It’s good to have friends who go with the flow. We know people who, when we’ve taken them out for a meal and start walking through a food court, haven’t batted an eye.
Now normally, I wouldn’t be recommending that you take your friends to a food court (not in Australia anyway). But there is always the exception and ecpot is it.
ecpot is a little restaurant that opens out to the food court in the QV building (it’s next to Officeworks and across from Dan Murphys). If you’re lucky, you get to sit in the restaurant. If you’re unlucky, then you sit in the food court! Despite the location, it’s not food court food.
There’s quite an extensive menu, but we go mostly for the clay pots. Clay pot cooking is a traditional Chinese way of cooking where clay pots are lined with raw rice and then ingredients are added on top. These are then cooked on a low heat. They take a bit of time to cook (a minimum of 15 minutes) but are well worth the wait. And if you order a couple of non clay pot dishes, you can request for these to come out first.
On our last meal there, we had several clay pots, plus other dishes off the menu.
This was the stir fried rockling fillet with chinese broccoli ($15.80). The fish was tender and flakey, and the chinese broccoli still had a pleasing crunch.
The stir fried kung po chicken ($15.80) was packed full of dried chilli and onions. With all the chillies, it looked like this dish was going to blow our heads off. Fortunately, it wasn’t too spicy and gave the chicken a slight kick.
The chinese sausage on glutinous rice clay pot ($10.80) is one of my favourites. Chinese sausage (lap cheung) is a dried, hard sausage that is normally made from pork. It has a high fat content, is normally smoked and is sweeter than a normal sausage. This dish does benefit from some soy sauce. Sometimes the staff will automatically bring soy sauce, but sometimes you have to ask.
The curry beef on rice clay pot ($10.10) is beef and potatoes on top of rice in a mild Japanese style curry. It’s so fragrant and moreish.
This is the clay pot with beef in black pepper sauce ($10.10). The tender slices of beef and snow peas come covered in a peppery sauce on top of the rice.
The best part about clay pots is the layer of rice that cooks on the very bottom. It crisps up and becomes a crunchy rice cake. When you’ve reached the bottom, you must pry off the crunchy rice – it’s delicious!
This was the deep fried calamari and scallops in spicy salt ($18.80). It’s hard to go wrong with anything deep fried and covered with a spicy salt! The calamari and scallops were tender and with a right amount of salt – not too much, not too little.
Char kway teoh ($9.20) is one of my favourite things to eat. The version at ecpot is full of chinese sausage, prawns, fish cake, squid and bean shoots and normally it’s a fairly decent version. The one we had on this occasion wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. I found it a bit lacking in spice and seasoning when normally it’s pretty spicy and tasty with the smokiness from the wok.
There’s no desserts, but there are some fancy (or odd) drinks (pictures of them are above the counter). We always finish off the meal with a mango sago drink, which is made with mango nectar, coconut milk/cream and sago which is a better combination than it sounds. Although, it has been remarked by others that it resembles frog spawn, so I think you need to like bubble drinks. Or else you enjoy sucking down frog spawn after a meal!
QV Urban Market, Shop 7, Level 1, 210 Lonsdale Street
Phone: 9663 8319