[LAST UPDATED JUNE 2013]
Avoid the precooked stuff in the bogan-marie on the front counter, leave it for Kath'n'Kim. Order from the menu on the wall behind the nice ladies. There's a mix of Aussie Chinese stir-fries, noodle soups, laksas, plus a handful of more interesting dishes that you don't see everywhere. Prices may be a dollar or two more than other stalls but the servings are generous and the food is very well cooked. Lots of Chinese folks eat here so fear no loss of street cred.
MC Golden Tower is quite a clean looking stall in the cleanest food court in Chinatown (which is good or bad depending on your point of view). If you're a nervous eater who wants to dip a toe into the world of Chinatown food courts, then MC Golden Tower may be a good place to start.
Fillet steak in special sauce - $11.80. A top shelf price for a food court food but it's pretty darn good Aussie style Chinese. A generous serve of steak slices, nice and tender (probably softened with the old bi-carb trick, nothing wrong with that), and perfectly cooked is a sweet plum-like sauce. This is what Shawn eats when Alison lets him out unsupervised.
Fish ball noodle soup - $9.50 + $1 for three wontons and the truth. A nice broth, not too salty with good fixin's.
Duck with mushroom noodle soup - $11.50. A generous serve of duck for the price, a full maryland. The dried mushroom is the star of the show, soaked in the wonderful light fivespice-like flavours of the broth, pity there's only one. There's a blood cube in there which tastes best when removed from Shawn's bowl and placed in Alison's bowl, she likes her offal.
Mapo Tofu Chicken and Prawns - $10.80. A twist on the classic saucy, spicy tofu dish. It's more southern style mapo tofu, more chili than Szechuan pepper. Served with rice, very filling. Highly recommended.
Chinese veggies - $4.80. See mum, we are being healthy.
Crispy noodle with chicken - $10.80. A plain chicken stir fry on top of a nest of super crunchy fried noodles. It's like chow-mein on steroids. The noodles are great either straight up crunchy or soaked in the soupy sauce, or halfway in between.
Bitter melon black bean pork rib (or chicken) with rice - $9.80. We saw a tops old Chinese lady order this so we had to try it, but we discovered bitter melon is, well, bitter. Not for us but we're glad we tried it.
[UPDATED JUNE 2013]
Fillet steak in golden wasabi sauce - $11. Mr Shawn had high hopes for this one but it was very much in the style of Australian country Chinese. There was only a hint of wasabi in the sauce. Meh.
MC Golden Tower is at Market City Food Court, Chinatown - top floor of Market City Shopping Centre, above Paddy's Markets.