Simmer Huang is the latest addition to Chatwood’s growing repertoire of quality Chinese restaurant chains. It joins neighbourhood favourites, Tim Ho Wan, New Shanghai and Din Tai Fung in the new dining precinct, Chatswood Interchange.
Located a hop, skip and escalator ride from the station, the Chatswood venue is one of 500 Simmer Huang restaurants worldwide. During the official opening, eager fans joined long queues to see how this “fourth generation” venue would compare.
The new outlet has a more sophisticated feel than its predecessors, hosting an innovative list of cocktails and a contemporary interior. We enjoyed sipping the Plum Blossom (Japanese whisky, Aperol, osmanthus, plum juice, lemon and ginger ale) sitting beneath glowing red lanterns and decorative bird cages. The Bubbling Asian cocktail was another hit (Chinese rice wine, osmanthus, ginger and soda, served with mini rice ball). What’s more, all the cocktails are priced at $13 – making it very easy to go back for round two… or three.
Before we kicked off the hot pot experience, we dug into some Hometown Chicken sprinkled with sesame seeds and spring onion ($7.80) and a cold Spicy Tofu Salad ($6.50). Out of all the starters, we were won over by a special BBQ Duck Salad ($7.9) curated by Masterchef’s Alvin Quah. Alvin’s guest recipe is part of the restaurant’s ‘Simmer Series’ which is designed to bring together special ambassadors with seasonal specials.
For those unfamiliar with Chinese hot pot, think of it like Asian fondue… Without the cheese or chocolate! On each table there’s an electric heating ring which cooks a big pot of fresh ingredients combined with a “special” sauce. As the restaurant’s name accurately suggests, the pot simmers away in front of you until you’re ready to dig in.
Between four of us, we had two pots going – Braised Barramundi ($49.90) and Assorted Mushrooms ($49.90). Pork, chicken, beef and plenty more seafood options were also on offer. The fun part comes at the end, when the wait staff spin and stretch out long noodles, which are added to the Pot’s leftovers, along with broth, to create a bubbling soup.
If you’re after a social and fun experience that’s a bit more exotic than your local Chinese offering, give Simmer Huang a shot. It’s a lot of food, so we recommend going with a group of four or more.
Shop 66, Chatswood Interchange (above Woolworths), 436 Victoria Ave, Chatswood 2067
(02) 9411 3335