In Short: Robo is a welcome addition to Darling Square. A readily accessible menu for all diners, and there are also one or two dishes for the more adventurous. Its biggest attraction is that it’s one of Sydney’s first automated kitchens using a robotic wok burner and computerised ordering kiosk.
Technology has always been one of those things that either intrigues you or scare you. Either way, there is no way to avoid it. At first glance, Robo transcends the traditional Chinese restaurants that were the mainstay of this part of Haymarket for decades. Futuristic thin orange light strips, clean white furnishings and fresh aesthetic. But the subtle giveaway that this was no ordinary Chinese restaurant, would be the rockets and astronaut trinkets that adorn the restaurant and computerised ordering kiosk. With that, we are introduced to one of Sydney’s first robotic restaurants.
To be honest, if I had stumbled into the restaurant just based on its menu offering, I would have been completely enjoyed the food without realising that the food is actually cooked by a robotic wok burner in the kitchens. While some people might bemoan the lack of human touch, I feel that automation actually introduces consistency in taste every time at Robo.
For example, there is nothing quite as comforting as a bowl of warm Braised Beef Noodles, consisting of egg noodles drenched in bite size pieces of beef that is full of flavour and fork tender, cooked in a broth that is flavoured with an array of herbs and spices. What made this dish even more appealing is the funky instant noodle bowl that is served in, which is made to look like replica of the popular Nissin Cup Noodle but with some cheeky changes to the food label.
The most popular pork dish to order in any Chinese eatery is Sweet and Sour Pork with Pineapple. At Robo, the perfect balance of crunchy pieces of deep fried pieces of pork, sweet and tangy sauce made with pineapples, onion and capsicums, is not only attractive to the eye with its vibrant colours, it also packs a punch with flavour and best eaten with a bed of hot steaming rice.
Nothing says Cantonese food more than Wonton noodles with BBQ pork. From the shiny plump wontons filled with a prawn and pork mixture to the delicious sweet bbq pork, the noodles is dry tossed in a simple sauce to add flavour. Finally the dish is balanced with pieces of blanched Choy Sum vegetable.
Technology added to the dining experience has brought with it hassle free, and speedy food delivery with flavour consistency. There are also many more items on Robo’s menu that are really intriguing like their XO Prawns & Vermicelli Claypot and Fried rice with salted fish and chicken which I would like to try in my next visit.
With this in mind, I am looking forward to our next visit to Robo to sample more items from their extensive menu and sneaking another peek at the robotic wok burners at work behind the counter.