First of all, please forgive me for these shocking hideous pictures. I didn't bring along a proper DSLR camera and only had a point-n-shoot compact digital camera. Hence, this is the best I can do.
Second of all, if you are a Chinese food nazi and absolutely despise sweet and sour sauce, black bean sauce and honey prawn, DO NOT READ FURTHER! This post is a shocker!
And thirdly, this is not a movie set, it is a real Chinese restaurant.
You still with me? Good, let's brace ourselves and have some Chinese at Wan Wah Restaurant in Forbes!
They estimated 8,000 attendees at the Parkes Elvis Festival this year, while the population of the town is only 13,000; things were getting chaotic. Especially when it comes to finding a restaurant that is not fully booked. Food options in country town like Parkes are limited and we are all a bit over fried food and more fried food from the leagues club.
Despite the recommendations from the local how good the food are at the Chinese restaurants in Parkes, we all have a pretty good idea what to expect of the food on the menu. But they all are fully booked anyway and we are getting desperate! We all jumped back in the cars, and drove 20mins to Forbes, the first restaurant we spotted is Wan Wah, a Chinese restaurant of course.
Things get pretty excited once we stepped inside...
We were greeted by the waitress and she welcomed us into the restaurant through the squeaky saloon door. Green porcelain tiles roof top inside the restaurant? Weird. The whole restaurant is encased in wooden veneer, topped with a luxurious maroon velvet wallpaper, brightly lit with ornate oriental lanterns. A massive poster of the JUMBO floating restaurant in Macau hanging on one wall, and the back-lit constant flowing waterfall picture on the other, which sadly malfunctioned and neglected. A lonesome couple are sitting right at the corner, having a quiet meal; didn't really pay much attention to our arrival.
The crown-folded paper napkins are rather novelty and nostalgic, I haven't seen it like this since I was a kid.
All the cliches you would expect in a Chinese restaurant; are in the restaurant.
The menu is a no brainer:
Choose Meat + Choose Sauce = Meat with Sauce
Beardman goes for the Duck with Lemon Sauce, Mr P goes for Sizzling Beef, Wingman wants Lamb in XO spicy sauce, Ms K settles on Salt and Pepper Calamari, and I go for the Deep fried Chicken with 'special' sauce. Amazingly the food arrived as exactly what it says on the menu - deep fried duck in sweet tangy lemon sauce all over; beef is sizzling on the hot plate; the lamb is hot and spicy in XO sauce; the calamari is thickly coated in salt and pepper, rather chewy; and my order is a winner - synthetic chicken schnitzel strips with the 'special sauce' in a bowl on the side. We all had no clue what the sauce is made of, although Beardman suggested it could be barbecue sauce.
We were hungry, we rather enjoyed the meal with interesting conversation topics - "If you can only choose one type of dish or food to review and nothing else, what will you choose?" Wingman asked.
"Nachos", Ms K answered and she thinks everyone does different style of Nachos.
"Hot and Sour soup," Beardman answered as he had so many of this soup during his China trip and all taste differently.
"...", Mr P still thinking.
"Char Kuey Teow", I replied. I believe that's the only dish I can eat over and over again and never get sick of. And also there are many varieties out there I am yet to try.
"..., it will be a type of dessert", Mr P answered. The sweet tooth has spoken.
"I think I will go for BBQ Pork. So many restaurants do BBQ pork and all taste differently. Just BBQ Pork and rice, yeah..." Wingman said. I agreed.
At this point, my tongue is rather bit numb from the MSG and more fried, battered meat. It will never be a proper Chinese meal without the proper Chinese dessert. Fried banana fritter with vanilla ice cream for Ms K, Lychee ice cream for the Beardman, while the rest go for the good ole Fried Ice Cream in Chocolate or Caramel sauce.
The banana fritter ice cream arrived first, in a silvery metal bowl, looks just like the medical kidney tray, "Oh, how Adriano Zumbo!" (refer to this post at chocolatesuze) Then, the lychee ice cream, and yep, the dessert consists of "lychee", and "ice cream". The fried ice cream is nothing to rave about, refreshing nonetheless.
I actually hesitated for quite a while whether I should write this post up as I know I probably sound like an evil person with such harsh review. But I just think it is rather unnecessary for a country town restaurants to serve processed meat where fresh meat and vegetables are right on the doorstep at the farm. People should really aware of what they eat, especially when Australia is slowly climbing and ranked #6 on the fattest country in the world.
We left the restaurant and headed back to our hotel, full but thirsty from the MSG. I had to buy a bottle of water to quench the thirst afterward. I probably will not eat in a Chinese restaurant in a country town ever again if I have the choice.
Wan Wah Chinese Restaurant
70 Lachlan St, Forbes, NSW, 2871
Phone Number: (02) 68522161