Chinese food is Aussie as
Updated: Jun 9, 2018
Chinese cuisine has a bit of a PR problem.
It was once the Britney Spears-esque darling of the dining-out domain in the suburbs of Australia. It was a shining star that was, until Thai, Indian, Mexican and many more food styles steeped in culture, swooped in like Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry and Cardi B. Those limelight-stealing vixens!
A 2016 Roy Morgan poll reported that Chinese is still Australia’s most popular cuisine, with 70.4% rating it as their favourite. Now, not to disparage hard data, but I’m calling BS on that.
Once upon a time, it was considered way exotic. The fish and chip shop aside, if you were eating out in suburban Australia in the 80s, you were going out for Chinese. End of story. Women (who were the still doing most of the cooking back then) were shaking it up in their kitchens too, with their sweet and sour pork, honey chicken and oriental crockery. Not to mention …
This may have been the pinnacle of Cantonese and Mandarin charisma in ‘Straya but it sure wasn’t the beginning.
According to Aunty Wiki …Chinese food began to be established in Australia during the middle of the 19th century by Chinese indentured labourers on outback stations, many found work there as cooks and also in country pubs. Chinese migration to Australia massively increased with the gold rushes during the 1850s, and some of these migrants opened food stores providing hot meals to Chinese gold diggers.
Apparently, by 1890 a third of all cooks in Aussie were Chinese, and can we all just say a little prayer of thanks that by the 1970s, Chinese restaurants were established in many country towns and all cities. If it wasn’t for them, many of us would have still had to endure meat and three veg. Every. Damn. Night.
So, cut to 2018 and Chinese is now considered baseline in the food diversity stakes. Yep, it’s so integrated into our eating-out expectations, even the most picky ass eaters (i.e. kids) generally eat it without fuss.
There are plenty of neighbourhood Chinese restaurants around these parts. And they still seem to hold their own despite having to duel it out with the the likes of those Aguileras, Perrys, Cardi Bs, ... as well as Greek, Italian, Japanese, Moroccan, Lebanese, Portuguese and French establishments – not to mention the contemporary Australian cuisine that just keeps innovating its face off.
Two neighbourhood Chinese restaurants in the Hills still worth a visit are in Winston Hills. Fortuna Gardens in the Mall, and Golden West Chinese Restaurant on Rebecca Parade both have staff that trip over themselves to make you feel welcome. They also continue to serve sumptuous sizzlers; hardy, spicy flavours; and everything you know Special Fried Rice to be. Plus, who doesn’t love Fortune Cookies?
No surprises. Safe as houses. Home and hosed. And sometimes, that’s exactly what you need.
Fortuna Gardens - Winston Hills Mall, 1/190 Caroline Chisholm Dr, Winston Hills
7 days, 12.15-3pm | 5-10pm
02 9838 8988
Golden West Chinese Restaurant - 9-13 Rebecca Parade, Winston Hills
Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday, Monday 5-9.30pm
Friday, Saturday 5-10pm
02 9838 7033
What’s your Hills neighbourhood Chinese restaurant of choice?