Published on January 11th, 2013 | by Ann Rickard0
Dining – China J – Noosaville
When I pass on from this world and stand at the Pearly Gates to have St. Peter say to me: “What would you like to find inside here in heaven?” I will answer: “dim sims please.”
If heaven meant a constant supply of steamed dim sims as they are made at China J, then it would be quite okay to pass from this world.
The steamed dim sims come to your table at China J in a little basket with a miniature teapot of soy sauce.
They look like pale flowers with their wrapper folds holding in pork mince, garlic, chilli and coriander. Pick one up with the chopsticks dip it into the soy sauce, pop it whole in your mouth and I reckon you’ll be asking St. Peter the same thing as me when you check in at the Pearly Gates (for up there is surely where we are going, right?)
China J is probably the only eating house in Noosa where the guests hug their host as they leave. Most customers have been visiting China J regularly for years and they not only love the food, they love owner May Mew. There is nothing not to love about this warm woman who works the floor so graciously with her staff. Her husband John Mew comes in to see how things are going from time to time but mostly he’s a homebody now.
We felt so saintly after our dim sims we had to have more of China J’s best offerings. So it was on to the Moreton Bay bugs. Gently cooked chunks of moist meat came in a light ginger sauce with spring onions. Simplicity is key with this dish and the sauce although redolent with ginger, it doesn’t invade the unique taste of the delicate bug meat.
This is a dish you have to dine in for, its joy and presentation is too fancy for the takeaway menu, but there is something reassuring about sitting in China J with its red walls and Chinese prints and plain lighting. You feel at home there.
After the bug meat it was on to the salt and pepper prawns, a generous plate of them to pop whole in the mouth and feel good about being able to indulge yourself.
Then out came the Mongolian lamb, sizzling its way across the restaurant on its hot plate, finishing off the cooking as it landed triumphantly on our table. It doesn’t matter how often you watch this dish send its hissing signal out to the restaurant, you never tire of the little vignette of theatre. Once the steam and hiss had died down, it was chop sticks at the read for the slivers of moist lamb. There was no talk at the table as we gave our respect to the delicious food.
We’ve grazed through most of China J’s menu over the years: all the traditional dishes from the lemon chicken to the duck in plum sauce and the beef and black bean sauce. We’ve ploughed our way through just about everything and paid more attention than we should have to the curry puffs and spring rolls. On this last visit, we went to the noodle section as we so love the texture of flat slippery noodles when they come with spring onions and sesame seeds.
You eat very well at China J on authentic food prepared by Chinese chefs. And it doesn’t cost you much at all.
27 Mary Street, Noosaville
Telephone: 5449 7476