Pu'er | Waterloo

Pu'er is an Asian eatery inspired by Chinese tea houses.
Opened for both lunch and dinner 6 days a week, so there's no excuse not to visit Pu'er!   
After inspection of the menu, it is evident that Pu'er and their team of chefs had their thinking caps on whilst constructing the dishes. It is easy to see how the items on this menu have been inspired not only by China, but other specific regions of Asia such as Thailand and Vietnam! You would need a couple of visits to Pu'er to enjoy the full range of items. One sitting is definitely not enough stomach space!

What a cute way to reserve a table? Love it!

The restaurant is fairly small, although it offers customers the option to dine both inside or outside on their balcony. We opted to sit inside because the d├ęcor is absolutely lovely.

Osmanthus Pheonix
Intense, fresh and sweet aroma of the Osmanthus with mango and peach after-taste
The name Pu'er comes from the tea leave "pu-erh". So immediately you know what to expect when dining. The tea is definitely worth noting. Not only do they commence a tea ceremony when they bring it to your table, but the tea itself is very refreshing. It is pleasantly laid out in a neat little set which can be re-infused to further enhance the tea flavour. 

The first taste of the tea was very aromatic, and there was a sweet after-taste as the menu mentioned. However after third of fourth infusion, we started to taste less of an after-taste.

I love the menu layout; start off with tea steamed dumplings, work your way through the street food selection followed by share plates and make sure to save room for dessert!!

From the dumpling menu, we selected the Scallop and Shanghai tea steamed dumpling.

Scallop tea steamed dumpling
Hong Kong style of prawn, scallop and baby bamboo dumpling in a yellow egg pastry
The pastry was chewy and has the same texture as "har gow" dumpling and the flavour worked well. The scallops were on the small side but they tasted fresh. Would order this dish again!

Shanghai tea steamed dumpling
Pork, chinese cabbage and soup dumpling, serve with black vinegar and ginger julienne.
This dumpling was a mix between a Xiao Long Bao and a pan fried dumpling. It had the texture of a Xiao Long Bao but the thickness of a pan fried dumpling and surprisingly it worked. However the soup inside was the real winner. We could feast on nothing but dumplings and black vinegar, Matt was able to polish these off quite quickly.

From the street food menu, we selected the BBQ duck tacos and Hong Kong mini burgers

BBQ duck tacos
Secret mayonnaise, shaved cucumber and spring onion. 
Why do restaurants insist on making "Secret sauces", it really gets on my nerves because I know that if I enjoyed the sauce, it would not be easy to recreate. Plus, there is the speculation of what the sauce actually is... The "Taco" was actually a Bao bun folded in the shape of a taco. We have tried something similar before so we knew what to expect.
The Bao was fluffy, the duck was nice and crispy and just like any duck pancake, it is complimented well with cucumber and spring onion. However, what was unique was the "secret" mayonnaise. Normally you would expect to find Hoisin sauce in the mix, but none was to be found. The mayonnaise took the flavor away from the duck, but it had all rights to as it was really enjoyable. Matt's favourite dish of the night!!

Hong Kong mini burgers
Panko pork, house smoked chilli paste, hoisin, baby cress and golden mantao. 
The term "Golden Crisp" gets thrown around quite often, but it definitely fits here. The Mantao bun was very sweet, crunchy and greasy. It tasted like a savoury donut!
Unfortunately the pork was a little overcooked so it was quite dry. The hoisin sauce attempted to save the pork, but alas it couldn't. Prepare yourselves as the chilli pastes gives quite a punch!

Three cup drunken duck 
Normally, when you say three cup drunken something, one would think chicken...
Pu'er decided to change the game by introducing another of our favourite birds, the duck of course! The meat was very tender and falling off the bone! The skin wasn't crispy, but it held most of the flavour as it soaked in all the alcohol ;) Honestly speaking, the duck was a bit on the dry side and was lacking some greens. But that is because the mushroom absorbs all the juices, so it works well together. Might even be smart to order a side of greens/noodles!

Caramelised Bershire pork belly
Pu'er and spice infused tea eggs 
My dad makes the "Vietnamese style" version of this dish and I haven't tasted this any other way. I still prefer my dad's cooking purely because I've grown up eating it BUT, I did enjoy the pork belly. Similarily to th duck, it was very tender and just melted away. The pork crackling imitation did not work with the dish because it was bland and unfortunately for us the infused tea eggs didn't have much flavour.

Coconut and caffir lime leaf sorbet
Young coconut, coconut water and black sticky rice. 
The black sticky rice was perfectly cooked (where the sticky rice is still a little hard so you get that chewy texture) and was just the perfect amount of sweetness. The coconut sorbet had a strong lime flavour which gave the dish a refreshing kick. Loved it. Wash it all down with fresh coconut juice.  

Chocolate brownie 
Banana, spiced wine jus, salted palm sugar ice cream, salted almond praline. 
Matt loved this dish. The brownie was very dense and rich which worked well with sweet and salty combination in the salted palm sugar ice cream. Then you add the praline almonds to the mix and you have yourself a little treat! The banana was a little lost on the dish, but I think at that point we were too full to truly enjoy the dessert.

Thanks again to Quinton and Siev for the invitation to dine at Pu'er. 
We had a great time and didn't feel like we were reviewing Pu'er - instead, we felt like one of the locals!

Siev was very welcoming to all of his guests. Not only would he welcome them as they entered, but he would also visit each table and drum up a conversation. Whether it's about the area, interest, thoughts etc Siev would happily listen. Not many managers would devote the time to talk to customers in a way that Siev did. 

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