Some restaurants fly quietly under the radar. I’m surprised to see it’s actually been more than five years since I last dined at Blue Eye Dragon. This is through no fault of the restaurant – which puts out interesting, well-executed Taiwanese food – I just only seem to remember it when I find myself starving in Pyrmont, and keen to avoid The Star. We popped through recently without a reservation, after the launch of a local bar left us hungry for more.
With an understated exterior, even knowing this restaurant, it’s still hard repress a gasp when you open the doors into the cavernous church school hall dining room. It’s immediately apparent that this isn’t the usual Taiwanese fast-food outlet you might have become used to in Sydney – though they do that too, at Grain & Spice on Union Street. And with nary a whisper, the team from Blue Eye Dragon also opened Wu-Gu in Zetland last year. At that spot they are trotting out many of the same dishes as this original space, including Eye Fillet in House Black Pepper Sauce ($36).
An exercise in extreme tenderness, these tasty hunks of eye fillet are a cut above what you’d expect to find in most of Sydney’s Taiwanese offerings. Their black pepper treatment begs for pinot noir, and the 2013 Lowburn Ferry ‘Skeleton Creek’ Pinot Noir ($78) is a beauty. With cherry, Chesterfield leather, spice and a whiff of smoky char, this is a wine for true pinot lovers, but that’s not to say it won’t work against lighter dishes like Prawns with Dry Chilli and Shallot in Gongbao ($32).
These toothsome crustaceans in syrupy spicy sauce on a bed of shallots, dried chillies and thin slices of ginger, eat best over Fried Rice ($22).
Choosing the veggie option here neatly takes care of your rice and vegetable needs in one dish.
A word of warning: main portions here are on the small side, clearly predicated upon you eating a multi-course meal. We didn’t because we’d already taken canapés and cocktails elsewhere.
Blue Eye Dragon
37 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont
Ph: (02) 9518 9955