Chairman Mao wouldn’t really have been on the agenda til we decided to do a dumpling crawl and smh had this as a top8 dumpling (dish) in Sydney. So we popped into the chairman’s and we’re met with a mostly ala carte menu with 1 dumpling dish. So, miscellanous eats and a a dumpling soup dish it is. Located in Kensington, Chairman Mao sits unassumingly near the Masonic Hall.

Chairman Mao has heaps of media accolades. Lots of guides love it

popkitsch Mao art. We had some chatter on FB about the pop kitschiction of one of history’s greatness vilians. He’s a monster but here he is smiling down looking cute and benevolent.

menu came in this gold/chintzy plastic cover with stars

complimentary radish pickle. Had nice heat, hunks of raw garlic and was quite good.

spring onion pancakes. Chairman Mao does not have condiments. So it’s a good thing that these were well seasoned crispy and rather delicious

hot sour soup dumplings. Okay. The main event came and it isn’t top 8. Its not a bad dish or anything but we did expect to be blown away. Its a good standalone solo eat – comparatively, we quite like the hot and sour dumpling soup dish at cheap cheery wonder Chinese Noodle Restaurant (I+II).

smoked pork belly with radish. Smokey, tasted a bit bacony and we thought the radish was noodles as we’d forgotten what we’d ordered.

tripe – owner special/ladies choice and it’s a challenging eat. Too spicy and mysterious for our liking. The only dish here left mostly untouched which is a shame considering it was one of the more expensive dishes tonight.

A lot of the menu is laced with spice – eggplant with chilli – did kind of expect gleaming deep fried crispy cubes of eggplant so when this arrived, did go “oh?”. Sliced thinly, these were sauteed til tender – there’s a bit of heat here from the tiny chillis they used. Its challenging for eggplant.

fried rice was okay.

So yup, chairman Mao. Its got loads of press, it’s all red inside and fiery and the food was good if different from your mainstay chinese fare. We didn’t expect this much fine dicing this side of a wuxia film. While it isn’t a home run, we quite enjoyed our meal here, staff were friendly, food was decent albeit on edge of the pricier side once all things are tallied up – or possibly we ordered too much food for 4. Bit of a shame the main reason why we came, that dumpling dish got a middling response from all. The main thing about dinner tonight was that the meat main while decent didn’t have the portion size or wow factor and then we’re left we a bunch of veg and 1 too hot dish (the tripe) that was a bit of an acquired taste. They do have an extensive menu and it could possibly be one of those “you gotta pick the right dishes kind of thing”. Dishes can be oily – with the eggplant dish being quite and there will be heat.

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