Tak Kee Roast Inn, Dickson

I really like Tak Kee, the food here is delicious and the place is always open! Late at night, earlier in the morning, even during the deadzone on the weekends! The service is fast, you’ll get your food within minutes of ordering but don’t come here looking for Western style customer service. Tak Kee is definitely a classic Asian joint, fast, delicious and cheap food.

But do take note when you’re ordering. If you are ever unsure about a menu item then definitely ask! I’ve been to Tak Kee a couple of times and ordered things expecting it to come out one way but ending up with something quite different and its definitely not Tak Kee’s fault either, the menus a little basic but I also tend to confuse some of my Chinese foods.

Onwards to the foods. Here’s just a couple of dishes from Tak Kee’s massive menu and if you want something a certain way, just ask, they’ll probably do it for you.

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First up, the Chinese BBQ roast duck ($14) with egg noodles and steamed bok choy. Every time I go to Tak Kee I’m always trying to get something new but it’s just too hard to go past the wonderful BBQ meats on offer here. Tak Kee is a BBQ joint first, and it’s pretty difficult to find a good one in Canberra so I always make the most of the opportunity! The duck at Tak Kee in particular is delicious, soft and juicy, and smells amazing. My favourite part about it is the crispy and crunchy layer of skin that isn’t too soft and oily which duck can often be. It also has just enough fat to make it tasty and delicious but not too much that you start feeling guilty about it. The BBQ duck comes with a generous serve of boiled egg noodles and a side of steamed bok choy. You can get this in soup form as well, but I’m really partial to having BBQ meats on dry noodle, it ensures the crispness of the meat, and the soy sauce they put into the dry version of the noodle is also really nice.

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More BBQ, next the Chinese BBQ crispy pork ($11) with egg noodles. Another super tasty dish! Again, can’t go past the BBQ meats, and Chinese roast pork is probably my favourite of the bunch. This meat pre dates the current pork belly trend, but well, pork is pork! Super moist pork flesh with a thick layer of delicious fat and crispy crackling pork skin. The way it melts in your mouth is just wonderful, and the crack of the skin as you bite into it is amazing. As with everything at Tak Kee, it had a great scent from the various Asian spices that it was cooked in and you could smell it too as soon as it arrived to your table. Again it comes with a generous serve of egg noodles and crunchy steamed bok choy.

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Something a little different, a Beef and tendons hot pot ($16). Every time I go to a Chinese joint I always get this wrong. When I think of hot pot, I think of a boiling pot of broth with a bunch of friends and family standing around, dipping and cooking various meats, seafoods and condiments in the broth. But more recently I have discovered that hot pot at Chinese joints like Tak Kee generally means this. Different stewed meats that come out in a sizzling hot clay pot. I think they refer to what I’m thinking of as steamboat or dragonboat or something.

This time, we got it right! Only because someone else on the table was ordering and not me! This was really delicious and tender. The beef was full of heavy meaty flavours, really saucy and had clearly been cooked low and slow because if you just pressed a fork against it, it’d shred away, it was so tender. There was a generous amount of tendon throughout the dish and it took some getting used to for some of the people we were eating with. Tendon has a weird texture, it’s a bit tough to bite into and is quite chewy, kind of like a meaty licorice stick. Ok terrible example but that’s all I could think of, it did manage to offer lots of shifts in the texture though! The contrasting textures ensured this dish never got boring and I really enjoyed it.

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Next up, the Noodles in special peking sauce ($10.50). And here is one of the times where I screwed up my order! I was looking at the menu and saw noodles in peking sauce, I immediately assumed boiled egg noodles with a soy or hoison like sauce. Something nice and simple and I saw that it was pretty cheap too so I assumed it must have been something quite basic.

Nope, here at Tak Yee its pretty much egg noodle with a mapo tofu like sauce topping but with more meat than tofu! Very different to what I was expecting but it still tasted fantastic. It’s one of the cool things I’ve noticed about Tak Kee, everything that I get, mistake or not, always has turned out pretty damn good. Hopefully this keeps up and I’m not just riding my luck here! The topping was minced pork in a flavoursome thickish sauce and egg noodles. I guess its fantastic value for money, all this deliciousness for only $10.50!

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Next up, Pork chops in rock salt ($15). Probably my least favourite dish I’ve had at Tak Yee thus far, but we still polished it off so I think it means it must’ve been ok! It was essentially cut up pork chop in a light flour batter and then deep fried. It was pretty basic in flavour, just relying on the pork to carry it through, and it also relied pretty heavily on the herbs and spices that were put on top of the dish afterwards. From this it seemed like the pork chops were not seasoned before battering and deep frying. Due to the way it was cooked though, the meat was extremely moist, and the light sprinkling of salt, shallots and chilli on top helped to add flavour.

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On to something soupy, Dry wonton noodle soup ($9.80), here’s the wonton and soup part. So this was essentially the wontons in noodle soup. However, as is the theme for today, we asked for it dry so that we’d get the egg noodles and the wonton soup separately. They were more than happy to do that for us.

The dish came with about five wontons in a deliciously flavoursome chicken broth. The wontons were nice and big and had a generous servings of pork and prawn inside them. When I bit into them I could see the actual prawn chunks, so no fake prawns here! The wontons also had a lovely amount of wonton skin trailing off the end. I really love it when wontons does this because for some reason it’s pretty close to my favourite part about them. The soup was really nice and almost made us regret getting the dish dry because we wanted more of it.

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The second half of the dish, Dry wonton noodle soup ($9.80). Here is the dry part, eggs noodles with steamed boy choy, shallots and soy sauce. Generous serving of egg noodle that was boiled just right. It was nice and soft but still had a lot of bite to it. The bok choy was fresh and added some nice texture to the noodles and soup. Also liked the shallots, just those simple little things that add a whole new element and flavour to the dish.

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Finally, the Mixed vegetable chow mein ($13). Something for the vegetarians. The egg noodle was lightly pan fried so that the outside was nice and crunchy but the inside was still really soft and tasty. The crispy egg noodles were topped with a generous amount of mixed vegetables in a thick chow mein sauce. Really great dish, our vegan friend was also able to get Tak Kee to change the egg noodles to vermicelli, though we didn’t take a picture of that one since it looked a lot like this one, but with some extra white bits.

I hope it’s not too obvious but I really like Tak Yee, its good Chinese BBQ for a reasonable price. Pretty much what you’d find in Sydney and Melbourne, so I’m happy to see it here in Canberra as well.

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