Puer is a modern Asian/Chinese influenced restaurant located in Waterloo. The interior is warm but still is very casual for lunch, afternoon snack or 3-course dinner. There is ample indoor seating in a tastefully decorated main room and additional outdoor seating.
SCALLOP DUMPLINGS $9
Hong Kong style of Prawn, scallop and baby bamboo dumpling in a yellow egg pastry
These little pockets of meaty seafood were divine. It is best to eat them as they arrive to not let the seafood overcook. The pastry has a nice texture and just thick enough to hold the filling.
CRISPY HAR GOW $8
Succulent prawn dumpling originating from the outskirts of Guangzhou
Har Gows are very common but I have never had them deep fried. The quality of the filling was one of the best out there. The pastry was really crispy and chewy towards the centre however the filling tasted similar to well-made traditional Har Gows. This enhancement is welcome and I would have them again.
HONG KONG MINI BURGERS $15
Panko pork, house smoked chilli paste, hoisin, baby cress, golden mantao
These mini burgers look cute but they absolutely delivered in flavour. The mantou buns are normally served with condensed milk as a dessert. This choice of bun was amazing, bringing a crunchy texture to the burger. The pork inside was served succulent with the staple hoisin sauce and with a slight kick of chilli to round off an excellent burger until the next one. It is quite rich so two per person is perfect. Yum!
BBQ DUCK TACOS $16
Secret mayonnaise, shaved cucumber, spring onion
These types of duck tacos or bao sliders have gained popularity in recent times. Pu’er’s version was flawless from the ‘taco’ to the duck and the condiments. The inclusion of mayonnaise was quite clever as these type of buns can be dry. I would gladly eat these mini delights all day!
CARAMELISED BERKSHIRE PORK BELLY $24
Served with Pu’er and spice infused tea eggs
This style of braised pork is common to Chinese eateries around town. The only difference was this cut has been trimmed to a nice percentage of fat without making it too rich. Secondly, the fat present was rendered to a melt in your mouth consistency. This was classic Chinese braised pork taken to the next level. The traditional boiled eggs were still here to remind us of the origin of the dish. It is best to eat this with a side of rice.
THREE CUP DRUNKEN DUCK $26
Shao Xing, soy, sugar, slow cooked with shiitake, fresh basil
This dish was very fragrant again perfect with some rice. The portion is consisted of two duck marylands with the leg boned left in but thigh de-boned. The meat was cooked to a succulent, pull-off-the-bone-with-chopsticks-texture.
LEMONGRASS PANNACOTTA $10
Black sesame & peanut soup, smoked melon
If you are stuffed with the starters and mains, the panna cotta is a beautiful way to end the meal. This light mini panna cotta and smudge of sesame and peanut was a fusion of East and West. This is first time having smoked watermelon, it did not do much for me but it is certainly more exciting than a plate of fruit at a Chinese restaurant. Other choices include: a chocolate brownie, red bean donuts and black sticky rice sorbet.
PEACH PHOENIX $9 (carafe)
Osmanthis Phoenix cold infusion and fresh peach
My knowledge of tea is not particularly great however this ice tea is a refreshing, palate-cleansing delight. The sugar content seemed pretty low but the bold tea and subtle peachy aftertaste did hit the spot.
Pu’er’s take on Chinese food is refreshing and very welcome. When you think about Chinese food, normally you subconsciously lower any expectations of service, creativity or finesse. Pu’er is a good alternative that delivers all of those at a fair but at a slightly higher price point. The tea selection is great perfect for those who do not like coffee. The also have a selection of cocktails that looked great. This enjoyable Chinese dining experience is well worth a try!