We were having ramen and Indo food at Dixon House Food Court when Daph and I were side-tracked by the long queue at Yang Guo Fu Malatang. I spotted this queue many times before, but I never dared to actually try it out because there isn’t a menu displayed, staff only speak Mandarin, and the whole process just seems daunting.
Daph consulted good old Google, and thanks to Noodlies’s video, she figured out that you get a bowl and tongs, pick your veggies, noodles, tofu, fish balls, and the like from the supermarket-style display of ingredients. They then weigh your bowl (we pay just under $14 for what we’ve selected), and you tell them whether you’re eating in or taking away. You get a number, which they’ll call when ready. Once you pick up your bowl of delicious soup, they’ll ask if you want the sauces, and your best bet is just to say yes to all of them.
When we sit down in front of our steaming soup, we’re genuinely excited. It looks kind of like a laksa, but has more depth of flavor. The hum of sichuan pepper is almost immediately numbing, but there’s a lot more going on with garlic, sesame paste, and a bit of sourness, too. For anyone who doesn’t like spicy food, this is probably not for you.
In terms of the soup contents, my favorites are the sweet potato noodles (see-through and kinda chewy, like the noodles you’d get in a Korean jap chae), potato slices, and the spongey tofu that soaks up all of the deliciously spicy broth. The veggies turn into nothing once cooked, so get way more than you think you’d need. I’m also a fan of the mushrooms and quail eggs that we choose.
Note that some of the proteins can be odd to someone who hasn’t eaten this before. There’s a cylindrical thing with a sweet taro filling that I didn’t like at all. And one of the fish rectangles has bits of oozing yellow innards (fish eggs? Cheese? Could be anything).
I’d recommend sharing one bowl between two people unless you’re utterly ravenous. You could also grab other dishes from some of the other food court stalls.
Yang Guo Fu Malatang
Shop B9, Dixon House Food Court, 413-415 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW