Handmade Noodles

Chefs Gallery (Metcentre) Opening- A Noodle Show

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There are a lot of areas around Metcentre in Wynyard Station that is packed full with food joints. One in particular that is new and intimate is Chefs Gallery Jamison Street. To demonstrate noodle making action, patrons can witness through a glassed in kitchen. Their signature noodle show takes centre stage as balls of flour dough are quickly kneaded in a haze of hand movements, then stretched into twisted plaits. To finish, the Master Noodle Chef, Chef Panda transform the delicate noodles into a lengthy unbroken noodle skipping rope, then into silken strands. It looks super easy and effortless but it does take at least 23 years of practice.

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 Welcome to Chefs Gallery Metcentre Opening.

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That’s how Chef Panda attracts the patrons. 

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Freaken amazed by how thin these noodles are made by hand.

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23 years of practice making handmade noodles paid off.

I, for one, could have stared at the fun entertaining noodle show for hours but it was time for me to enter the restaurant and be welcomed by a whole batch of Deep Fried Wonton Sheets that has been heavily savoury seasoned. Usually stuffed with tasty meat and then boiled, however Chefs Gallery is being creative by being simple with these so called FRIED WONTON CHIPS. They are good, addictively good.

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 Deep Fried Wonton Sheets

Besides fresh handmade noodles, give Tataki Wagyu Beef with Sichuan Style Spicy dressing a go. The taste of the seared beef is condensed with ginger, a hint of vinegar then wrapped with fresh mint leave. There’s good quality in the wagyu beef as it offers a pink fine marbling through the meat, it is tender and has an intense flavour of the hot dressing even whilst it’s been served cold. Seriously satisfying for the sashimi-grade manner.

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 Tataki Wagyu Beef with Sichuan Style Spicy dressing

You know what would be good in your belly? Spicy Prawn and Pork Wontons– I love the silky layer of the wonton skin that is beautifully balanced with spicy garlicky dressing. Greatly filled with chopped succulent prawns and pork that’s subtly marinated in oriental spices. The spiciness doesn’t stick to your tongue, instead, to the kissable red lips.

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 Spicy Prawn and Pork Wontons are hot in the house.

The presentation of the Vegetarian Spring Rolls instantly reminded me of birds nest and delivered a good dose of crispiness. A very delicate roll that is easily a favourite dish for the vegetarians.

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 Vegetarian Spring Rolls

Piping hot Vegetarian Steam Buns are not new by any stretch to the Chinese but definitely have a go at loving these buns as they are filled with cabbage, mushroom and minced spring onion. The buns are soft and chewy with fatty veggie filling, however I found the buns skin to be slightly tough.

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 Vegetarian Steam Buns

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 Speech time and founder and owner Kaisern Ching tells us his story about Chefs Gallery.

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 Time for Chef Panda to show us some more moves. 

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 This is fully twisted!

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 Seconds later, a ball of dough transformed into noodles.

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 Special guest Natalie Tran from Community Channel in the house making noodles.

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 Well done Natalie! She almost took over Chef Panda’s job, almost. 

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 Maybe one more photo, but this time with the Master Noodle Chef.

Gorgeously trimmed and cut into 3cm cubes, the Wagyu Beef cubes made sure it was doused with pepper sauce that studded with a few fresh mixed salad leaves. The rich marbled texture of the beef sure is succulent. The peppery sauce perfumes this dish and may overwhelm your tastebuds. One cube at a time with a glass of red wine makes it even more powerful.

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 Wagyu Beef cubes with pepper sauce 

The best thing about Handmade Spinach noodle Spinach noodle with bamboo shoots and carrot sticks is that the spinach gives a lovely bright green colour and nutrition to your meal. Don’t say I don’t eat my greens mama! There’s something about handmade noodles that makes me even happier to attempt seconds…

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 Handmade Spinach noodle 

As square platter of Chef’s own Handmade Egg and Spinach Tofu gradually made its way towards me. I just happen to take a photo of Natalie Tran’s personalised tofu plate. Oddly these deep fried tofu tiles reminded me of mah-jong, you want to play? I wouldn’t say it is nutritious as they happen to be fried but it does have the perfect protein boost for vegetarians and vegan. The ideal beginning of devouring the tofu is biting through the lightly golden battered skin to find a firm, yet silken custard with a layer of chopped spinach crunch.

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 Chef’s own Handmade Egg and Spinach Tofu 

My ultimate goal for the night was to get my hands on the Macanese style mini Pork Burger. It’s a chunky piece of culinary masterpiece that’s generously filled with pork fillet, pork floss, lettuce and a sweet chilli mayo dressing. The man-tou so crunchy you can hear it gently break. It’s flaky and oily that crumbles just as you bite into it. I had a porky face while checking out the mini burger and I give it a thumbs up!

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Macanese style mini Pork Burger

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 Something about me and taking side shot photos of buns. Tehehe

Did I forget to mention Natalie Tran from Community Channel on YouTube decided to waste most of her evening with me on her birthday? I turned into a crude five year old when she turned around and said hi to me. Inappropriate behaviour and awkward conversation started and I sincerely apologised after. I guess trying to remove a drool from my face was harder than I thought when I was standing next to my favourite YouTube star.

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 Nessy Eater Girl with Natalie Tran from Community Channel.

Chefs Gallery is drawn on the four most traditional Chinese schools of cuisine: Sichuan, Guangdong, Shandon and Su. This restaurant features true Chinese dishes combined with a modern twist. The dining venue is casual, yet intimate in its structure. I can’t wait to revisit Chefs Gallery to properly try their memorable dishes and perhaps match it with a glass of wine.

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Didn’t leave empty handed, received Chefs Gallery gift bag: $25 gift card, fortune cookies and pamphlet. 

Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended as a guest to Chefs Gallery (Metcentre) Opening thanks to Whiteworks Public Relations.

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

You can follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment 😀

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MINI POT Chatswood Soft Opening- Buffet Hot Pot Deal

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There’s not many places in Sydney where restaurants offer hot pot buffet and doesn’t break the wallet. This winter, MINI HOT POT has just opened up in the heart of Chatswood and it is just perfect timing to visit when Mother Nature is being so damn cold. Instead of standing next to a heater all night to keep myself warm my thoughts turned to ALL YOU CAN EAT HOT POT. The hot pot buffet prices for Monday to Thursday dinner, $26.88 per person or Friday to Sunday $28.88 per person. If you’re a keen bean and can’t wait for dinner then during lunch hour from Wednesday to Sunday $20.88 per person. There’s a fair bit of novelty, so keep in mind to only bring an empty stomach. Besides all you can eat, their buffet is 2 hours limit, so you don’t have to rush stuffing your face with a mixture of foods.

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Ready to take on the ALL YOU CAN EAT hot pot?

Just look how practical it is to have your own electronic stove. What’s even more cool and high-tech is there are 3 buttons for you to adjust the boiling levels (small, medium and large). I seriously wouldn’t mind having one of these at home. Teehee.

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 How hot is the electronic stove? They’re installed into the tables.

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Spacious seating at MINI POT Chatswood

The original chicken soup base comes with the buffet package, but if you wish to challenge your tastebuds or try other soup base flavours then it will cost extra, depending on what you order. The key to a successful pot of chicken soup is adding different ingredients and making sure the chicken is properly seasoned. The chicken gives the soup base its distinctive character. Here at MINI POT, the broth is the soul of the hot pot.

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 Original chicken soup base

Spicy beef soup was fragrant with spiciness but the chopped chili was horrifyingly hot and can only be wanted for the chili lovers. To compare its very own sister restaurant, CQL MINI POT spicy beef soup is better as it contains more herbal elements. Overall, this soup is perfect to order when Mother Nature wants to provide a crazy windy weather outside.

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 Spicy beef soup (additional $2)

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 A variety of fresh greens

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 Continue the veggie madness!

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 Not every day you get to see kelp and black fungus on the menu.

So like, how many frozen scrolls of thinly sliced lamb, beef or pork can you handle? I mean these cook ridiculously fast that you’d question if you ate some or not. It’s super easy to cook and goes so well with any sauce. It seems every single time I try to refill my plate, the meat section seems to never end.

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MEATASAURUS Vanny is here!!! (Lamb, Beef, Pork)

Are you ready to make your own sauce? If you don’t know where to begin, I think it’s vital to at least grab a small bowl of soy sauce. There is no secret to creating an awesome sauce as MINI POT provides friendly advice to create your own mixture. There’s so many sauces to choose from such as peanut butter, black bean, soy sauce, sesame, hoisin and many many more.

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 Create your own sauce at the sauce bar.

My plate was full and it’s so great you have the opportunity to try a bit of everything. Starting from left we have sliced lambfishclamsbean curdquail eggspork blood jelly, handmade noodles and mushroom.

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Round 1 tray

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 Quail eggs and clams are great for hot pot.

If you’re feeling thirsty, they have really traditional Asian drinks that I highly recommend giving a go. The Chinese prune drink ($4) is a very mysterious beverage in many restaurants. It’s not your ordinary prune juice as it provides a tangy flavour to it but it does contain a sweet after taste. For the Wang Lao Ji ($4), it’s one of the super popular drinks in mainland China. It’s a drink that you’ll love forever as it has a unique sweetness with just a mildly characteristic herbal taste.

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 Prune drink and Chinese traditional (Wang Lao Ji) drink ($4 each)

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 Got to pace yourself with buffet hot pot. 

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Must try the handmade noodles, so tasty.

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 Noodles are ready to eat.

Almost reaching halfway through to my hot pot, the owner of MINI POT, Simon greets us with dessert. A massive bowl of tofu pudding with red bean ($6.80) arrives at our table and it’s just so satisfying to see dessert was ready and waiting for me.

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A HUGE bowl of tofu pudding with red bean.

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 Rice cake at the hot food section

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 Spring onion pancakes are ready to eat.

Besides hot pot, noodles is on the menu. You’d be head over heels with the Dry Noodle with Minced Pork ($12.80) as the noodles was a perfect cradle for the porky sauce. This dish radiates with the vibrance of spring with the green bok choy and chopped spring onions. Oh boy it is filling when you’re having it with hot pot as well. Please note: the portion we ordered is not the exact one as we requested a smaller version.

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Dry Noodle with Minced Pork ($12.80)

It’s such a brilliant way to spice up boring tofu with noodles. So the Noodle with Tofu Pudding ($10.80) is remarkably delicious and it will leave you satisfied. It’s a triumph of textures and flavours and a touch of sweetness from the tofu. Please note: the portion we ordered is not the exact one as we requested a smaller version.

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 Noodle with Tofu Pudding ($10.80)

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The tofu pudding is  so silky and smooth.

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Feasting for close to 3 hours is FUN.

At first glance, herbal jelly for some people might scrunch up their nose to eat  this, but the taste is pretty unreal. With a mash up with fresh cut watermelon and bite-sized pieces of herbal jelly it is a great way to end a Chinese hot pot meal.

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AGAINSimon surprises us with a large bowl of fresh cut watermelon with herbal jelly.

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Table for one ? Sure, MINI POT can do that.

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 OH MY GOD! It’s…it’s dessert hour. (Excuse the facial expression) 😀

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Don’t feel like hot pot? Then there’s plenty of seats for À la carte diners.

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 Outdoor and function seating is available at MINI POT.

The service at MINI POT in Chatswood is attentive and friendly. It’s so close to the station that if you’re belly is extremely full and you don’t feel like driving, then training it home is the safer option to go. For dinner, I think $26.88 per person on weekdays or $28.88 per person on weekends is pretty reasonable, so it won’t hurt your wallet too much. I’ve come across some hot pot places and they charge by the plate for the same kind of foods for $5 or more. Don’t forget this buffet package also includes hot food and desserts which is WIN.

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 Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended with a guest thanks to MINI POT Chatswood.

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

You can follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment 😀

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iPot Chatswood – A Modern Way of Hot Potting

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Hot pot can be made in a variety of ways, for example the newly opened iPot  minutes away from Chatswood station has taken inspiration from a fusion of traditional Chinese cooking and Australian cuisine. The fun factor about this hot pot experience is custom made electric tables allowing EACH CUSTOMER to boil your own selection of ingredients to their liking. The restaurant has been furnished with comfy leathery red chairs and inbuilt glossy hotplates for… you guessed it HOT POT. What’s different about iPot and ordinary hot pot is their soup bases. You’ll be convinced to try all available options because of its unique components. In other words, it’s WORTH a HOT POT VISIT.

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Oh look at the sauce bar…feeling saucy 😛

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Unlimited supply of sauces for ($4 per head)

Pay extra EXTRA attention to the sauce bar, you can’t miss it! One of the more intriguing option that I came across is the minced beef sauce. The cooked minced beef is marinated with flavours of garlic oil. Feel free to double or triple the sauce if you like it really really SAUCY.

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WOW, Minced Beef Sauce, now that’s interesting.

Do you like a bit of spice in your life? If you can handle ultra hot chilli then Hot and Spicy Soup Pot ($9) is pleading for you to order it. This pot arrives with a mass of dried chilli, black cardanin, fennel seeds, peppercorn and floating dried bay leaves. You must watch the spicy soup bring to a steady bubbly boil because it looks like a potion pot, haha. Heads up, this soup may cause a good tongue paralysis.

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Hot and Spicy Soup Pot ($9)

In addition, staring me right in the face is the Soy Milk Seafood Pot ($12) – Similarly to Masuya but not even close  to taste is a soy milk and miso soup with added SEE-FOOD ingredients hidden like prawnclamscallopmussel, two pieces of crab leg. It looks great and the milky broth is completely a combination of Japanese and Western invention.

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Soy Milk Seafood Pot ($12)

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Found some treasure in my Soy Milk Seafood Pot

It’s also remarkable that iPot serve Smokey Mushroom Pot ($7) – A mixture of savory, smokey broth with a culmination of earthy mushrooms, gojitomatocup mushrooms and Chinese mushrooms. The flavour is a nice balance of sweet and salty but it’s also terrific with a toss of sliced meat being dunked into this flavoursome pot to add additional savory flavour.

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Smokey Mushroom Pot ($7)

Totes up to you which ingredients you’d want to cook. For me, I couldn’t resist the Beef and Lamb Combination ($22) – Dunk those frozen slices of beef or lamb into the pot and watch it slowly swirl and that’s when you know it’s cooked.

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Beef and Lamb Combination ($22)

It’s rare to see Abalone Mushroom ($8) so when we saw this on the menu we HAD TO ORDER IT. Its name is resemblance to the abalone shellfish. When cooked it has a solid, meaty texture. They have a juicy flavour and at times slippery texture with light anise scent.

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Abalone Mushroom ($8)

You may also want to try Dried Bean Curd ($4) – Might sound or look enticing ingredient but it’s texture is very silky and is made from the skin that forms on soymilk. They also have a delicious chewiness if combined with other ingredients like pork fat or mushrooms. Much like the texture of tofu, these bean curd absorb the flavours of whatever you chuck inside your pot.

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Dried Bean Curd ($4)

Serious Asians tend to order the Fresh Chrysanthemum greens ($5) when it’s hot pot hour. If you fancy the natural fragrant smell of chrysanthemum flowers, then consider ordering these greens. When boiled these chrysanthemum greens contain a mildly grassy, herbaceous taste and texture. With the stalks they bring out the sweetness and slightly remain crunchy even when dunked in hot broth.  

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Fresh Chrysanthemum greens ($5)

It’s up to you to order the Handmade Noodles ($5) but I am telling you, this bowl does offer fresh exquisite stringy noodles. It’s very stomach-nourishing with rich flour fragrant, so it’s a YES for me.

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Handmade Noodles ($5)

Some of the more captivating options include Fresh Shrimp Wah ($13)– The trick to preparing the shrimp wah is to not to toss the entire thing in. So when the pot is simmering, it’s best to use a spoon and scoop it into dollops of round balls. It doesn’t have to look that professional, as long as you find it pretty enough to eat.

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Fresh Shrimp Wah ($13)

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Looks round enough…HAHA

Behold the tofu is frozen, yes it’s literally FROZEN! I normally eat tofu when it’s extra silky and soft, but what changed was the the flavour and texture when I witness the Frozen Tofu ($5). If you look closely the water context inside the tofu looks like crystals. This technique does give the tofu a toothsome texture.

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Frozen Tofu ($5)

There are plenty of more adventurous dishes like Mushroom and Pork Mini Wah ($7) – which is a mash up of porkgarlic and mushroom. These juicy little meatballs beautifully go so well with the hot pot. Fantastic flavour when coated with your soup base. You’ll feel good when stuffing your stomach with these- they’re creatively delectable.

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Mushrooms and Pork Mini Wah ($7)

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Did you know…these Mini Wah are handmade.

These pretty Cuttlefish and Oyster Wah ($18) has infused a lot of cuttlefish and oyster flavour. You’d want to continue eating these until it’s all gone. You can’t go wrong with these because they are perfectly prepared with no mess and no fuss.

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Cuttlefish and Oyster Wah ($18)

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Are you aware these oysters are delicious?

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An oyster is hidden in there!!!

We ended up paying $35 per head between 4 people and managed to eat a large froyo afterwards. You’d be fascinated with the sauce bar but be warned that’s additional ($4) per head and they didn’t bother to mention that to us. I personally think they qualify as a unique hot pot with their range of soup base and dishes like Cuttlefish and Oyster WahMushrooms and Pork Mini Wah and Fresh Shrimp Wah. If I didn’t have to think about the cost of each plate then I’d come here every night during winter.

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Photos by Vanny Tang

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

You can follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment 😀

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