Goodbye semester 1 and hello to my long-awaited holidays. Hey, I could get used to this repetitive cycle of work, shopping, food and sleep.
Last month, I had the pleasure of dining at Pu’er in Waterloo as a guest. Beautifully decorated, Pu’er is a modern Asian eatery that is inspired by tea houses. Instantly, I felt connected to this place! The traditional wooden Asian decor brings me back to my childhood where it resembles a lot of my relatives’ homes in China.
Being the first people for lunch on a weekday, we were able to hog a big wooden table for ourselves. We need all that room, okay? Food is coming.
I’m not going to lie, we both let out a little excited “Oooooh!” when this came to our table. You can tell the owner of Pu’er (Siev Gour) really loves his tea. The candle not only contributed to the relaxing atmosphere of the place, it also kept the hot water (white pot) nice and warm for the duration of our meal – useful!
For our hot tea, I chose genmaicha, a traditional green tea with roasted rice – something I love to sip on during Winter.
What would you expect from a drink named Peach Phoenix? Epic name, gorgeous colour and tastes refreshing.
Don’t be an idiot like me and expect something that would taste like Lipton Peach Iced Tea. This is the real deal – this tea infusion has subtle floral hints (Osmanthus, to be specific) and a slight peachy after-taste!
This is possibly the best Siu Mai I have ever had. This might be because I can’t have the typical prawn siu mai and perhaps also because scallop is the bomb but it won my heart. This dim sum was all kinds of wonderful: the skin was springy, the inside was soft and juicy and the scallop was seared to perfection. It’s hard to believe there can be so much in something so small!
So far Pu’er has been full of great little surprises.
I don’t usually have high hopes for gyoza – generally, they’re good but nothing spectacular. This one though, did leave an impression. The skin was slightly chewy and the meat inside was succulent and tender, with a great porky flavour!
I think you can tell that we were both drawn to interesting menu item names… I don’t think we even read the description because this was a little different to what I had pictured. But now that I think about it, these pillowy baos can totally pass off as Asian tacos! High quality wagyu beef by itself is already amazing so I’ve never been a fan of wagyu beef with added sauce. A little more filling would make the dish a little more interesting as well.
A classic Asian chicken salad that would be perfect for Summer! It is a refreshing change from all the hearty and flavour-filled dishes we were having. You get the whole package with this simple salad: awesome crunch, slight bitterness from the cabbage, a little sourness from the dressing and a bit of chili. My friend really enjoyed this one; I wasn’t a massive fan but it’s a great side to have.
Now this is a sight to behold – this is a magical ball of crispy deliciousness with saute of prawns, snow peas and fresh shitake. As usual, I had to miss out on the prawns and had to ask the chef to separate them so that my friend could still enjoy them. Even without the prawns, I still loved it! Really appreciate Pu’er for putting up with my dietary needs – working under the hospitality and food industry for so many years, I know how annoying it can be.
I don’t know why I expected something like drunken chicken when I ordered this. It didn’t really have that strong alcoholic taste at all and in fact tasted quite herbal. Overall, the smell was amazing and the duck fell right off the bone! I absolutely loved the skin because it soaked in all the soy and sauces that went into this dish.
Just a reminder that all the food here was all consumed by my friend and I, two short and small Asian girls doing their best to finish all the food (which we did, eventually). But myth says that there’s another stomach for dessert, right? I guess it’s true. Both of us were unbuttoning our jeans by now but we were still ready for dessert.
First was the Red Bean Donuts with coconut syrup. It’s not shaped like your normal American donut – the exterior is covered with sugar and the inside was a nice, red bean filling. A bit too sweet for my liking but it had excellent texture!
Excuse me for swearing, but I love this sh*t because IT’S SERVED IN A COCONUT SHELL! Easily amused, I know. This whole thing was full of surprises! You could have this sorbet with the warm black sticky rice that came with it or drizzle a bit of the coconut water on top OR have it with the young coconut pieces! What an awesome way to end the meal!
CONCLUSION: Let’s be honest – the food at Pu’er is a bit more than what I would usually pay for, especially since the portions aren’t that big. But don’t let that stop you – the dining experience at Pu’er was pretty great. I absolutely love the serene and relaxing atmosphere it exerts, aided by the aromatic teas! The food isn’t mind-blowing but you will definitely be satisfied, especially with the attention to detail and presentation. Would seriously recommend the Coconut & Kaffir Lime Sorbet and the Scallop Siu Mai if you are as much of a fan of scallop as I am. You also can’t complete a visit to Pu’er without trying one of their teas or tea infusions.
But I think the best part about this place is that I left with an even deeper appreciation for tea.
Address: 20A Danks Street, Waterloo, Sydney
Opening Hours: Tues – Fri: 12pm-3pm; 6pm-9.30pm | Sat-Sun: 12pm-10pm
Jenny Chews was invited to diner at [ Pu’er Waterloo ] as a guest. All views and opinions expressed in this post are my own.