Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Friendship Oriental

Despite the palm trees running down King Georges Rd there really aren’t many similarities between the Beverly Hills in Sydney and the one in LA. However the one in Sydney has created its own identity as an ‘eat strip’ where both sides of a particular stretch of road is lined with places to eat. The variety on offer is enormous from German, Italian, Thai, Indian, modern Australian to Chinese. There are cafes for a coffee and dessert, and restaurants that open till 2am to cater for those who are looking to satisfy a midnight craving.

Friendship Oriental from memory has been around for the last 6-7 years possibly longer. It was probably one of the first 3 Chinese Restaurants on the strip with previous restaurants opening and closing down in relatively short periods of time. The appeal of Friendship Oriental stemmed from the open kitchen, bright fittings and good food. I remember the lines to eat here being massive with people lining up at the door and spilling onto the footpath.

Part of the restaurant with more tables and seats behind where we sat and around near the entrance

Other Chinese restaurants were quickly built on either side to cash in on their success, and I now count 7 Chinese restaurants on this eat strip at Beverly Hills.

Since opening, the owner of the restaurant has changed hands and the head chef Stephen Chan has returned after a 2 year absence. During the first time that he was there he was featured on TV by the crew at Sydney Weekender; the Chinese newspapers also wrote a feature article about him and the restaurant. Why do I know so much about this place? Stephen is Jacky's dad of course.

You're probably use to the peanuts and the pickled carrot that is served at most restaurants while you decide on what to order, but here you get marinated white chicken feet. I have a feeling that the Western customers get another dish as they are probably not use to having chicken feet served at the table. You also receive a complimentary soup which I forgot to take a photo of.
There is currently a special running where all dinner orders are given a complimentary steamed oyster and scallop served with ginger and shallot (1 of each per person).
We also ordered the Peking duck, which was carved at the table. I think there was enough for everyone to have double servings.
The remainder of the duck is made into another dish with the popular choice being sang choi bow. On this occasion we went with something a little different and had the Peking duck and jelly fish salad which has the lovely flavours of corriander, fresh chilli, garlic and vinegar (a bit like a Thai salad).
Bak Choi, fried seafood rolls with mango served with mayonnaise
Tofu cakes (with mushroom & meat on the inside) served with steamed broccoli and a mushroom sauce.
We had no intention of getting the soft shell chilli salt and pepper prawns (because we already had too much food for 4 people) but the waiter pointed out that it was on the special's board for only $8! How could we resist?
The meal is followed by fresh fruit and a chinese dessert (not pictured here) which can be either: red bean, green bean, sago or peanut (looks a bit like a soup).
A tip for when you come here (assuming you can't read Chinese) is to put down the English menu and ask the waiters what the specials are that are scribbled on the bright fluro paper around the walls. These aren't written anywhere on the English menu so it's up to you to find out and you may be able to grab yourself a good bargin for the night.
I don't have prices written in this post because we knew exactly what we wanted to eat so we didn't need to read off the menu. Our bill came to just over $100 for 4 people and 2 full take away boxes of left overs.


Friendship Oriental After 10:30pm (not on same night as the post above)
Traditionally Chinese people by nature are late night people. If you were to go to Hong Kong the shops generally don’t open till 10-11am and close between 8-9pm daily. The prime time TV shows all start at 9:15pm each night and it is very common for people to stay up well past midnight.

A popular (yet unhealthy tradition) is ‘siu ye’ defined here as a ‘midnight snack’ and yes shops are especially opened at this time of night to cater for this tradition. When Jacky and I are in Hong Kong we are guaranteed to eat ‘siu ye’ almost every night (how else did Jacky put on 10 kilos in 4 weeks!) my relatives are an awful influence and we are simply too weak to resist.

Back in Australia with work commitments we’re a lot more normal, we're in bed by 10:30pm and awake at 7am every morning (even Saturdays). I haven’t had more than 3 days off in 2 years so siu ye have been a thing of the past for me…..until now, where I have had the luxury of 9 days off. How scary easy it is to revert to my old self.
So at 10:00pm last night Jacky and I found ourselves really hungry and then we remembered the late night specials at Friendship Oriental.

The specials menu all in chinese but you can see prices start at $2.80! There's also another specials menu on pink paper for some of the heavier dishes.
Bargin! When you can't decide what to get just order it all...did i mention we were starving?
1 x Wonton noodle (with 4 wontons underneath $2.80)
2 x Roast duck with rice noodle $2.80 (that's a whole duck thigh, skin still crispy)

Marinated meat platter with beef, pork and Jelly fish $8.80
Century old egg and pork congee $6.80
By the end of the night we cleared the lot.
The complimentary fruit
The bill? $24. we left at midnight and the restaurant was still packed with more people entering for siu ye as we were leaving.
You can tell by now that both Jacky and I have little to no self control when it comes to saying no to food. I'm kind of relieved that I'm back at work next week because from 23 my metabolism died and anymore late night eating like this will see me on the show The Biggest Loser.

I found out recently that my Mother reads my blog (biggest shock to the system - she had it saved in her 'favourites' in her browser) she's so going to kill me when she sees what Jacky and I have been up to. Mum's very anti siu ye...oops.
Friendship Oriental
477 King Georges Rd
Beverly Hills NSW
Phone: (02) 9586 3288
Open 7 days 5pm to 2am Mon-Fri


SoRMuiJAi said...

HAHAHAHA How cool is your mum?!

I'm praying that my nephews haven't stumbled across my blog yet. Although if they ever bothered to google sormuijai, the very first link is me!! ACK! I knew there was a reason for not posting any photos up.....too late I guess.

xtn said...

I sure hope they're paying you... ;P

Bosco said...

OH yeah! go the friendship oriental! they have this awesome duck with taro. yeah! I'm hungry!

PiCkLeS said...

Lils: My mum will never stop suprising me...who knew!

Christian: hahah Hello hope all is well you've been very quiet on the blogging front.

Bosco: are you talking about the duck and taro dish that is shaped like a fish?

James said...

WoW how cool is Jacky to have a dad as a chef !!!! omg now i know why u both enjoy ur dinning experiences...runs in the family. =)
I'm definitely going to try this place out soon when my stomach gives me a kick tells me its past 11pm.
But omg $2.80 for Wonton Noodles !!! omg omg omg ! hehehe
If i lived where u both are, I know I'd be a regular there.
Thx for the post. Made my day.
oh have u tried the Canton Noodles house in Burwood ? I like their wonton noodles as well.

ChiLLii` said...

My cousin was telling me about this place the other nite.. she said she will for sure to take me out for some bargin good food.. now seeing ur post, will definaly give it a go when i go visit syd.. :)

DJ Ho said...

I used to go to Friendship Oriental. But the last couple of times I've been to Bevo, my family has preferred "Rising Sun", which is on the corner of King Georges and Stoney Creek Rd.

The food's good, service is usually pretty good, the only thing I don't like about it is the layout of the place. if you've been there you know what I mean - the restaurant is divided into two and its really narrow on one side.

PiCkLeS said...

James: hey James you have to send me the photos you took at the wedding or was that Minh's camera? Yeh Jacky's dad left this place to work at this place in Crows Nest (the hatted one) and only returned here about 1 month ago. His dad is always off on Mondays. There's a canton noddle house in hurstville too but i haven't been in years.

Mandi: *sigh* no more late night eating for us, back to work on Monday.

Matt: well when Jacky's dad wasn't working there anymore i ended up trying a few along the strip but i think my favourite would have to be Masithai? (sounds like a Thai place) but is is actually a Chinese restaurant (Hing gei in Chinese).

Helen (AugustusGloop) said...

wow some of those prices are unbelieveable! i think we'll have to pay a visit - when Jacky's dad is cooking of course!

NfOrCeR said...

why does your post have March 1 as the date??

I havent been back to Friendship Oriental since they changed owners - or maybe once since. We goto Yummy's on the corner if we do go eat in Bevo these days. Both places are quite nice.. and its Masthai (without that i before the t ;p)

and omg. you better take me on your next siu ye outing!! we live so close! sif hold out on me hahah :P

cant believe your mum reads your blog either loll. HI MRS PICKOS! :D

SoR said...

We need to get Emily's mum to post a comment!!

Sophia said...

i'll work on it...

reverendtimothy said...

Oh man that Peking duck looks damn good. I love it when they carve at the table! *mouth waters*

As for your Mum... hehehe busted!

I make a note never to blog anything I wouldn't want my Mum reading. Not for Mum's sake - she's a champ! - but for the fact that, well, the Internet is a very big place...

PiCkLeS said...

Helen: well the catch is it has to be after 10:30pm but you also can't go too late as some items sell out because so many people show up looking for the specials. I also hear that there is a 4 person banquet where for $38.50 you get bowl of noodles each, a large congee for 4 with the special bread that goes with congee, the meat platter, a large dish of stir fried noodles and steamed buns.

Joel: i switched to the new blogger and they do month first and date second rather than day first - changed it now. Not a fan of Yummy they had a good lamb hot pot but the other dishes were not as good as Masthai.

Sor: Not sure if that's happening any time soon.

Sophia: Can't believe you didn't tell me any earlier when you already knew!

Tim: hhaha i think my blog here is pretty safe. I must admit with the increase in readership i'm a lot less personal about stuff but i guess that's why i keep a venting blog elsewhere =P