Past the buns, the menu is an eclectic melange of Hong Kong-style curries and congee, Malay laksas and Macanese rice dishes. If there is a thread to the menu, it is Asian consolation meals. The costs are comfy too, with a eager eye on the scholar market.
Though Tuan Tuan is cheap, the aesthetic gestures in direction of sensible French brasseries with broadsheet menus clasped in old style newspaper holders, upholstered banquettes, and grand excessive ceilings which shelter a sizeable tree. Ordering is by way of tick-a-box notice sheets.
I cherished the turnip cake, a dim sum basic that is really made with radish and is fried to a golden crisp. It is served with the restaurant’s personal XO sauce. Ask for extra of this pungent condiment to spark up the mild, comforting congee, a rice porridge served with Chinese language doughnuts.
Hong Kong curries are gentle, flavoured with curry powder and coconut milk; this wealthy base is a advantageous foil for the crunch of a breaded pork cutlet.
All of the laksas have a seafood base, filled with flavour because of rockling bones, pork bones and a three-hour cook dinner, smoothed right into a creamy broth with the addition of soy milk. The soup combos ($18) embody an unlimited bowl of noodle-rich laksa, rooster wings and a drink. The one drawback with the largesse is that it’s onerous to eat this and a serve of snow buns.
I had hassle falling in love with the Macanese rice bakes. The meals of Macau is a fusiony whirl, melding Portuguese and Chinese language flavours with influences from all over the place Portuguese colonists plundered. Tuan Tuan focuses on creamy baked dishes. I’ve little question that crab stick and rice beneath a cloying sauce would make Macanese expats weepily joyful but it surely made me consider pre-Deliveroo TV dinners.
The franchisee for this primary Australian Tuan Tuan is Clarion Xie, who additionally owns the mega-successful Dessert Kitchen in Little Bourke Road. She’s introduced her metropolis eatery’s signature shaved ice desserts to Carlton. Fruit is mixed with milk, frozen and carved into smooth, silky, icy drapes in a purpose-built machine. They seem to be a bit magical.
A liquor licence is pending however within the meantime, benefit from the kooky mixture of espresso, tea and evaporated milk, common in each Hong Kong and Malaysia, and nearly as good an emblem as something for the optimistic and energetic medley that’s Tuan Tuan.