We enter the humble looking establishment ready for an evening of food, wine and getting to know you. Ying Chow seems cheap and cheerful and is highly decorated if the wall covered in culinary awards is anything to go by.
“Who wants to be in charge of ordering. I hate being in charge.”
“I will!” and with that, we get this show on the road.
The food arrives in a rather haphazard manner with no emphasis being placed on dishes that need to be present to maximise enjoyment of other dishes… For example the boiled rice, which is the least complex of anything ordered, seeing you know they have a big old bowl of it sitting out the back raring to go, was the last to arrive and only arrived perhaps due to a reminder.
As the dishes are placed on the table, they are subject to a barrage of paparazzi lenses. We begin to taste and evaluate. For those of you who thought Judgey Wudgey was a hairless bear, it turns out Judgey Wudgey is a pack of Adelaide University Food Writing students on a group dinner outing.
The food at Ying Chow is perfectly acceptable no muss, no fuss Chinese cuisine but does little to leave a lasting impression upon the diner. It is utilitarian; it does the job. Two dishes that deserve a special mention are the Shallot Pancakes and the Red Vinegar Ribs. These two items transcend the ordinary and seat themselves in the delicious. The Pancakes are bursting with flavour and freshness and the Ribs are finger-licking good, plus who doesn’t love gnawing on a bone, slurping the last scraps of flesh off in some primal throwback to our days in the cave?
The corkage is a steal at $2 per bottle, so this earns a few bonus points.
Ying Chow fits the bill if you are looking for a fast feast under $20 that won’t challenge your tastebuds in any significant way, and you are comfortable with plastic chairs and inoffensive, perhaps slightly bland decor.