When looking at a menu I take ages to decide what I want to eat. It’s not because I’m fussy, it’s more about how I feel, the weather, what I ate yesterday etc etc. I really appreciate it when wait staff give you a heads up about what’s good on the menu, what the specials are and what’s not available from the menu. I would think that’s part of the job description, to know the menu inside out.
Our recent Sat night visit to Chow House left me feeling disappointed after I deliberated for some time over what to eat, finally choosing the slow-braised beef brisket. It was a rainy Australia Day night and I felt like something comforting. On placing my order, the waiter shyly replied “We don’t have that tonight”. Are you serious? I’ve just spent a lifetime picking the perfect dish, we’ve ordered drinks and in all that time, you didn’t think to mention what’s not available. I then spent another frantic minute trying to find the perfect replacement and settled on the Pork, water chestnut and mushroom dumplings but disappointment had already set in for me. In reality, it’s not a huge deal, but for some reason, on this particular night, it annoyed me more than it should have.
For entree we ordered Hanoi pork belly and prawn rice paper rolls and Prawn sugar cane skewers. The rice paper rolls were ok, not as full of flavour as I expected but they were fresh with a nice dipping sauce. The prawn skewers were more successful. Fried prawn mousse surrounded a chunky prawn on a sugar cane skewer with a lemon dipping sauce. This was a tasty starter and I really like chewing on the sugar cane skewer. Reminded me of holiday I had in Mackay when I was a kid.
For main Al ordered the Nasi goreng and our friend Mr W ordered the Warm Thai beef salad. My Pork dumplings were tasty with a nice crunch of water chestnut but I didn’t get any mushroom flavour. The clear beef broth was a little too beefy and one dimensional in flavour. The dish of the night was the Nasi goreng. Packed with flavour, it was delicious with two fried eggs sitting atop. I swapped Al a dumpling for a few forkfuls and immediately had food envy. As it should be, the Nasi goreng is also available for breakfast.
For dessert Mr W and I ordered the Pandan sago with coconut sorbet and molasses. This was really lovely. The molasses went beautifully with the sago and I enjoyed the texture of this dessert a lot. Al chose the Steamed bun filled with Pandan custard and hot chocolate sauce. The bun was heavy and the custard wasn’t really a custard. I think Al imagined he’d be getting something like the gorgeous steam buns from The Bun Mobile, so again, a little disappointing.
I had high hopes for Chow House but it didn’t entirely hit the mark for me. Maybe it’s a better choice for breakfast or lunch and I’d be happy to return for breakkie to try the Chow House coconut crumpets with passionfruit curd or the roast pumpkin and haloumi with poached eggs, spiced beetroot relish and rocket.
Chow House is located next the Palace Cinemas in James Street, New Farm.
Ph: 3852 5155