It was my mum’s birthday recently, so to celebrate, we decided to go to the baby of Eastwood’s ‘Da Wan Lai’ ('come at night’) restaurant - The Poets.
You’ll find this place on the ground floor, in Top Ryde City’s “La Piazza”. If you haven’t been .. go. haha. It’s this really nice Italian-style open area which contains a small water feature and a ring of restaurants that includes Red Spoon Thai, Hurricanes and Kazbah.
Adding to the already buzzing atmosphere, the restaurants all pitch in for a guitar and violin duo to play for everyone (I think this might only happen on the weekend) and that night, there were some kids singing along while their parents ate =) Music like 'Pretty Woman’, 'I’m a Believer’, 'Mama Mia’ and 'So Happy Together’, combined with fam and a complimentary bowl of prawn chips (YES THAT’S RIGHT. FREE. BOWL. OF. PRAWN CHIPS. !!) .. it’s been 5 minutes and I’m already loving this place. =)
9 pages of menu flipping later, my mummy had chosen what she wanted to eat =) lucky i didn’t have to make that decision because there were a 101 things on that menu that sounded delish! =P
The food came out quite quickly, and the first dish we got was this really nice combination of seafood and veggies =) (I don’t know if it’s just because i’m such a child, but this bird’s nest was SO FUN. haha.)
Mixed Seafood in bird nest - $25.80
YUMM. I absolutely LOVE xiao long bao, and this one didn’t disappoint! They taste really similar to the ones from New Shanghai (SUPER YUM), but with a tad less soup I think.
Xiao Long Bao (8) - $8.80
Mebs not so great to look at (=P), but those noodles are super cool! They’re like a cross between vermicelli and rice noodles =)
Chef’s special Chinese cabbage with pork, bean noodle and chilli - $16.80
My parents decided it’d be interesting to have this seeing as we always have peking duck, and like peking-anything, it was REALLY yummy =) There were about 10 pancakes that came with it - i like it when they’re not stingy with pancakes =P Missing the crispy skin and the cucumbers, I definitely prefer duck, but if you’re not a duck lover, then this one’s for you =)
Peking Pork - $26.80
I don’t know why I keep having fried ice cream when i know i don’t like it, haha, but this one wasn’t so bad. The batter wasn’t too thick and bready, but at the same time, it wasn’t the crunchiest of batters. Generally, the thing that kills me is an overload of syrup, and luckily this one wasn’t sickeningly sweet either =) I wouldn’t get it again, but then again, I’m not the biggest fan of them in general =)
Deep Fried Ice Cream - $5.80
Overall, a place I would happily go to again =). Their range of dishes is really big, from seafood (like crab, fish, scallops, prawns, calamari, octopus and pipis!) to your meats (like pork, beef, lamb, chicken and duck) to veggies, noodles, rice and DUMPLINGS =D The prices are a bit expensive for everyday eating, but the atmosphere is really nice and because Top Ryde is still quite quiet, it’s not too crowded =)
Finally, did i mention they have HARGAO on the menu? =D i think that makes them a win. hoohoo.
Address: Top Ryde City Shopping Centre, cnr Devlin St and Blaxland Rd, Ryde, NSW