Take a journey through the Orient at Zoo Family Restaurant.
Waterloo’s latest instalment, Zoo Family Restaurant, has brought restaurant quality Chinese, Malaysian and Taiwanese food into a casual affair. We’re talking Singapore Mud Crab, Xiao Long Bao and Peking Duck Pancakes. Situated just off Bourke Street and surrounded by brand new apartments, the food, staff and drinks are a welcoming splash of colour to an otherwise sky-rise area.
The lunch rush is busy, so make sure you head down early to secure a spot, or alternatively opt for takeaway. There’s an extensive menu to choose from, with literally something for everyone. Zoo Family Restaurant ranges from bento boxes to spicy wok noodles, dumplings, wontons, yabbies, crabs, soups and mixed hot pots with everything in one! They are in the process of securing a liquor licence, but in the meantime also have homemade ice teas.
The Peking Duck Pancakes with shallots and hoisin sauce are so good that it’s a shame they are on the smaller side, best as an entrée. The Xiao Long Bao, a crowd favourite, are pork and surrounded by delicious juicy soup. The serving of four are multi-coloured which is a nice surprise, due to their dough being made with pumpkin, spinach and taro.
A standout is the Chongqing Spicy Noodle. It’s served as a spicy chilli oil broth with shallots and Chinese bokchoy. This is so tasty, generous and could definitely fill you up. The dish would be more enjoyable on a cooler day. The Shanghai Pork Wonton in Special Chilli Sauce is delicious and packed with prawns and pork. They come served swimming in a spicy sesame oil soup, which tastes like umami goodness.
The alternate dumpling to the Xiao Long Bao are the Pot Sticker Dumplings which have been pan fried and are served with a sweet and soy dipping sauce. They are large in size and good to share.
But the standout dish would have to be, without a doubt, the Singapore Mud Crab with Salted Egg Yolk (creamy style). Don’t be afraid of getting messy because the crab is served with gloves, a crab cracker and also a handy crab fork so you can get all the meat as easily as possible. The sauce’s flavour is outstanding and this dish is high recommended, maybe not for a first date though. This is also a best seller at Zoo Family Restaurant.
If you really can’t decide which dish to eat, the Spicy Pork Hot Pot is a mix of all things pork with lotus root, seafood cakes, bokchoy, broccoli, onions and of course chillies. It’s a little bit overwhelming, but it gives you a taste of everything. Some specially commended items were the Family Style Plum Juice and the Sesame Cakes with red bean and pumpkin inside for a sweet and savoury dessert.
21 Archibald Ave, Waterloo NSW 2017, (02) 8937 3026, Open Lunch 11:30am-3:00pm, Dinner 5:30pm-9:30pm