Bistro Hulu Crows Nest is so new that when we walked past on Tuesday night it wasn’t even officially open yet. But once I saw the photos of the epically enormous xiao long bao on the signs there was no way they were keeping me out!
It’s no secret that I love a dumpling or that I could eat six times my bodyweight in xiao long bao at least twice a day, but these giant ones were just like the ones we had in Shanghai that first started my obsession, and that I haven’t seen since so we had to try them.
Once we’d battered down the door (it was actually already open for soft trading but far be it for Raffles to let the facts get in the way of a good story) we took a look at the menu! OMG! It had all of my favourite Chinese food but with a twist.
The appetiser of steamed chicken (with prickled pepper, chilli oil and peanuts) was definitely not for wusses! It’s really, really mouth numbingly hot but so, so, so, so, so good. The corn fed chicken was really tender and the taste was out of this world. If you’re not used to spicy food my advice is to make sure you have some water on standby before you dive in to it.
There was the xiao long bao, which came in regular and planet size. The big ones even came with a straw to suck the soup out. Oh yeah!
Then we had soft and crispy fried buns with a tasty vegetable filling.
Plus some long and juicy fried pork and chive dumplings that were little parcels of piggy goodness.
Three cup seafood was a variation of three cup chicken, something my mama makes and that I love.
This one had similar flavours to mamas but it came with the most awesome hand pulled noodles and loads off pippis and prawns and squid. Yummo.
I also really wanted to try their dessert buns but they’d run out. Then the owner, who was super nice, invited us back for the launch and said we could try them then. But can you believe my mum made me go to school instead and went without me! NO FAIR! I’m the food reviewer around here.
Luckily she’s pretty nice and snuck a tubful of buns home for me to try including one of the Gold Digger steamed dessert buns that I’d wanted to try.
They were stuffed full of sweet and salty eggy custardy stuff that tastes a little like salted caramel and were totally worth the wait.
This place is just what we’ve been missing around here and If I get my way we’re going to be regulars.
Reviewed by Raffles – Aged 7
(bracketed comments by his mama)
90 Willoughby Road
Crows Nest NSW 2065
Ph: 02 9966 8899
Note: This meal was independently paid for.