Away from the bustle of the Friday Night Markets on Dixon St, where they also have a stall, Red Charcoal BBQ does a great trade in fiery morsels of meat. Most Fridays we pass by Red Charcoal BBQ and there is a large table full of happy eaters sharing platters of skewers. There are sticks everywhere and cans of Passiona seem to be the beverage of choice.
This is serious skewer business, where any and every animal bit is threaded and BBQ'd and coated in spicy chili and salt. Does this lady love Sydney? You bet!
Red Charcoal also does a hearty Malatang hotpot. $9.95 gets you a steaming bowl of pepper infused soup with a smorgasbord of meats and veggies. It comes from the Sichuan region of China, where you choose your skewers and eat the contents in the broth and noodles. Here the contents are picked out for you from a fresh selection of bamboo shoots, tofu, quail eggs, bean curd sheets, celery, greens, cloud ear fungus, clear noodles, ham of mystery, tripe, needle mushrooms (enoki) and seaweed, with a generous dollop of chili on top.
Three Prawn skewers ($5), straight impaled and crispy enough to eat the lot, heads and all, and grilled until soft eggplant pieces ($5) sprinkled with chili, salt, sugar, sesame and caraway seeds.
The king of Chinese BBQ - five lamb skewers ($8) with a good kick of chili heat and red oil that leaves a streak across your cheek as you rip the meat off. Fatty bits on the inside help keep the meat moist while it grills. Other skewer choices includes all the great chicken bits (hearts and giblets), straight up chicken meat, beef and octopus as well as seaweed, chives, mushrooms and vegetables. Most are around 3 for $5 or 5 for $8.
We also notice this huge hotplate getting fired up and an unusual dish cooked before you while you wait - Chinese pancakes. These guys are $6 each and have a thin crepe batter with an egg waved over the top, bits of you tiao (Chinese fried bread stick), fresh coriander leaves and pieces of a pressed ham like meat. A coat of hoisin adds some saucy flavour, its rolled together and devoured steaming hot.
Instant hangover cure.
Red Charcoal BBQ will be closed for renovations from 3 October 2011 to 30 October 2011. Their market stall will continue to operate as usual on Friday nights.
Eating World Food Court is at 25-29 Dixon St, Haymarket\Chinatown.
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