We’re regulars because its good….

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March 19, 2010 by FoodFloozy

The Place: Char Siu House

Address: 37 Errol Street, North Melbourne, VIC, 3051
Cost: Ranges from $8 to $25, however most dishes sit around $9 to $15.
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 10:00am to 9:30pm
Style: Cantonese

Rating: “Hot Fling” (4/5)

Although my hubby and I are always on the prowl for our next new and exciting food affair, every foodie has their regular haunts. I’m planning on sharing a few of ours, and this is the first of many, many places! I’m a bit of a ghost when it comes to haunts. Hehehehe.
Char Siu House is a great place to get your fix of tasty Cantonese-style roast duck, roast pork and, of course, char siu; all are made in-house everyday (marinated overnight, then roasted in the morning). Char Siu House is also an expert in quite a few other dishes, including curry laksa, noodle soups, fried noodles and – a personal favorite – dry noodles with roasted meats. To date, we’ve tried a lot of different dishes here and haven’t gone wrong.
The Food

This is the kind of place you visit when you don’t want to cook but still want to have a satisfying, homestyle, soul-nourishing feast. It’s not a ‘dining experience’ for the most part, but with a menu as large as Char Siu House’s, I am confident that you could turn it into such. I’ve regularly seen others do just this. The restaurant is also wonderfully consistent. There is nothing worse than coming home from work, feeling lazy, going out for a cheap eat and being heart broken by it. You’re always satisfied when you leave here, and it’s great to know you can trust the quality.

On this visit, we decided to go with the char kway teow (pictured above) and dry noodles with roast duck and roast pork (pictured to the right).

Their char kway teow has all the good bits: bean sprouts, fish cake, chilli, flat noodles that have the ‘breath of the wok’ (so a little smokey), spring onions, prawns, egg, and a tasty sauce that clings to the noodles like it’s a part of them. Very nice! I should tell you that my favorite version of this classic dish includes garlic chives and lup cheong (Chinese sausage). This version, however, is still super tasty; so much so that you don’t notice the other bits are missing.
The dry noodles with roast duck and roast pork were pretty much perfect. The noodles were ‘al dente’ – yes, I know we’re talking Chinese noodles here, but I can’t think of a Chinese way of saying ‘to the bite’ – the dark sauce they were covered in was light, yet tasty. Now the roast pork… YUM. The pork fat was one with meat, making it succulent, and the crackling was super crunchy. The roast duck was on a similar level; it had been so perfectly cooked that it just fell away from the bone and melted in your mouth – divine! If you order a “dry noodle” here, you receive a steaming hot bowl of lovingly prepared chicken stock that is garnished with crispy brown onions that add a great flavour of their own and balance the dish nicely.

The Drinks
You will always receive piping hot and strong Chinese tea here with your meal when eating in, and it never fails to cleanse your palette so you get the most of the dish in front of you. We also grabbed an iced tea from the fridge – just a Lipton iced tea – which was as good as you’d expect.
Everything Else
I love the service here, and the ambiance can be likened to that of a Malaysian hawker cafe. The service is fast, polite, efficient and friendly. After you come in a couple of times, you start getting smiles of recognition from the regular staff (which we do) but, apart from that, we still simply sit down and order, talk to each other over some hot tea, and enjoy a good meal. It’s perfectly simple, and simply perfect.
P.S. Food Envy
Nearly every time I’m there, I see something where I think to myself, “Oh, I have to get that next time”. This time? It was the Beef Hor Fun, which I HAD considered ordering! It passed our table steamily, almost winking at me. Beef Hor Fun, you’re mine next time!
If you’re out for a really good bite to eat but don’t want to spend too much, like casual quick service and the Erroll Street atmosphere of North Melbourne, head down to Char Siu House. Try the Prawn Laksa and Char Kway Teow – if you don’t like them, I’ll be SHOCKED (unless of course, you have a prawn allergy! 🙂 )
This place is definitely a hot fling, one we’ll be back for again and again.

Char Siu House on Urbanspoon


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