I love yum cha plates, so put another bun on the trolley baby!
I love yum cha plates, so come on take a trolley, roll with me! (Joan Jett’s I love R&R)
[adsensea]Yum cha plate is like a box of chocolate. You never know what you get. They roll the trolleys in front of you, and abracadabra, uncover the hidden dim sums. Today’s a rather exceptional day, for 2 reasons. Monsieur and I have his boss, Ms S, with us; we’re not looking at one menu. Everything comes from the trolley: True to traditional Yum cha places (though East Ocean still ranks as our favourite Yum Cha place).
The spinach and prawn dumpling is great, skin is thin (but doesn’t fall apart, so that’s quality pastry), and filling is plentiful. It is one of my favourite, though something similar pops up on our table later and involves a green veggie I love (kao choi): chives and prawn dumpling and in the end, ranks above. If you like to have an awful breath (that’s the point when you go to yum cha places anyway) like I do, definitely go for the chives one.
I’m usually not big on dumplings with no veggies to balance out the meat/seafood content, but have to say their mixed seafood dumpling was very flavoursome. We did find out why couple of hours later (and the morning after). I suspect heavy use of MSG was made to enhance flavour, for our throats were extremely dried and we craved for water for the rest of the day. The seafood was more of a meatball (no distinguishable piece of seafood) and I suspect they cut it with fat because it was way too juicy to be just seafood.
Monsieur had his BBQ pork buns, his usual must-have even after his future mother in law told him half of the meat was fat. I believe it competes with that of East Ocean… Flavoursome, very orange inside (the way it should be!) and the meat to bun ratio is great (I like when there’s plenty of meat in there)! Char siu bao was also, my grandfather’s favourite.
Monsieur loves fried dim sum. He’s always had a thing for anything fried… So he’s happy we get our share of bad cholesterol today My mother’s favourite – even if she likes to claim it’s full of fat and not good for health, is Ham soi gok (deep- fried crescents with pork and seafood).
I remembered I always burnt my tongue on that one when I was a kid. Here, conveniently, they cut the deep fried dumpling in two with scissors, and as the trolley’s been circulating long enough, I get to taste the filling without my tongue being left numb from the hotness. It’s nice, but I prefer meatier dumplings, and as such, the steamed dim sum still remain my favourite.
Another close version of Ham Soi Gok is called Wu Gok, but the outside is made of taro. I don’t remember having it, but Monsieur does (which is awkward, right?) and thinks we’ve had it some place in Macau/HK. Guess it probably was in Macau, the time I got ultra sick from the ferry boat and had to stop my seafood diet (seafood diet: is eating every food I
I like the Wu Gok’s crunchiness far better than that of the Ham Soi Gok, and the coating being lighter – still starchy though – I have the sensation there’s more meat (might not be the case though). I try my best not to think about the amount of fat I’m ingesting in just one piece. The taste of the deep fried taro does help.
Dessert wise, the egg tart (tan tat) definitely is a must have. It is my favourite. The pastry’s light, buttery and the filling is smooth and not too sweet. Lovely… But then, I’ve always loved egg tart. I still believe I prefer East Ocean’s egg tart. This might be because we order them from the menu and they arrive on our table pipping hot. Sky Phoenix’s egg tart were sort of slightly warm.
Second favourite is the Dou fu fa (silken tofu with ginger), which still remains, Monsieur’s must have. He always thinks this helps his digestion. Ms S. concurs and adds ginger does help in some ways. I think Monsieur’s sensitive stomach will need far more than Dou fu fa to help him go through the afternoon without falling asleep. We’ve had such a sizeable lunch!
Ginger syrup is served on the side, for it not to fall on the bottom. I quite like the good intent there, for my main problem with East Ocean’s Dou Fu Fa is the cane sugar that sits on top. There’s not enough of it so you end up with bits and pieces that lack a sugar kick, and others that make you feel like you’ve had a mouthful of cotton candy. The Dou Fu Fa is almost cold, which in this hot weather, is much appreciated. That said, I still think I prefer it to be warm/hot.
As the trolley comes nearby, we give the mango pancake, a chance. We’ve had a very disappointing experience in East Ocean, and after that, Monsieur deemed that mango pancake was I quote “a kweilo’s food. You know I’m almost Chinese eh?”. So we’re both surprised that Ms S. actually thinks it’s quite good.
The Mango Pancake is better than that of East Ocean… This time, we actually get to taste mango in there (and see it!). That said, I’m still not a huge Mango Pancake fan, and much prefer, egg tart and dou fu fa. I guess it’s the dairy in there that screams: Too much for your stomach!
All in all, we had a pleasant lunch (doesn’t account for side effects). Bill came down to 68.50 for 3. Quick service, 5 minute wait even though 5 other groups were there, queuing before our eyes. The trolley ladies were great and patient, but the lady at the cashier screamed when I asked (in Cantonese) for a take away box (screamed back in English, go figure). I mean where does she think she is? Only Chinese restaurants based in Chinatown get the right to scream at customers! I felt like I was in that Seinfeld Soup Nazi episode… And then, the genuineness of the restaurant hit our throats for the remainder of the day. Yum Cha is like chocolate, you never know what you get. It tastes nice when you’re having it, but can dry you from the inside afterwards (you bet it’s MSG). For this reason, we still prefer East Ocean (less MSG so far)!