There are heaps of places to eat opposite Market City (and inside, as a matter of fact), but I’ve never bothered going into Minh Hai.
Not to be confused with its namesake on George St (or should it be?), Minh Hai is just around the corner from Chinatown, where the staff are friendly (if not persistent), and they know their regulars’ dishes by heart.
The interior is pretty clean for a BBQ shop (I had photos, but as I have complained about ten times already, my phone camera has destroyed them :( ), and there are empty bottles of wine, bamboo waterfalls and various pot plants dotting the back of the shop.
The payment counter is underneath a small pegoda decorated with white Christmas snowflakes, and just behind are brightly coloured photos of pearl milk tea and lemon tea.
What Jenny first thought was rusty cutlery turned out to be gold forks and spoons – an interesting touch.
Also interesting are the mini TVs hoisted up on the walls behind every odd table – we thought we were hearing voices, until we realised it was just an ad from the TV playing in our ear. :S
Complimentary Chinese tea
We were given only a single glass of boiling, almost translucent, Chinese tea, I think because I also ordered a cup of hot honey lemon in addition.
Honey lemon – $3
This teeny tiny mug wasn’t exactly piping hot, and you get an overload of sweet sensation from the very first sip – way too much honey for such a small cup. Then again, if you ask for more hot water, problem’s solved. :)
When looking through the menu, you can see the “Famous Fried Chicken” seal displayed proudly on the top left hand corner, but mindful of the fact that I was in a BBQ shop, I decided to order one of my favourites – stir fried rice noodle with beef – but with duck instead.
Stirfried rice noodle with duck – $10.80 (i think)
The rice noodle was crispy (which IMO is quite irregular for rice noodle), and it wasn’t too oily, either. There were shallots, bean sprouts, onions, and a few pieces of tender roast duck, all sprinkled with sesame seeds and probably cooked in sesame oil. For a BBQ store, the duck was nothing extraordinary, but it wasn’t too shabby, either.
Roast Duck Noodle Soup – $9.80
MSG and oil soup – a signature of any Chinese noodle dish. As well as egg noodle and chewy pieces of duck, there were also pieces of baby bok choy. Just eating the duck made me feel as if I’d kissed a plate of oil (no need for lip gloss at this place :D), but the baby bok choy tasted fresh and crunchy.
For a relatively small place, the service is definitely big-hearted, and definitely a friendly place worth going back to.
BBQ Minh Hai (明海烧腊), Chinatown (visited 01/06/09)
92 Hay St, Haymarket
Ph: (02) 9281 9720