Tang’s Chinese

Mother’s day, is probably not the best day to walk into a restaurant and expect to be able to get a table, yet this is what various family members and I battled to do on this special day. Walking up and down Addison Street, ducking into numerous restaurants, was no good for my Grandma’s heels. After reaching the crest of a seemingly never ending hill, we ducked into a yellow oriental structure, complete with koi, and asked someone if there was a table for five, we were told to wait. Five minutes and one relocation of a family to another table later, we were in. Praise Tang’s Chinese establishment at 31-33 Addison Street, Shellharbour for going out of their way to slot us in.

Being led through the restaurant to our table was an experience in itself. An irate dragon and radiant phoenix depicted in paint danced among crashing waves against a wall, the eyes of countless fish could be felt scrutinizing our backs, the rich scents of Chinese cooking assaulted our noses, and the loud sizzling of chicken and beef rang in our ears as it passed by on hotplates with clouds of steam billowing up to the ceiling. The atmosphere of this restaurant can intoxicate the senses of sight, sound, and smell, really opening you up for the experience of taste as aromatic and colour adorned dishes pass you by.

After being seated, a waitress promptly brought us a jug of water and the all-important menus before disappearing into the throng, only to return a few minutes later to inevitably take our order to the kitchens. We only had to wait 20 minutes before our entrées arrived. The crunchy pastry of the spring rolls complemented their steaming vegie filled insides beautifully, their flavour, accented by a drizzle of sweetness in the form of plum sauce.

Shortly after finishing the appetiser, the main dishes were unleashed upon us. I ordered the beef in black bean sauce, which I like to order whenever I go somewhere I’ve never had Chinese before. I think that each and every beef in black bean sauce tastes differently and I like to compare them. Tasting Tang’s version, I can safely say which my new favourite is, it’s Tang’s for sure. The generous amount of beef and green capsicum lay in an ocean of thick and glossy black bean sauce, waiting to be tasted and contemplated. The moment the beef touched my tongue, its tenderness was apparent as it practically melted, the rich taste of umami it provided flooded and overloaded my tastebuds. As if this weren’t enough, a pleasant salty flavour provided the finishing blow.

My time at this restaurant was unforgettable. No eatery I have ever been to has provided a better experience. Tang’s Chinese is a model establishment that deserves the highest of praise for its incredible service and Chinese cuisine.

He was good then, will he be again?

Ed Sheeran (news.com.au)
Ed Sheeran (news.com.au)

The last concert I attended was back in 2013. My second cousin really wanted to go but needed a chaperone. As a result, I ended up being dragged along to a concert I wasn’t sure I’d even enjoy. We rocked up to Win Stadium and were immediately assaulted by the screams of teenage girls and young woman pushing and shoving in long lines to get inside the venue. Their male counterparts stood stoically or in groups chattering excitedly.

We finally got inside and bought some promotional items before entering the arena. The air was charged with tension and anticipation as we climbed the stairs right up to the back where our nosebleed seats awaited. Settling in for the show, the joint soon filled with the masses, all waiting to see the award winning singer.

The lights dimmed, and red-headed British artist Ed Sheeran stepped onto the stage with an acoustic guitar. He warmly welcomed the audience and thanked us all for being there before launching into his first few songs which included A Team and Lego House.

Gabrielle Aplin (official website)
Gabrielle Aplin (official website)

Sheeran stopped for his applause and asked if we were all having a blast, we screamed affirmation. Delighted with our response, he presented us with a dark eyed beauty, Gabrielle Aplin took the stage. This English rose kindly introduced herself and began to extract melancholic notes from a piano while adding another layer of depth with her hauntingly beautiful and smooth voice. Aplin mesmerised us with her songs Salvation, Power of Love, and Panic Cord. After singing her own songs, Aplin performed Kiss Me as a duet with Sheeran before exiting stage right.

Michael Rosenberg/Passenger (Fox)
Michael Rosenberg/Passenger (Fox)

The next to take the stage was Sheeran’s mate, Michael Rosenberg – better known by his stage name Passenger. I’m sure Passenger performed some of his own music with his interesting vocals, but I didn’t really catch any of the song titles. The only song I clearly remember was Passengers I Hate which he performed as a duet with Sheeran, and I remember because the pair had the audience, and me, completely in stiches as they sung about things they hate from “pointless status updates on Facebook” and Hollywood stars using Botox because it “makes them look fucked,” there definitive example being Cher’s face which they sung “looks like it’s been hit by a truck.”

Ed Sheeran (The Quietus)
Ed Sheeran (The Quietus)

Passenger left and only Sheeran remained. Waves of purple light filled the arena as a loop pedal was brought onto the stage. Sheeran began to layer sounds and rhythms created by tapping on his guitar, strumming cords, and using his voice. From the euphony of sound emerged the song Give Me Love, which became an intense performance filled with emotionally charged phrases.

Overall Ed Sheeran was a model performer who respected not only the artists supporting him, but also the audience. Musically he played songs that differed from each other creating an interesting and never for one moment boring experience. This brilliant young artist was amazing then, I wonder if he will present an even better performance in the later months of this year.