Acquiring a taste for street food during my recent visit to Singapore, I snooped around to see where I could find such authentic food, and such variety on the streets of Sydney. As a result, I ended up in Auburn. This multicultural suburb has more variety - even more so than on the streets of Singapore; and best of all that authentic flavour. Taste 101 sandwiched in between other little eateries on South Parade, is one of those spots where I had the pleasure of tasting the best Chinese food I have had post Singapore.
A refreshing pot of tea
The eatery is small but clean. The staff consisting of mostly young Asian girls are eager to explain and suggest the unknown to us. As soon as we settled in, we were given a pot of refreshing tea, and then we got on to the hard task of choosing. Hard only because of the variety that is offered at Taste 101. The menu is rather extensive but rather interesting for a small eatery of this sort.
This chilli coated chicken was divine
After going through the menu cover to cover for several minutes, and then discussing among ourselves; we decided to seek assistance from a staff member who politely explained the dishes we had decided to order.
Enormous prawns to fill you up
Everything that came to the table was different to the other in both taste and appearance. Quite different to the Chinese food I have tasted many a times, where every dish looks somewhat the same with that starchy broth.
My favourite, the Chong Qing Spicy Chicken ($8.50) was a dish of chopped up pieces of chicken on the bone - coated and deep fried. The chicken was covered with very angry looking red chillies, of which I was somewhat reluctant to taste. But my seven year old was bold enough to chew some, and assured me that the chilli was the mildest he had ever tasted.
The vividly shades of the prawn hot pot makes it the most interesting dish of all. Enormous cooked prawns lay on a bed of vegetables which don’t fail to surprise you as you dig deep. Among the treasures under the prawns, there were some deep fried lotus roots, sweet potatoes and capsicum. The potion of this dish was enough to fill two hungry stomachs if eaten by itself.
Our table was full of dishes, but nothing much was left in them when we came to the end of our taste 101 experience. Food is incredibly cheap at this eatery, with a main dish ranging from $8.50 - $10.50.
Where: 124 South Parade Auburn NSW
Why: Great, authentic food with friendly staff.
Cost: Mains from $8.00 onwards.
When: Suitable for both lunch and dinner.