The Dragon Peking, Parramatta NSW

My cousin Sooi Lin and her hubby Joseph introduced me to this northern Chinese restaurant, located along Parramatta's bustling food street section of Church Street. It is not difficult to find it if you turn out from Westfield and follow the crowds going for Asian grocery shopping. Northern Chinese can be a catch-all term for the variety of cooking styles from Beijing to Shandong. This cuisine seems to be spreading over the greater Sydney area, even with an outlet in Wollongong CBD.

For Sunday lunch starters, we had a traditional cold dish, comprising of jellyfish stir mixed with cooked chicken strips and garnished with a chili aftertaste. It was just the perfect thing for a hot Australian summer's day.

Joseph chose the above dish of Beijing egg rolls. I found it a bit over the top in saltiness, but otherwise it was a crunchy bite into the ingredients wrapped inside - bean sprouts, minced pork and veg all fused with a delicious gravy.

I found the above pictured hotpot, tofu braised with hints of salted cod fish (ala Portuguese and Norwegian

cooking) and garnished with bite-sized chicken cuts, reminding me and Sooi Lin of home cooking in Penang Island, Malaysia.

We did not go for the full blown Beijing crispy skin duck, but opted instead for the crispy fried version, still served to us with small round-shaped flat wraps. The fun was to smoother the flat warps with hoi sin sauce and place thinly cut strips of sweet tasting cucumber and lettuce before topping the emerging small pile with slices of the duck. Then we folded the wrap around and bit into them.