Sunday, 4 May 2008

Post-work/pre-MTC bite at the Post-Deng Cafe

Post-Deng Cafe

Post-Deng Cafe
214 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne (map)
9663 9866

I purchased a subscription to the MTC this year, and made group bookings for friends to come along to all of the performances. The other week five of us went to see The 39 Steps, which I absolutely LOVED (and not just because I'm a total Hitchcock film buff! My friends who had never seen the film it was based on also thought it was hilarious). Before the play I met up with my trusty dining companion best-friend-K for a quick bite to eat in Chinatown, because we were sick of all the restaurants down near the Arts Centre.

Post-Deng Cafe interior

We went to a restaurant I'm rather fond of, the Post-Deng Cafe. The interior is slightly bizarre - one wall is exposed red brick, the other bluestone, and both are adorned with huge photographs of Deng Xiaoping with captions such as "Deng in his teenage in France", "Deng meeting US President Jimmy Carter" and "Deng eating his favourite meal: Cheers, mate!" (the last one being an attempt to appeal to larrakin Aussies??). The Cafe specialises in Sichuan cuisine, from Deng's home province.

Posh chilli oil dumplings at Post Deng CafeChilli oil dumpling in cross-section

The Sichuan Chilli Oil Zhong Dumplings ($4.50) at Post-Deng are much daintier and refined than those you'd get in a bucket at Shanghai Dumpling around the corner, but the chilli oil still packs a hell of a punch.

Szechwan chicken at Post Deng Cafe

My favourite dish at Post-Deng is the Sichuan Gongbao Chicken. I love the combination of the fiery dried chillies, the salty peanuts and the vinegary sauce.

Ma Po Tofu at Post-Deng

B-f-K and I also ordered the Ma Po Tofu, another favourite Sichuan dish of mine. Rather unusually, the pork in the dish was not minced but barbequed then chopped into tiny pieces. It was perfectly acceptable, but easily outclassed by the memories of the ma po tofu I had at Lau's Family Kitchen - speaking of LFK, it's been nearly a YEAR since my one and only visit... hot damn, it's high time I headed back there! Anyone fancy a jaunt down to St Kilda? :)

Pork and eggplant at Post Deng Cafe

One dish that Post-Deng DOES do with minced pork is the Yuxiang Chilli Eggplant. If you avoid all that excess oil, this dish is really very good, I love the consistency of the eggplant. The food at Post-Deng is reasonably priced at the mid-range of Chinatown prices (and their lunchtime special menu is even better value for money) - recommended if you want a chilli fix but you're not feeling quite sadomasochistic enough for "Dainty" Sichuan!

Post-Deng Cafe interior


Cindy said...

We saw the 39 Steps on Friday night and it has been one of the highlights of our MTC subscription!

stickyfingers said...

Of all the MTC plays we've seen this season the 39 Steps was certainly the most entertaining, though Holding the Man tugged at the heart strings the most and dissolved me into a blubbering heap.

We ate at the Art's Centre's Curve Bar before seeing the 39 Steps and it was excellent, if a little manic. Usually we see an early show and then hit a pub or one of the Asian venues in Sth Melb or St.Kilda afterwards.

Johanna said...

Oh I would love to see the 39 Steps - loved the film but just don't get myself organised to see plays lately - glad you enjoyed it and like the quirky look of this place!

claire said...

Hi gals! It just so happens that I was also at that performance on Friday night Cindy - I knew I wanted to see the play a second time but when I'd rung up on Thursday morning to book tickets I found out that every remaining performance was sold out - but then my friend Matt texted me inviting me to accompany him and use his spare ticket! It was just as much fun the second time... :)

Oh sticky - I saw Holding the Man too. Laughed lots in the first half, cried for just about all of the second half, sobbed openly (albeit silently) when Tim holds himself responsible for infecting the man he loved... so sad but so good! My third ticket in my mini-subscription is for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - it's my favourite Williams play, can't wait!

Alas Johanna as I wrote about all remaining performances are sold out! The film is wonderful though, isn't it? I watched it for the first time in years a month ago and was delighted to see how it still stands the test of time. Awesome profile pic, by the way! :)

cathy said...

Hooray!! I have been wanting to get to know Chinatown better, this will be a good starting point. yum.
Will have to wrangle a ticket for 39 Steps.. my mum and dad are taking my sister on Friday.

And last but not least (I hope),

claire said...

Hey Cathy! Beg, borrow or steal a ticket, it's a giddy romp. Glad to see you've finally started your food blog! The javascript thingy isn't working on my dumb work computer, but I'll add a link on my page to your blog when I get home... :)