Chefs Gallery Bankstown

November 15, 2015

A dreary, rain-filled Saturday night warranted a visit to the recently opened Chefs Gallery at Little Saigon Plaza in Bankstown. While it was significantly smaller than the CBD branch, there was sufficient seating available but if you want to avoid waiting at all for a table I recommend heading in for an early dinner from 5pm.  DT and I arrived at 5:30pm and it was quite empty save for two occupied tables. Not sure what the crowds would be like at lunch time but I would suspect it to be similar.

Spacious and modern
Even if you were required to wait for a table there was a very generously furnished waiting area unlike its CBD location where a throng of people waiting outside on the street would be a common sight.

The kitchen
The busy and bustling kitchen can be observed through stylish cubic glass panels.

We spent a fair bit of time perusing the menu as there was an array of dishes to choose from, admittedly the prices were quite expensive which had an impact on our choices. One dish we were adamant to order from the get go was the Macanese style mini burgers which looked and sounded oh-so-delish.

Service was really prompt but it was important to note that the restaurant was pretty much empty at the time. Food was paced well with most of it brought out together. Dessert, if ordered, can be asked for after finishing mains.

Macanese style mini burgers with pork fillet, pork floss, lettuce and a sweet chilli mayo dressing $16.90
DT and I agreed that this was the best savoury dish out of the ones we ordered. It ticked the boxes for presentation and taste. Deep fried golden milk buns cleverly replaced your conventional burger buns and I would gladly have them any day as they made these sliders super crunchy and flavoursome one-handed affairs. On a side note, let's just forget that they were deep-fried calorific buns. Gotta indulge on the weekend am I right?

The ratio of each component was perfect, a slab of tasty pork fillet, a small handful of shredded lettuce, garnishing of salty and sweet pork floss and a dousing of sweet chilli mayo worked their magic to produce a seriously scrumptious (but mini) burger fusion.

Chinese roti with cheese and mushrooms $12.90
Cheese and roti, not a bad combination at all. Fluffy pastry it was but lacked the delicate and flakey layers characteristic of my all-time favourite Malaysian snack, roti canai. The melted cheese made it more dense and slightly chewy in texture but it enhanced the pastry with its aromatic cheesiness which I enjoyed along with the thin slivers of juicy button mushrooms hidden away in the warm golden pockets of pastry. 

Battered king prawns with wasabi mayonnaise and flying fish roe $24.90
The king prawns had a good bite to them, firm and plump and didn't have that off-putting prawn odour I was expecting so that was a relief. The batter itself was light and crisp with minimal oiliness and had a subdued saltiness which complemented the wasabi mayonnaise. The mayo in itself was quite rich and had a strong wasabi kick where the sting of its vapours would come about most unexpectedly and be strangely satisfying at the same time once the sensation subsided.

Coffee and caramelised pork chops served with a selection of green tea biscuits $22.90
The pork chops were larger than expected, well-seasoned and pan-seared to achieve a flavoursome and caramelised surface. If you're not watching carb intake then get a bowl of steamed rice to go with it. I didn't particularly fancy the thick coffee gravy on the side as it was more bitter than savoury, it wasn't a bad pairing with the pork chops but neither was it necessary. 

I was perplexed by the green tea biscuits but instead of questioning their co-existence with the pork chops I munched on them carefully, alternating with bites of pork. I would still prefer to have my biscuits with say a warm cup of tea or coffee and not so much a piece of meat but they didn't go terribly together. The biscuits alone were actually really decent, they were of a crumbly shortbread consistency with an obvious hint of green tea flavour and not excessively sweet and that was the reason why the odd combination worked because there wasn't a huge contrast in flavour. I suppose the intended way of eating the dish would be eating the pork chops first and then polishing it off with the green tea biscuits. I did leave the green tea egg roll until last and it was indeed pleasant to finish the dish off on a sweeter note. 

I didn't notice it at the time of dining but there should have been another biscuit included which was absent. That's pretty disappointing on their part especially when taking into account the relatively exorbitant prices.

Egg yolk custard bun $4.90 each (minimum order of 2)
Couldn't go past a duo of these vibrantly eccentric character buns after scrolling past @asianfoodninja's video of them. I'm positively certain it is based off of the Japanese Sanrio character Gudetama. It was more peculiar than cute in appearance and very amusing given that these custard buns were deliberately designed to be played with.

Spewing its yolky contents
The novelty of squishing the little bun was too tempting to resist especially since you'll be entertained by it sticking out its tongue in the form of a delectable egg yolk custard. Fun and playfulness factor aside, the steamed bun itself was soft and fluffy, slightly sweetened and contained a sweet, smooth salted egg yolk custard that was still warm and gooey which made it all the more yummy. The buns were prepared to order so we did end up waiting roughly 15 minutes for them to come out but would rather them freshly made than pre-made and re-heated so it was not a big deal.

Wouldn't mind having another bun and squeezing out the molten lava-like custard, absolutely a crowd-pleaser and should be tried at least once. DT and I actually enjoyed it more than their cuter endearing piggy bun sibling; the oozy gooey custard just worked better over the black sesame filling.

Chefs Gallery new location in Bankstown means this popular restaurant chain is now more accessible to me and I would visit again to try more dishes from their comprehensive range. So far, their food has been average overall, with some standouts such as the mini burgers and their charming custard bun. You would be spending extra dough on quintessentially Chinese dishes with a creative twist and in terms of value for money, it wasn't really there. That doesn't prevent it from being a "sometimes" place though because when you're feeling like something a little different and relatively classier than typical Chinese cuisine then Chefs Gallery fits the bill.

Chefs Gallery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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  1. I was here just last night! Loved the king prawns too <3

    1. Yeah the wasabi mayo went really well with them :) Need to go back and try their noodle dishes