Parramatta’s lively contemporary Chinese diner is all about functional feeds – for your appetite, and your Instagram
The Chefs Gallery Instagram feed is filled with lusty pictures of noodles captured mid-slurp, under-the-radar dishes like dongpo (Chinese-braised pork belly) and sweet, emoji-inspired buns filled with custard. You'll want to order it all and fill your boots at the Chef's Gallery, one of the bright spots on Parramatta's newest eat street.
It’s where everyone from business types to bloggers, couples and mop-haired students converge for the by-the-book handmade noodles and dumplings. As fans of the franchise will attest, watching the chefs pull noodles and pinch dumplings into plump little parcels behind the glass-walled kitchen is a big part of the fun. The experience of dining at Chef's Gallery is also made better by the waiters, who enthusiastically rattle off an impressive repertoire of dishes they'd recommend.
Order the star attractions, starting with the steamy won tons that are plumped with ginger-scented pork and shrimp, and glazed with a sweet and spicy Shanghainese sauce. The signature duck fried rice has a pleasing hint of mandarin, and is flecked with slivers of glazed and braised duck, sautéed vegetables and a wee bowl of chilli bean paste on the side so you can up the fiery attitude.
When the san choy bao emerges, the chicken is hot and salty in a ginger-zapped soy sauce – a welcome contrast to the parchment-crisp iceberg lettuce leaves that you pack with meat, fresh chilli, basil and batons of cucumber. If you want to add some cute to the Insta feed, order the Piggy Face sesame buns for dessert. Soft and doughy on the outside, they encase a smoky slick of black sesame. While dumpling devotees seem to adore these little puffy piglets, we think they’re more about the look than the taste.
Waiters bring the food out in a flash, so if you don't want the experience to be a blur, ask to slow it down. There’s not much to be done about the noise though – a clash of pans, lively chatter and music you won't want to Shazam - but those who don't mind a bit of din with their dinner should linger a bit longer over a BYO bottle (corkage is $10, wine only) at this haven for locals.
|Venue name:||Chefs Gallery Parramatta|
159-175 Church St
Shop 2184, Ground floor
|Opening hours:||Sun-Wed 11am-9.30pm; Thu-Sat 11am-10pm|