Saturday, October 20, 2012

China Lane, Angel Place

Friday night; warm spring evening. It was a perfect night to head down to the city for dinner with family. China Lane has been on our list of places to eat since it opened earlier this year. We were lucky to get an early booking on a Friday night at short notice. The restaurant is located in the lane way at Angel Place, right by the spot where you find the empty bird cages hanging above.

China Lane is owned by the same people that manage China Doll, Woolloomooloo and China Beach, Manly. The restaurant has a stylish yet informal dining feel. We noticed it caters not just to the young crowd but to slightly older crowd as well. My two girls were the only children in the restaurant when we dined, and I am proud to say they are always well behaved in restaurants.

The menu is designed for sharing, with four pieces in most serves unless otherwise stated. The staff are friendly and helpful; they were happy to explain the dishes when asked.

For starters, we ordered slow roast pork belly, prawns, pomelo and jellyfish salad with nuoc nam; duck pancakes with hoi sin, cucumber and shallots as well as pulled pork, steamed bao, siracha mayo and crispy shallot. I was glad the chefs were happy to accommodate my request to make two of the pulled pork baos without the siracha chilli sauce for Ash and Cait. Happy customers = repeat customers.

Crunchy prawns, tender pork belly matched with nuoc nam dressing.
Duck was just perfect with thin pancakes. Girls' fav.
Pulled pork bao with siracha mayo - hint of heat with tender pork 
Pulled pork with no chilli version; steamed bao was soft like pillows
Service was quick and as soon as we finished with our starters, the mains were served. I had read good reviews about their BBQ lamb ribs with lemongrass, tamarind, chilli and peanuts, so it was a must-order. Hubby was definitely happy with the finger-licking, lip-smacking ribs (give a man meat!). The sauce was really finger-licking good, and warm wet towels were available to clean sticky fingers after. A nice touch instead of the usual individually wrapped thin wet wipes handed out in Chinese restaurants. We also ordered a small serve of their fried rice with char siu pork (BBQ pork) and prawns; a side of snow peas with lup cheong (chinese sausage).

Tastiest fried rice ever
Lovely char grilled lamb ribs - finger licking good 
Just right snow peas with crunchy and lap cheong

By this time, all of us were full; but there is always a special compartment in our bellies for desserts. Ash chose the Strawberry Sichuan Meringue with rose hip, hibiscus jelly and white choc, beetroot ice cream. Interesting combination of flavours with a hint of sichuan peppers in the mini meringues; leaves a slight numb feeling after taste.

Strawberry Sichuan Meringue
Cait didn't want any dessert, she said she was too full. Chris and I chose the Black Sticky Rice with Seasonal Fruits. This was my favourite dessert, warm and comforting. The sticky rice was cooked to perfection, not too mushy or raw.
Black Sticky Rice
We were also served a third dessert, compliments from the staff (Chris reckons it's because Cait was so cute and well-behaved). This was also delicious too.
Coconut sago
There are other items on the menu that we didn't get to try. Chris is keen to return; and I am certain he will since his workplace is close by.

Check out the colour of the male and female facilities. Cait commented it was super cool to have a tv installed on the ceiling of the toilets.

As we were walking out of the restaurant, I spied their function room, decorated with silver balloons.

We also walked past a cute spotty bicycle parked on the side of the lane.

China Lane on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. It is always encouraging to receive a good quality of service at restaurants. The variety of food offered appears traditional and heritage and not much emphasis on the new fangled fusion. Maybe until Ash's choice of the Strawberry Sichuan Meringue. Angel Place has lifted the game for more and varied choices in the Wynyard area.