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Blue River Chinese Restaurant - Woonona NSW






Tasty, tender and uplifting - lamb braised with garlic on a hot plate.



They  have San Choy Bow for entrees; butterfly shaped prawns which are deep fried with spicy salt or garlic butter;a rather unusual prawn and bacon rolls entree; satay chicken skewers; the popular crispy skin chicken; a traditional boneless chicken with plum sauce;and instead of Mongolian lamb, there is  a chicken  version  of the dish.   The location is suburban, the guests come from residential areas and the name of the restaurant is Blue River.

There are several accompaniments to the sweet and sour, a formula well tested and tried when Chinese immigrants started cooking outlets to survive in a  foreign land many years ago.   Pork is offered in fillets, ribs or cut as small slices.  The menu is not new fangled Hong Kong or fusion South-east Asian, but rather a southern Chinese based menu that also caters for the preferences of more Caucasian tastes.


Ready to start the meal!



Pineapple fried rice was under in my expectations.  However I was taken with the so many different ways they can cook chicken, lamb, beef and seafood in a rather extensive menu.   The basis of this all is good wok technique.  Chinese dishes tend to be prepared bite-sized, there is no chunky stuff here.  Also lots of different kinds of vegetables that can be picked up by chopsticks.   Deep fried tofu is symbolic of the extensive use of frying in this restaurant.  My eye caught the dish called King Prawn Fu Yum, egg omelette with succulent prawns.   Noodles are categorised nicely - crispy, pan fried or steamed, linked to the name "Chow Mein".






NZ stand out from Hawkes Bay, this was a BYO.



Long and short noodle soup still remains on the menu, with that iconic corn and crab meat version that is a staple in Western countries but which you don't see much in Asia itself.   I always had problems distinguishing between the terms long and short for noodles, for to me they are simply egg noodles and wantons.

For seafood, Blue River has fish, scallops, King Prawns and squid cooked with a combination of flavours like chilli, garlic, King Doo sauce, shallots, black pepper and more.

One of the popular dishes in south-east Asia for Chinese restaurants is steamed fresh fish, but alas this is not offered here.  Instead, deep fried fish fillets come with lemon or mushrooms or black bean sauce or snow peas and broccoli.   I do not find black pepper sauce goes with fish, but they also have that with lamb and beef.

Prices are reasonable and service for us that evening was rather on time, there was no mucking around in the kitchen.  Next time I must try their garlic infused chicken,  the steamed duck done Cantonese style; omelettes for dinner; and some vegetarian choices.



Cashews with prawns and veg - not exactly my favourite and the wok heat could have been better in the outcome.

Oh yes, Blue River has deep fried ice cream,  banana split and banana fritters, very much devoted to a  market that still yearns for a Chinese menu from 1970s Australia.  And why not?  The restaurant is not that big, has tables in a compact space but has a lovely Caucasian lady at the counter and interacting with customers, perhaps a rarity in Chinese restaurants in Sydney CBD.   There is in house wine list but Blue River is also BYO for wines.  We sat not too far inside and I could see McDonalds obviously across the Princes Highway.  Not far up is Emerald and Moon Sushi is on the northern side.  Woonona is coming up with a bit of variety in the commercial strip, although Blue River has been in business for many years.




Blue River Chinese Restaurant is located at 365 Princes Highway, Woonona NSW, north of Wollongong city centre.
The restaurant is closed on Mondays.
Opening hours are from 1130am to 230pm for Tuesday to Sunday lunch and 430pm to 930pm for Tuesday to Thursday plus Sunday dinners.   For Friday and Saturday dinners, it is from 430pm to 1000pm.
Contact +61 2 4284 9711

Blue River Chinese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato




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