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Monday, January 16, 2017

Yang Tz River, Eastwood

Jajangmyeon Korean Chinese black bean noodle at Yang Tz River in Eastwood

If you’ve ever watched a Korean drama – and if you haven’t, you should – there would have been at least one scene featuring black bean noodles. In South Korea, jajangmyeon is as ubiquitous as pizza – cheap, fast, home-delivered and hugely popular with anyone too lazy to cook. The dish has its roots in the Shandong dish zhajiangmian, but now it’s a Korean Chinese classic made with thick ropes of wheat noodles sauced up with sweetened black bean paste, chunks of pork and loads of onion. Its near-black appearance also makes it a nationwide favourite on Black Day, when singles meet up to commiserate on April 14 each year.

Jajangmyeon Korean Chinese black bean noodle ready to mix at Yang Tz River in Eastwood
Ganjjajang black bean noodles $15

But if you’re not toasting to dinner for one you can try jajangmyeon and other Korean Chinese food at Yang Tz River in Eastwood (also spelled Yangtze on the door), one of the few restaurants in Sydney focussing on the fusion cuisine that dates back to the late 1800s. We bet most people walk straight past the entrance – there are two and both feature nondescript staircases leading up from the street. Inside the dated dining room you’ll find the place filled with homesick Koreans getting their jajangmyeon fix, which is a very good sign.

Black bean pork and onion on top of noodles - Jajangmyeon Korean Chinese bean noodle at Yang Tz River in Eastwood
Ganjjajang black bean noodles ready to mix

Jajangmyeon is good, but for maximum credibility, upgrade to the fancier ganjjajang ($15) and the kitchen will panfry a load of diced vegetables into a thicker black bean sauce. Just like jajangmeyon, the sauce and the noodles arrive separately so you can mix them together in ratios that please you.

Mixing Jajangmyeon Korean Chinese black bean noodle at Yang Tz River in Eastwood
Tossing together the ganjjajang black bean noodles 

Jajangmyeon Korean Chinese black bean noodle ready to eat at Yang Tz River in Eastwood
Ganjjajang black bean noodles ready to eat

Traditional accompaniments to jajangmyeon and ganjjajang are kimchi, slices of yellow pickled daikon and raw onion that you dip in black bean sauce. Eat them in between mouthfuls of the oily noodles.

Adding mustard sauce to yang jang pi at Yang Tz River in Eastwood
Yang jang pi seafood and vegetable noodles $16

Like throwing your food around? Order the yang jang pi ($16) and you can mess up a neatly arranged rainbow of prawns, squid, mussels, jellyfish, octopus, vegetables and stir-fried noodles into one big glorious muddle. Then you need to add as much sinus-clearing mustard sauce as you can handle.

Tossing together the yang jang pi with mustard at Yang Tz River in Eastwood
Tossing together the seafood, vegetables and noodles with mustard sauce

Yang jang pi seafood and vegetables at Yang Tz River in Eastwood
Yang jang pi seafood and vegetable noodles

Ggan poong gi sweet and sticky Korean fried chicken at Yang Tz River in Eastwood
Ggan poong gi sweet and spicy Korean fried chicken $26

Sure you could cave into ordering lemon chicken, chop suey or shredded beef, but if you do you’ll be missing out on what every other family in the joint knows, which is that you should order the ggan poong gi ($26). The reward is a jumble of deep fried chicken fillets drenched in a sweet and sticky spicy sauce.

Korean fried chicken, yang jang pi seafood vegetable salad and jajangmyeon black bean noodle at Yang Tz River in Eastwood


Yang Tz River Chinese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yang Tz River
22 Railway Parade, Eastwood, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9874 6557

Open daily 12pm-9pm


This article appeared in the December 2016 issue of Time Out Sydney. Read online here or read more of my Time Out Sydney reviews.

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 1/16/2017 02:03:00 am


6 Comments:

  • At 1/16/2017 8:06 am, Blogger K said…

    You're right about not knowing the existence of this place despite Eastwood being one of our locals! Need to get me some of that black bean noodles; been wanting some ever since (ta da!) I watched a Korean TV rom-com-drama about food ;)

     
  • At 1/16/2017 3:34 pm, Blogger Nicholas Jordan said…

    Looks great. Also I think this is the first time I've read jajangmyeon. I've always spelt if jajameon in my head.

     
  • At 1/17/2017 10:42 am, Anonymous Bianca@forfoodssake said…

    I've always had a soft spot for black bean! I had a life changing black bean dish at Spice Temple years ago!! My optometrist is in Eastwood, I'll have to add this to the list :)

     
  • At 1/17/2017 7:35 pm, Blogger Ramen Raff said…

    That jjajangmyeon looks super mashita!

     
  • At 1/20/2017 7:14 pm, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    That's one super saucy bowl of noodles!

     
  • At 1/25/2017 11:57 am, Anonymous John | heneedsfood said…

    I love it when you sniff out little neighbourhood gems like this. If I was in Sydney right now, I'd be heading there this weekend. I need some decent noodles!

     

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