Tender and juicy pork hock, marinated and slow cooked for four hours in a traditional clay pot... I know why this is the signature dish at Peng-You Kitchen Bar at Gasworks, Newstead.
It's a mother/son operation between Joyce Chiu of Obssession Chinese at South Bank and her son David Hung.
They say their recipes have been handed down through generations and I can taste the finesse in the pork hock's complex sauce and delicately scented meat. It was my favourite dish of the night but competition was stiff.
It was also hard to go past the hot-pot of tender braised beef shin, potato and carrot and even the simple chicken stir-fry with seasonal vegetables and cashew nuts, which sounds like something you might order from your local Chinese takeaway, was far above expectations.
There's plenty to interest on the menu with Taiwanese street-style fried chicken and jellyfish with poached chicken salad as two more great choices.
The drinks menu also takes an Asian slant with a traditional mojito spiced up with the addition of lemongrass topped with a chilli.
The name Peng You translates to 'friends' in Chinese and the sharing style dishes are certainly well suited to friends enjoying a meal around the table.
Peng You takes Chinese cuisine away from the fast-food approach back to home-style cooking. The quality ingredients and traditional methods at Peng You really shine through.
Joyce very graciously offered our table a cup of refreshing Chinese tea after our meal and promised it would make us all younger and healthier (Only joking). It was a very pleasant and generous way to end our evening. Thank you Joyce.
Dining on the outside tables at Peng You has the added advantage of a great view of the Gasometer and it's lightshow.
Best tip: There's free live music at the adjacent Gasometer from 2.30 to 5.30 pm on Sundays.
Bottom line: Starters are around $12 and share dishes around $35.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK paid for this meal