This restaurant has since closed. I have been unable to locate an authentic Chinese restaurant for several years in Wollongong CBD. What I usually find are blends of East and South-east Asian cooking, perhaps due to the practicalities and realities of the market here. The underlying penchant for Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Indonesian and Cantonese cuisine from the mainstream market's perception of "Asian food" somehow has resulted in a fusion of all these styles in a typical Asian cafe or restaurant in the Australia outside the capital cities. I do recognise that food is an evolving development in order to thrive, to be relevant and to attract. Based on that, I still have to make trips to Hurstville, Sydney CBD Chinatown, Eastwood, Ashfield, Parramatta and Chatswood in the greater Sydney region to have a taste of real food from China. So I am delighted recently to be introduced to a close authentic outlet ten minutes from my home in a relaxed, informal and modern setting - the Crown Chef. Above image, spiced marinated lamb on a hot plate from Crown Chef in Wollongong CBD.
Howard had selected the lamb whilst William had ordered the long beans stir fried with shrimp paste and chili cuts. We had ordered steamed rice to accompany the dishes and relaxed in comfortable chairs in this recently opened restaurant beside the Lower East Cafe. The staff was smiling friendly. It helped to speak Mandarin but this was really not a necessity. The beans dish had wok heat aroma and the lamb bites were tasty. Howard deemed the dishes we called for as still southern Chinese cuisine but there was a variety on the menu - I would go back.
Parking was relatively good along the non-mall side of Wollongong city's main strip of Crown Street. I could see Lebanese, Italian and modern Australian fare in outlets outside the windows of the Crown Chef. My choice of dish ordered (above picture) was pork belly braised in soy sauce and offered with bok choy and lychees, a mild combination but easy to eat. The prices asked per dish were in mid teens.