Firing up the kitchens in Sydney CBD’s Westfield food court is SooZee23, a casual lunchtime eatery that is claiming to have the "most authentic" Taiwanese noodle soup in town.
So what is it about this bowl that’s tugging at strings and buds?
Soozee (pronounced ‘shoo z’) attributes the number ‘23’ to its name because of how many sensational (and very secret) herbs and spices go into their broth. Their beef is cooked for eight hours to create a deeper and richer stock which is poured over hand-pulled thin or flat egg noodles before being topped with braised beef, leafy bok choy and spring onions. Then you are free to tap into your chilli game as you so desire, but be sure to taste-test between add-ons; assume nothing.
Inspired by Taiwan’s bustling street food scene, SooZee23 serves their signature braised beef noodles five different ways: there's extra-large braised beef flank, braised beef flank, spicy beef (this bowl has a peppery kicker), spicy garlic beef, and a three treasures bowl consisting of beef, tendons and beef stomach.
Even though SooZee23 has only opened its Sydney doors in late Feb, their story actually begins 70 years ago on the streets of Chongqing Sichuan, and their soupy bowls have an even richer backstory.
“The recipes we use and the way we cook our dishes is the same as 70 years ago when our village in Taiwan sold handmade noodles from bicycle stalls,” says managing director Charlley Zhao. “The same cooking methods and recipe has been handed down through three generations and there are no chefs in this concept but rather a recipe that celebrates Chongqing Sichuan cuisine.”
Based on old Chongqing hotpot recipes, Sichuan flavours shine through in their bowls thanks to a range of seasonings including pepper, hemp and “23 Sichuan aromas”. Zhao says the soup bowls are laborious but that their complexity and flavour speak for themselves.
Their signature soups will set you back about $14-$17 per bowl. And don’t fret if soup isn’t your thing: there’s dry noodle menu options as well as a selection of gyoza, fried rice, chicken karaage and steamed egg custard buns.
Fri – Wed 11am – 7pm; Thurs 11am – 9pm
Level 5 Food court [opposite Din Tai Fung]
Sydney Westfield Shopping Centre, Pitt Street, Sydney