I have found it.
Fresh and cheap seafood that doesn't compromise on taste! Okay, so the service can be a hit and miss at times, but the food is casual Chinese at its best.
On a good service day, you'll be greeted with these salted peanuts as an appetiser. On a bad service day, expect to walk into the kitchen yourself to grab additional utensils or even to refill your own bucket of rice.
Live mud crab can be cooked to your desire for $45 per kilo. From my experience, this is completely below the market price of most decent Chinese restaurants in Sydney! Tantalize your taste buds with a fierce XO sauce or go for the traditional ginger, shallots and garlic.
The best thing about this restaurant is probably the genuineness. You get what you pay for. There's no worrying about the chef cheating you by keeping a crab leg to himself, or by cooking a smaller crab than the one you were showed.
During my recent two visits (funnily enough, they were 3 days apart), the crab was 0.850kg and 0.630kg... this was perfect for 2 people, keeping in mind the e-fu noodles were a must to soak up all the gorgeous live crab flavours. I haven't stopped raving about it since. A seafood dinner for two, for less than $50 in total!
The crab was delectable. The flesh was sweet, definitely fresh (we were shown the live crawling creature and weight) and simply divine. Chunks of shallots, ginger and garlic were braised through a thickened stock sauce.
It doesn't stop there. They have live tanks of barramundi, huge lobsters, king crabs, pipis and oysters... don't let the murky tanks, crowded tables or colourful foreign posters fool you. To be honest, I don't speak or read Chinese either... but have recently been most impressed with the waitress' and restaurant owner's improvement in English.
My other favourite dishes at Auburn Chinese Restaurant include the pork ribs in spicy salt, combination hotpot with tofu (below) and steamed oysters with soy, coriander and shallots.
You know what? You might even find me back there tonight...
Auburn Chinese Restaurant
138 South Parade, Auburn
(Opposite Auburn Station)
Closed on Tuesdays
Read about my previous entry on Auburn Chinese Restaurant.