Hoong Cheong Seafood Restaurant – Punchbowl

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I’ve been here a handful of times with my family already, as I had my camera in my bag tonight, I decided to make a whole affair out of it. Hoong Cheong, is definitely not a favourite of mine, I have never taken the time to really review their food, but their service alone is not something I like to be subject to. You can really tell these waiters don’t want to be here. Fortunately for them, their food is decent! 

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Pictured on the left is Steamed Chicken with Ginger-scallion dipping sauce. I love this dish! The chicken is usually perfectly cooked so that it falls off the bone, and is the only time I eat my nemesis – ginger (what kind of Asian am I? I don’t know anymore). Next to it, is Pipa Tofu with dipping sauce which is deep-fried tofu, that has been covered with minced meat, mushroom and other unseen items. It is considered a “comfort food” and should really be on all those westernised take-out menus, because it is surprisingly moreish! I had to ask my mum the English name for this which she explained is the name of a Chinese Guitar called the Pipa. This makes sense because Pipa tofu is usually served in an oval shape much like the one of the Pipa guitar. At least, that is how I try to make sense of it.

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Codfish-head hot pot with dry bean-curd, mushroom and vegetables – the name is pretty self-explanatory. This is a steamed dish made up of a vegequarian fantasy. I can’t describe dry bean-curd to you, but it is very prominent in Chinese-vegetarian food. It is basically dried tofu-skin that is folded so that it becomes like a stick. After cooking, it becomes very soft and has a rubbery texture.

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This is a vegetable stir-fry with baby corn, beans, carrots and bone marrow. Look at how it glistens, dear lord, you know it is bad for you. I have always been a bit confused about how the media seems to portray stir fry as being healthy, I mean sure, there are heaps of vegetables, but there’s that in potato chips. All the vegetables still retained their crunch and the marrow was slippery and slimy as always – I’ve grown to like it though.

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Soft-shell crab – pretty full-on and packed with flavour. Expect to have to drink a whole lot of tea! And finally, as most Chinese restaurants do, you finish dinner off with some chilled fruit. Some places have some type of sweet porridge as dessert, not sure if they don’t usually do it or they didn’t have any for that night.

It is always interesting to see what dishes people order at Chinese restaurants, because people seem to always associate Chinese food with “yum cha” or “deep fried stuff”. To me, eating out at Chinese restaurants is like eating home cooking, except much with much more salt and oil. Not the biggest fan I’ll have to admit, but love it for the quality family time.

P.S. If you are wondering why you did not get a serving of prawn crackers as soon as you were seated it’s because (a) you are not Caucasian and (b) you are not a friend of the staff. We got it once because one of the waiter recognised my sister as his daughter’s school friend.

Hoong Cheong
Address: 222 The Boulevarde, Punchbowl NSW 2196
Phone:(02) 9759 7096
Hours: Sun-Saturday 11am-2pm, 5pm-10pm

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