Shop 3, 169 Miller St
North Sydney, NSW 2060
To’s is really close to where I live, but we don’t go there often as I always have a hard time convincing Chris to go – he has this insane fascination and love for Alice’s @ Thornleigh (I’ve made a gazillion posts about Alice’s, so I won’t bother linking it here).. and he firmly believes no Singaporean/Malaysian restaurant comes close to Alice’s.
Anyway, finally managed to convince him to go today. We decided to walk there and it was cold and raining, so I regretted the decision to walk. Seeing the neon “To’s Malaysian Gourmet” sign was definitely a relief! They weren’t as busy as usual (normally packed to the absolute brim with people), probably because of the weather.
I should start off by saying that the food at To’s (it’s pronounced Toes by the way!) is a bit of a hit and miss. Some of the food is spot-on authentic, whereas some of the other dishes have VERY OBVIOUSLY been modified to suit the Australian taste. One such absurd dish is their Char Kway Teow – which Chris ordered many months ago when we last visited. See, Chris is the Char Kway Teow king. Or, as he likes to say, a Char Kway Teow connoisseur. He was dismayed, horrified and disgusted when his Char Kway Teow turned out to be a normal Australian-ised version of mere “fried rice noodles”. Personally, I thought it was quite good. But he was expecting REAL Char Kway Teow, so nothing else would suffice. After that particular episode, he wrote To’s off as a scummy place that “cheated me ‘cos they think I’m just a white boy and don’t know what char kway teow is!!”
Having said that, I’ve had their Laksa and Prawn Mee and both were utterly fantastic and authentic. Just as good as Alice’s. This time, I decided to have their Char Hor Fun, which I’d had before and completely fell in love with. NOWHERE else in Sydney will you find this dish. It is exactly like what you would get in Singapore, and hasn’t been modified or changed in any way. It’s perfect! It comes with tons of gravy and the slightly burnt flavour of the wok-fried rice noodles is just so yum :)~ I happily tucked into the whole dish – $10 for a pretty big helping, not too bad.
Chris decided on the Hainanese Chicken Rice, and we nearly had another disaster 😛 When he got the dish, we promptly did a quick check to make sure it was authentic:
White poached chicken? Check.
Rich, flavourful rice cooked in chicken fat? Check.
Clear broth soup with veggies? Check.
Spicy special chilli sauce that only Hainan Chicken has? Check.
Thick black soy sauce that Hainan Chicken is always served with? NOT THERE!!!
Scowling, Chris quickly asked the guy where his soy sauce was. The guy said “Oh, we don’t serve chicken rice with that sauce” WHAT?!?!?! That is the entire POINT of chicken rice! I think he just told Chris that because he assumed Chris would have no idea. Unfortunately for him, Chris knows exactly what is required of Singaporean dishes, and promptly insisted on “the thick soy sauce that is ALWAYS served with chicken rice, not the normal soy sauce”. Finally, they gave him some thick soy sauce, but it was the cooking sort and not the proper sweeter version. Hahhaha! 😛 I was quite amused with it all 😛
Anyway, the chicken rice was really fabulous.. the rice was all squishy and soft and full of the flavour of being cooked in chicken fat (mmmm…), and they gave TONS of chicken! The chilli sauce was also terrific and it made a lovely, hearty lunch. My only worry is that I’ll have a hard time convincing Chris to go there again after he haughtily declared they “weren’t very Singaporean at all.” Haha! I still like them.. and they’re a 3 min drive away, compared to 40 mins if we drive to Alice’s :X
Char hor fun
Hainanese Chicken Rice
Chris, too busy eating, so he refused to look up!
All full up!
Dessert was cupcakes!
Pink – vanilla with buttercream frosting. So fluffy and light. This was Chris’ favourite.
Yellow – Sticky date with cream cheese frosting. All rich and chewy, my fave!
I’m kinda full now… Cooking dinner tonight though, will post pics later!