ryza thought of it as I’m not sure he got a chance to taste the dish before my chopsticks were clicking at the last piece. You snooze you loose buddy! If there is such a thing as ‘beef drunk’: then I can confidently say that I left in such a state.
Rich decor, sexy dishes and tantalising flavours. It's Fifty Shades in food form without the trashy after taste. Four church steeples out of five. Will definitely hit this place again.
Until next time... Stay Rad-elaide.