I had a craving. My favourite Cantonese dish, from many different restaurants in Vancouver, is Beef Brisket Wonton Mein. It is a magical thing, with the super tender beef matched with plump wonton of prawn and pork (actually, I like Sui Gao, Water Dumplings even better than wonton, a fatter version of them), chewy thin egg noodles, and a clear, savoury broth.
Sadly, it’s never quite the same in Sydney. There just wasn’t the same influx as to Vancouver of those from Hong Kong and the large, settled Cantonese population there. Here, you can get beef brisket and noodles, but you have to ask for a special order to have them add in the wonton. And many restaurants, like this one, aren’t Cantonese, particularly (though I’m not sure which province of China Zan Bou is from!)
The beef was not quite the same either. I’m not sure why. The pieces are cut smaller and this one came with radish (which is fine, but it’s as stewed as I like it) and was also in a thick beef gravy, which was quite nice actually, and flavoured the soup well, although that means they didn’t have to put much effort into the broth! Still, it was tender and tasty.
I was pleasantly surprised by the noodles; better than other places I’ve tried as they were quite thin but with a nice bite. And the dumplings were not bad as well. So, for $13.20, on a Saturday at noon in the Sussex Centre Food Court, I did satisfy that craving more or less, while thinking: maybe it’s a good thing I can’t get as good a version of this dish as in Vancouver, as the occasion is always that much more special when I visit my old hometown.