I was waking up from an epic sleep-in on Saturday morning when I got a text from Captain Awesome.
“Hey are you going to that robot restaurant today??”
I usually consider myself relatively informed about new restaurant openings, but this I hadn’t heard of. Captain Awesome filled me in on the new Chinese restaurant in Chatswood which has a robot chef, and that as today was their opening day, they would be giving out free bowls of the signature pork mince noodles to the first 88 customers.
I was sold, and clearly Captain Awesome was as well as she’d been waiting for them to open since 10.30am that morning. So we drove out to join her to check out this robot chef in action.
Captain Awesome and a few others had already snagged a table by the time we got there, so we walked right on in, missing the robot chef, and joined them. The restaurant was pretty full and busy, with lots of staff on the floor to help out on the first day of trade.
The menu consists of Northern Chinese specialties, with a focus on dumplings and handmade noodles. We each chose a noodle and also ordered some dumplings to share.
The xiao long bao were the first to arrive – there’s some stiff competition in the XLB arena in Chatswood with the likes of Din Tai Fung and New Shanghai, but Mrs Mi’s XLBs are damn good and are a serious contender. The dumpling skins were thin, with several pleats at the top, yet were sturdy enough to hold the flavoursome soup inside.
All the noodles at Mrs Mi are sliced by the robot chef into a pot of boiling water. There’s a choice of having your noodles in broth or dry. The braised pork belly noodles had some fatty and tender pieces of pork, and some green Chinese vegetables thrown in for good measure. Even though this was a “dry noodle” dish, it still had enough of the braising liquid to coat the noodles with sauce.
The beef brisket and tendon noodles were a warm and comforting bowl of thick sliced noodles, swimming in a beef broth. The soup could have had a bit more flavour, and there were only two pieces of brisket and tendon each, but the noodles were nice and chewy with a good bite to them.
There were a few variants of the beef brisket noodles on the menu, including this one with tomato, which added a different dimension of flavour to the soup.
The pork wontons with chilli oil were also plump and flavoursome, with the chilli oil providing a nice spicy kick. Though they were a bit dry on the surface, it was nothing that couldn’t be fixed with a dousing in the chilli oil.
The last dish we tried was the signature pork mince with noodles, which was the promotional bowl of noodles that were being offered to customers on their opening day. This to me seemed like Mrs Mi’s take on zha jian mian with the pork mince, preserved vegetables and cucumber matchsticks. The thick and saucy pork mince coated the noodles well, making for a tasty dish.
We finally caught sight of the robot chef on our way out. I thought it was kind of creepy that it had a humanoid face and was amusingly dressed in a Blues jersey, but it did slice the noodles very quickly and consistently, meaning that the noodles at Mrs Mi will always be reliably good!
Shop 40B Lower Ground
Chatswood Chase Shopping Centre
345 Victoria Ave
Chatswood NSW 2076
Ph: +61 2 9904 6375
Open 7 days, 11am to 8.30pm