Steelers: Wollongong’s best Chinese restaurant gone west

I will be having a look today at Steelers where the new bar and kitchen are apparently up and running. The website hasn’t caught up yet, but at the end of July on Facebook:

Presently we are still offering a simplified Asian menu, though we have recently engaged the services of a brand new catering team who we anticipate will begin operation early August, coinciding with the opening of the brand new bar and kitchen!  Remember to follow us on Instagram to keep up with all the changes happening at Steelers!

In May 2015 I posted Lunched at Steelers.

And at the time I was the only customer! There were a few more later on. I am told they did a roaring trade on “fight of the century” night on 2 May. I am also told the renovations that have caused the restaurant to go down the $5 smorgasbord track won’t be complete until the end of June. I hope that at last the Red Dragon returns to the excellent form it had in 2013-14, for example:

Wednesday lunch at Steelers

Posted on December 12, 2013 by Neil


That was just one dish of four we three ordered, @$12.50 per person total – thanks to the 2 for 1 offer.

  1. 炝炒莲白 Spicy Stir Fried Cabbage  or soy fried white lotus! A simple but delicious Sichuan dish.
  2. 辣子鸡 Pepper Chicken with Dry Chili Chicken with chilies is a well-known Sichuan-style Chinese dish. It consists of marinated, deep-fried pieces of chicken that are then stir-fried with garlic, ginger, and chili peppers.
  3. Sizzling Chicken in Hoisin Sauce (above)
  4. Steamed whole fish

Alas, “I hope that at last the Red Dragon returns to the excellent form it had in 2013-14” is not to be. Here is another taste of what has been lost:

Wollongong turns it on — 1

Posted on July 17, 2014 by Neil

Yesterday began in the lower register – damp and coldish. A shame, as one of M’s housemates, Max, was coming down to Wollongong from Sydney. I had at the Shakespeare Hotel in Surry Hills a few weeks back sold him on the “best Chinese food this side of Sichuan” at the Red Dragon in the Steelers Club and on the wonder that is Illawarra Brewery.

Max’s train arrived and fortuitously a Shellharbour bus was waiting at Wollongong Station, accelerating our progress down Burelli Street at far as IPAC – appropriate given Max is an actor. Then at Steelers Chris T, my usual Wednesday lunch companion, joined us.

Red Dragon lived up to its reputation. The two-for-one deal meant we could have four dishes and we did: Sichuan spicy lamb chopsMao Family pork 毛氏红烧肉; Kung Pao chicken, and a garlicky/sesame oil stirfry vegetables to balance the heat of especially the lamb, which is very hot. All for just $12 a head. Max was amazed. Here is their (PDF) Sichuan menu.

Gone now!

Pig’s guts! It’s the end of the month!

Posted on July 31, 2014 by Neil

I certainly have been plugging the Red Dragon at Steelers lately! …

Yesterday Chris T and I got very daring. As well as the now almost obligatory Mao Family Pork we decided to try:


Yes: pig’s guts. That is an image from elsewhere, by the way, but looks rather like what we had: spicy pig intestines. We were told we were the first to ever order it!

Now this is interesting, from Kalamazoo, Michigan:

Our families were having dinner together at Hunan Gardens recently, and he was bold enough to order from the Szechuan menu, which had a list of items completely foreign to us: dumplings with chilies, lamb with chilies, boiled beef, Szechuan cucumber.

The food he ordered, roast chicken covered with a combination of spicy oil with chilies, soy sauce, chicken broth and sesame oil tasted pretty good, so for the next visit I ordered the dish that everyone in the previous visit was chuckling about — spicy intestine.

Turns out, it was particularly tasty also.

Pork intestine is called chitterlings among Americans, “chitlins” in the black community.

The version at Hunan Gardens is a dish you could call “Chinese chitlins.”

The name spicy intestine may be off-putting, but the flavor is there…

Would I repeat the experience? Well, I found the dish OK but not a top choice…

See also Sichuan Cuisine.

There was nowhere nearly as good in Wollongong for authentic Sichuan Cuisine, or even in Sydney’s Chinatown that I can remember. We miss Red Dragon.

See: Lunch at Steelers with long-lost cousin… (March 2014); Terror down under – and the Sichuan lunch (2014); Last Saturday’s lunch and 41 months… (2014); Christmas lunch at Steelers (2013); Appropriate fare, perhaps — the day after the Great Rudd announced his necessary exit (2013); Called in at The Illawarra Brewery — 1 (2013).

So the new Steelers won’t be the same, but I guess we need to try and see if it’s good in its own way.