chicken stewed in ginseng and herbs soup

Noodlies, Sydney food blog hasn’t been to Hurstville for a year or so and I’m looking forward to today’s day trip.  Still trying to get over a cold, I headed directly for First Taste Chinese restaurant, their specialty is health giving ‘stewed herbs’.  I was hoping for some chicken feet soup (surely it’s so bad it’s medicinal?), but alas, by 1pm they’ve sold out!  I settle for chicken stewed in ginseng and herbs soup.  The dish comes out in a tall, covered china cup.  When the lid is removed I see chicken pieces in a clear amber soup.  I was fearing that strong Chinese medicine taste, but the clear soup is clean, not too bitter, sweet or salty, yet still very tasty.  The chicken pieces are boney which, I think, is meant to give the soup more flavour.  I’m liking it a lot, the soup makes me super hungry and delivers a placebo-like effect – I feel immediately stronger and healthier.

black bean sacue spare ribs with rice

Now, very, very hungry, I order the hearty black bean sauce spare ribs and rice claypot.  It’s a huge dish that’s a steal for just $7.80 – I usually don’t care too much about prices, but this is cheap!  The ribs are delicious, piping hot, tender, thoroughly absorbing the black bean sauce.  Speaking of sauce, it’s tasty, but mercifully isn’t over the top. And the rice is fluffy on top and burnt around the pot – I love burnt rice (in moderation).

First Taste is a big win on this Hurstville day trip.  The staff are friendly and the food is delicious, comforting, some might say ‘healthy’.  While not on my radar until today, First Taste seems to be a relatively successful chain of Chinese restaurant located in the ‘burbs and outside the CBD spotlight. There’s another branch in Campsie and three others in Melbourne: Springvale, Footscray and Box Hill.

First Taste Chinese Restaurant
316 Forest Road, Hurstville
8065 2178

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