When we lived the semi-affluent life in a woolstore apartment in Teneriffe, there was a regular Chinese restaurant that we used to go to called Merthyr Cafe. We moved away from the area and visits reduced to every once in a while and finally, when we noticed it had closed down. I forgot about this place but just yesterday, bumped into the owners Winnie and Richard at Coles New Farm and they told me that after a break they just reopened 3 weeks ago at a new location on Brunswick St in familiar New Farm (across the road from Cafe Del’ Ugo and Anise). I visited today and was greeted with a huge smile by Winnie. We were happy to find it was the same quality, even the menu with Winnie and Richard’s smile on the cover is the same. The fitout is brand new and the open air atmosphere is very approachable and inviting. People glance at the well displayed promotional poster at shop front and are naturally drawn into the vibe created by happy local diners. As with before, although there is some compromise in the menu to cater for patrons seeking fare they are accustomed to (such as Mongolian Lamb etc), the taste is not westernized and subtle delicate flavouring is the characteristic of Richard’s master Shandong style cooking.
Sorry for the pictures being half way through our meals but we ordered mixed vegetable chow mein, salt & pepper quail, sweet corn & chicken soup, hot & sour soup, beef Richard style, and fried rice richard style. My wife’s recollection was of Richard’s delicate flavouring especially well expressed in his hot & sour soup and she was delighted to taste that it was true to our fond memory. Beef Richard’s Style was a great match with our dry Grandin Brut NV (they are BYO for the time being). Flavoured with curry powder and blackbean, the beef was tender and moist and onions were still very crunchy but just turning sweet. Fried Rice was freshly made with the accent of soy sauce creating it a bit more aromatic. They are open 7 days and we plan on moving closer to the city so we’ll be seeing more of Richard and Winnie!