The Two Girls had high expectations of North Hobart's latest restaurant edition, Mulan. We had been watching the renovations to the old Jacobson Meats shop of 343 Elizabeth Street, and based on progress visible from the street, things were looking promising.
Fun fact: Mulan is a magnolia; the name of a young woman who replaced her father in battle in a really old poem and symbol of gender equality in China; and a Walt Disney animation xxx
On Tuesday night we made a date with our boyz and headed off for a 'Two Girls and our dearest deputies' evening to suss out Mulan.
Looking in from the street and on entering, your first impressions are that Mulan is a beautiful restaurant. The décor is top notch. The light fittings are Asian inspired, wood panelled or cherry blossom and mood-sensitive whilst allowing you to read the menu.
We are partial to a booth table and they are intimate and stylish. They are also spacious and the four of us could have swum around our booth if we had fancied, which was lovely for us, but presented a few challenges to the wait staff.
We shared four entrees and four mains with corkage at $7 per bottle for around $180.
Our entree selection was made up of:
·Beef spring rolls and sweet chilli dipping sause ($8) for 4 pieces.
·Salt and pepper tofu with parsley dressing – silken tofu, Sichuan salt and pepper flour and sesame oil ($16) for 8 pieces.
·Bang bang chicken ($16) - shredded chicken breast, Sichuan chilli oil, leek, ginger and sesame oil. This dish could almost serve one person as a main. The size worked well amongst the four of us with the other entrees.
·Sui Mai, open faced Chinese dumplings with pork, ground shrimp, mushrooms.
Salt and pepper tofu with parsley dressing
The Two Girls pick was the tofu but you have to moosh the tofu around in the sauce bed it sits in to best appreciate what it has to offer.
Chairman Mao Pork
For mains we chose:
·The best titled, if not the best meal, on the menu, Chairman Mao Pork – crispy pork belly cubes, green beans, shaoxing wine, ginger, star anise and dark soy ($26). It did not pass muster for the Two Girls but one of our deputies would have been happy eating this and fried rice alone.
·Roast duck breast wrapped in pancakes – ostensibly peking duck ($30) presented for your to wrap your own pancake with carrot and leek, 8 pieces.
·Griddle cooked spiced squid ($24).
·Sautéed snowpeas in garlic ($12).
Roast duck breast wrapped in pancakes
The Two Girls and the other dear one thought most of the squid. The Girls were also partial to the sautéed snowpeas. Both of these plates were beautifully prepared with simple honest flavours.
Griddle cooked spiced squid
Mulan has been opened proper since the beginning of October and has a few areas of service to iron out, like their relationship with wine. We BYO-ed because we could and BYO restaurants are a dying breed. But our bubbles were left unattended and so too were we, for a noticeable amount of time. In the end it was necessary to suggest to the wait staff that they bring us glasses and refrigerate the plonk. We did not get a look in for dessert and it was difficult getting the attention of anyone for the bill.
On a Tuesday night at 7.30 pm they had already sold out of the salmon and spinach roll and the mixed vegetable stirfry.
It is true that the Two Girls have high food expectations and were a little underwhelmed by our selections, however Mulan offers the better end of a cuisine that has a poor legacy in Australia. It is a restaurant in its infancy so hopefully they will develop quickly and survive North Hobart where there is plenty of competition.
They have put serious thought into creating a beautiful interior space. Mulan is truly the most well presented restaurant in North Hobart right now. The Two Girls particularly loved the way the booths have been created, while you can see there are other people in the restaurant, you feel like you are in your own little Private Idaho! There is something in Mulan's price range and menu diversity for everyone. It is a solid North Hobart contender.
If you want the best Chinese in Tasmania however, you will go to Me Wah tho’ Hey! The Two Girls have revisited Mulan since this post. If you liked this review, come check out Take II!