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Showing posts with label Yum Cha. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yum Cha. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Bites NLD: Dim Sum @ Oriental City, Amsterdam

Dim Sum is a culinary art beyond the norm.  Its presentation is fine, food tasty and variety plenty.    Wherever its Malaysia or Australia that I am at, Dim Sum is a monthly ritual for me.  My colleague and I went recently went for lunch at Oriental City, a recommendation from his Chinese barber in Amsterdam.  Oriental City is a popular family spot on the weekends with a 30 minute wait for a table even thought it was 1pm. This shows how famous Oriental City is with the locals.

At the table, you are given a list to tick the type and quantity of dim sum you would like to order.  Naturally, I quickly ticked the usuals suspects and before we knew it, we had about 10 dim sums presented before us (not all pictured).

The Siu Mai; Pork Dumpling


The Har Gow; Prawn Dumpling


The Char Siew Cheong; BBQ Pork Rice Paperoll


The Hor Yip Fan; Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf

These are some of the most traditional offerings that you can find at every Dim Sum place.  Oriental City did prepared them quite well although I was not too convinced by the thicker than usual Har Gow skin.  This was a surprise for me because the Char Siew Cheong skin was pretty thin which allowed the dark red colour of the BBQ pork to be exposed!  My favourite Dim Sum dish the Siu Mai was quite refined unlike the ones I usually have in Perth and Hong Kong where the meat inside is quite chunky.  Still every bit as more-ish!  The glutinous rice was average at best.  I felt that it was lacking something! 


The Oriental City Dumpling; Roast Duck, Prawn and Coriander Dumpling.


Shanghai Soup Dumpling


Fried Noodles

While Oriental City excelled with the classics, the same could not be said for its other offerings.  The fried noodles were good, I dare not call it classic Soy Fried Noodles in any way.  If it was, then its a reinterpretation by the chefs at Oriental City.  The reason why the Shanghai Dumpling and the Oriental City Dumpling joins the list of my dislikes it because of the skin wrapping the dumpling.  It was seriously thick!  So much thicker than the Prawn Dumpling ones! Eventually, I ditched the skin and only ate the fillings :P!   


Mango Pudding

Last but not least was the Mango Pudding.  Flavour wise it was spot on.  But then comes it consistency which was super hard and not like what the Chinese would often describe “Q-Q” which means springy jelly like!  Did I like it?  No.  But did I absolutely hate it no?  It was just not a good one that is all.

Oriental City was a promising prospect.  Serving over 3 floor of hungry dinners simultaneously shows how busy this place is.  But perhaps the 40 minute wait got the better of me and had me set my expectations rather high. Would I come here again? Perhaps yes if there was no wait!  The food was at best decent for a fussy eater like me!

But also note that prices for Dim Sum in Europe is more expensive compared to other places too!  Be prepared to fork out some €25-30 for decent meal here because 1 bamboo basket is typically around €4.70.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bites: Yum Cha @ Fortune Five Dim Sum, Northbridge

A sudden Yum Cha craving hit my sister over the weekends and when Monday struck, YH and I was at her office doorstep to get her a quick fix.  As per usual we went to our usual spot on James Street.  But if you have not noticed, Dragon Seafood has now become Fortune Five Dim Sum.  Thankfully, the dim sum here is now better than ever whilst the prices have stayed stagnant.   11.50pm and a full house filled with the Asian oldies and their counterparts was a clear testament to my statement.

First up were vegetables stuffed with fish paste and covered in a sticky black bean sauce.  Simply yummy!  The waitress claims it is a dish from HK but whilst in Malaysia, my mom does it with her eyes closed.  Confusion ~.~!
In the background is the bean curd roll and the prawn with coriander dumpling.  Not sure whether island life has made me desperate for Chinese food but the dim sum here tasted really good that day.

Another staple I ordered was the Siu Mai which was a little porky to YH, but for me it was a meaty little bugger.  I like my Siu Mai to be a little porky but not smelly if you get what I mean.  This hits my sweet spot.  Naturally, I had half the steamer as my sister does not really enjoy Siu Mai too.

YH’s ordered Salt Pepper Squid Legs which is his usual order.  I found the seasoning a little under but where Fortune Five does well is in ensuring that every piece of tentacle is coated nicely and cooked to perfection.  One too many times have I dined at Dragon Palace, Golden Century, Dim Sum Cafe, and other places that served me half-assed tentacles which were either only partially battered, or came out disgustingly oily.   

Last but not least were the egg tarts.  Who can walk away from a dim sum meal without a serve of these lovely tarts.  My dad would certainly have to give that person a lecture.  The tarts in Fortune Five comes in a serve of 3.  Crispy on the first bite, the custard was to my liking.  Firm enough with the right sweetness.  It could be eggier though.  I love my egg tarts after all :)!

Me bringing out the camera today was a little bit of a mistake.  For some odd reason I thought we were going to a new pasta place.  Thankfully it was of great use.   Fortune Five now has an appearance on this little blog of mine ;)!  Food at this new Yum Cha place has really got me wanting to come back.  The quality is there and the price is right.  I have not had the whole menu but from the food we ordered that day, Fortune Five Dim Sum really did well.  This is probably the best Yum Cha place in the Perth CBD area.  However, as I have mentioned in my previous Yum Cha posts, the quality of dim sum in Perth can be inconsistent, so if Fortune Five keeps up their good work, queues will definitely be out of the door!


Fortune Five on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Bites: Dragon Seafood @ Northbridge.

While its younger brother Dragon Palace on Francis Street is known for the posh and glitzy interior, its the older Dragon Seafood that still packs the punch many might have overlooked in search of ambience.  My lunch there earlier this week clearly proved that because if anything at all, Dragon Palace merely recreates the quality of dim sum seen at Dragon Seafood.
The usual suspects included the Siew Mai which pack a burst of juicy pork and delicious prawns under the same skin.  As I have mentioned before, the Siew Mai at Dragon Palace is the best in my opinion and this clearly was not any lesser.

These were deep fried crab cakes which were ok.  Typically, I find most Chinese Restaurant using crab flavored meat than the real deal itself.  This was no different.

Bean curd rolls were one of the more moreish food that lunch.  I enjoyed it delicious filling of meat, vegetables and prawn.  The braising sauce used was flavorsome as expected.

Sister’s favorite were the pot stickers which did not appeal on the outside but on the inside, it was all game on.  Super juicy pork meat with the perfect amount of green onions.  Perfect for dunking in the vinegar or enjoyed just by itself!

These are one of my dim sum favorite but as I have always complained, the chicken feet in Perth are plagued with inconsistency revolving about the tenderness of the dish.  More often than not, the dish has not been given sufficient time in the steamer making it touch to chew.  Unfortunately, this is one of those times :(!
Last but not the least were the egg tarts.  Not only is this a favorite of mine, but dad’s as well.  These were delicious except for the fact that they were serve cold which possibly indicates the lack of demand.

At the end, the food was no 10 out of 10 but neither was it a flop.  For me it is good as the benchmark of dim sum has been met.  But the usual complain is what really stands out to make a dim sum place outstanding.  For me, there isn’t a factor that makes this place perform better than other.  But if you hate the queue and can do with a less dainty setup, Dragon Seafood definitely meets that criteria.  Also, chili sauce and oil is a self service thing here with no extra charge, so if you are sick and tired of flagging one waiter after the other just for sauces, this might just be your cue!  Despite a rush lunch, I was satisfied with the food I had.

Dragon Seafood Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bites: Dim Sum @ Café Delight

Last week, the lads and I had a little dim sum adventure where we tried a new Yum Cha place called Café Delight nearby my office.  I have to say, the interior looks pretty damn good as it has just recently opened.  But the layout of the entrance obviously showed that the restaurant expected long queues which hmm lets just say that has not turned out quite correct yet.

Its food was not the tastiest and at best, most were mediocre.
The prawn dumplings felt rather typical.  Not that it tasted bad but after having so many, most seem to taste the same.  One point to note was that the dumplings were cooked spot on as the skin did not break when we brought it out.   Prawns were springy not powdery I guess this it a good thing.

Another thing we ordered was the chicken feet which I found was well marinated.  It was sweet, and salty with just the perfect amount of heat which is not too much at all.  I liked the way the skin was puffed and fell right of the bone when I ate it.  This to me is the most important thing for a dish like that.  No bad smell as well, so yay!

We also ordered bean curd skin rolls and congee which were all ok but then again, mind blowing it was not. Too many thing here felt rather typical.

At the end of the meal, we also ordered things like the egg tart, chicken pie, rice flour rolls and chili pepper squid.  All of which were under average compared to its peers with the exception of the chili pepper squid.  Chicken pie felt certain as if they were trying to copy New Moon/Dim Sim Café all of which I believe are related to Hoi’s Kitchen when I try certain dishes.  The fillings of the pie were shadowed by what seemed like an eternity of pastry! Rice flour roll was deceptive with a thin layer of the roll on top ending with 3 layers at the bottom.  My dim sum comment shall always be the same about rice flour rolls in Perth! They suck so bad!!  But what made me happy was the squid which was crispy and really tasty which to some would equate to very salty.

When I asked the guys what they thing about the food, Mr Cincai said “OK” which he always does,  while Chau said it was OK, but felt really bland at some point.  Win reckon’s Dragon Palace is better.  To me, many things that day felt lucky.  Well cooked chicken feet and good dumpling skin has always been a matter of luck for most diners.  Sometimes if you are lucky it is good, sometimes everything feels overcooked and falls off the dumpling.  Chicken feet always has the issue of being too tough.  Fry it more! Soak it in colder water! or just braise it more!  But when intimidating crowds of 100s queue outside, I guess dim sum business really becomes the hardest!  Would this be a valid excuse for us to pay continue paying $20 per head when the quality fluctuates so much?  I wonder.

Emma's Dim Sum - Cafe Delight on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bites: Imperial Court @ Como

Sometimes, after seeing a few reviews, I thought I know what my favourite dish would be when I visited a restaurant.  But just when you thought so, be prepared to expect the unexpected.  Walking in here I noticed that the man managing the whole place actually owns the HK Tea Cafe along James St. unless I saw wrongly. At 11.30 in the morning, we were quickly greeted by the lady who manages the place.  I’d reckon this is the perfect time for a yam cha session minus the crowd :)!
First up!  Har Gou/Prawn Dumpling!
While most places do not fail in taste and fresh prawns, most of them never succeed in cooking the dumplings properly.  Unlike most places, these were fresh and the skin did not tear while being picked with my chopsticks.  Definitely no overcooking for this one!

Darling’s favourite Pork and Century Egg porridge was also nice.  A lot better than the one’s we have had at Golden Century and Dragon Palace, but nowhere near the ones we had in Hong Kong!  While this was not blend, I think the eggy taste from the salted and century egg really help the porridge in Hong Kong shine!

The Siew Mai were also delicious here.  I like the additional touch of dried scallops.  Not much taste but a sign of generosity!  It was nice and perfectly cooked once again! But was this mind blowing? Hmm not really that but it was nice!
The rave all over has been with the pork dumplings in a delicious fish broth.  With much admiration, the fish broth was a genius idea.  These juicy Shanghai dumplings had an almost perfect mince which packed a juicy bite with a hot warm soup in there.  The very subtle flavour of the broth toned the flavours nicely!   There was a near perfect balance here.  Comparing my previous experience in Perth, the one in Xin Tian Di, Golden Century and most places have never really satisfied my cravings for Shanghai dumpling!  It is now good that the little darling’s favourite in Dragon Palace now have a nearer alternative!   However though, the skin was slightly, very slightly undercooked.  At most 30 more seconds in the steamer!

The next dish was a new and interesting addition to add to my culinary list!
Imperial Court’s Teochew style dumplings with black sesame.  This was a good one as well.  Even the lady manager said this was yums! The texture was a slightly chewy skin an a tasty filling of meat, vegetables and black sesame.  I felt like perhaps a little more filling would be good but this is a nice eat!  While I have eaten a typical Teochew style dumpling, never have I had one with black sesame.

The chilli pepper squid was tasty but  fishman found it a little salty.  Also, despite hitting all the right notes in terms of taste a little bit more fiery would have been much appreciated! And of course, it needs to be more crunchy too! It was a little chewy when it reached my table!

These little radish cake here again felt like a hit and miss.  It had the right recipe for the perfect radish cake.  The little bit of meat, a mixture of both well blended radish as well as bite size pieces, but it all came crashing down when it felt a little too mushy! But then again, perhaps because this was steamed.  Next time around, pan fried!

In recent years, chicken feet has became a staple at my yum cha sessions!  I often look forward to a rich slightly sticky sauce and when it comes out my mouth, it comes out clean.  At Imperial Palace, I felt that the sauce was slightly runny but what it lacked in taste, it made up for it in terms of cooking.  Very well cooked. For the flavours, I would have like something richer, more savoury a little more salt and sweetness from the a reduced sauce is definitely the way to go.

The rice roll with barbecue pork and coriander was another deceptive dish.  The top roll was the best cooked one out of the lot.  It was perfectly rolled out, thin and delicate.  When it came to the bottom two, it did not live up to the expectations of the first.  We were back to square one with the rice roll slightly thicker than what I like.  But then again, this seems to be an issue which have plagued dim sum places all over the city!  If it wasn’t this time, it would be the next and it happens over and over again.

The last dish is my typical way of finishing my meal at a yam cha place.  And for me, Imperial Court made this ending as sweet as it could have been! I was gobsmacked.
Your typical egg tarts! Just moments ago, we were complaining of the deteriorating service over the course of an hour heading into their peak at 12.20pm.  Almost then we thought we might do without the egg tarts! Luckily we did not do so.  These golden beauties came out looking too thick on the pastry but gosh I was wrong. One bite and it was heavenly.  To some, the runny hot custard in the middle might be a little undercooked but god that transition of consistency from the crunchy outside to a jelly-like inside with a nirvana runny centre was too good to resist.  Seriously wow for me.  Perhaps that is too much a praise for an egg tart.  But for a person who loves his egg tarts, this was kickass.

Overall, my experience at Imperial Court was pleasant.  Starting with some of the best har gao and siew mai in town and not to mention a really delicious Shanghai dumpling, what can I say?  Even the deteriorating service was forgotten with that sweet ending of a really top quality egg tart.  Was this a once off that the selected few dishes were shining ever so brightly? I can never say the answer but when you pay them a visit, you will know.  So when will you be heading there for a try? Because I know I will be! Soon! At the very least, for a confirmation :P!

Imperial Court on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bites: Dim Sum @ Dragon Palace, Northbridge

Dim sum has always been a favourite of mine.  Whether it is an early morning brekkie at 6am or brunch at 11am, its a meal that I look forward too!  Since coming to Perth, I have eaten at pretty much every dim sum restaurant in Northbridge. Most of them had their fair hit and misses which is well, quite understandable.  While most serve the common fare of siew mai and prawn dumplings, as well as squid tentacles, I find that Dragon Palace has a larger assortment of food to offer!  One of my favourites would be the spicy cold chicken!
Spicy and tasty! The chilli oil has that typical ‘numbing effect’ of the Szechuan peppers!

Another favourite which I first had when Nana ordered it for our lunch last year!
Pan-fried XO radish cake! Super yums!!

While the next one is quite a common dumpling, I believe Dragon Palace does it BEST!  Had it at Xin Tian Di (previously Jade), and EWWWWWW the lard was not melted properly.  So instead of a liquid-y/soupy consistency, you had something that felt rather oily and rough, imagine an oily soup that has started to cool.

Steamed Ribs with Cheong Fan!!
Similar to the normal ribs, but this one has rice rolls to soak up all the tasty rib sauce!

Of course Dragon Palace had a lot more dumplings to offer! But with the usual dumplings like Siew Mai and other Prawn dumplings crowding the table, it was not worth taking!  Overall, a meal at Dragon Palace is 5 bucks more than usual, leading the bill to about $22-25 per person.  But it’s good quality food in a fairly upmarket ambience.. although the noisy crowd is something else.. @@!  The service is pretty decent but tend to be rather slow and inattentive during lunch periods.  Filling up teapots can be rather tricky then!  Putting minor flaws aside, Dragon Palace is my pick for nice dim sum!  Although I have to insist that the best squid tentacles come from the Dim Sim Cafe!!


Dragon Palace & Karaoke Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bites: Jade Restaurant @ Francis St, Northbridge.

Today was dim sum with housemates, sister and Yobi!  Yobi and his friends has been screwing me hard for not suggesting good yum cha places to him in Perth ahah.  I guess maybe its just hard to find the ones that are really yummy.  Or does it really even exist?  I’ve eaten loads of dim sum here in places such as Hoi’s Kitchen, Lok Fook, Joy Garden, Dragon Palace, Four Season, Jade, Gold Century and have not really been 100% satisfied.

Nonetheless Yobi asked me to pick the best bet for our lunch today and I suggested Jade over Dragon to skip the ridiculous queue that gives you shit service.  Yobi came and picked us up this time since both fishman’s and my car is busted!  He came in the rented Mitsubishi Lancer and I have to say, the interior is pretty crap @@!  The drive was energetic though.
nom nom nom nom!

The stuff we ordered were pretty regular.  All the prawn dumplings, shark fin dumplings, salted squid tentacles etc.  The squid was lovely, so was the siu mai!  But all the dumplings were over steamed :(!  So everytime you try pick one up, the skin just breaks :(!! boo boo!
I ♥ pork ribs!

Xin Ling the biggest noob can’t eat no seafood @@!  Her main meal consisted of rice rolls, egg tart, fish balls and Shanghai Dumplings!

Prawn Dumpling!

We were famished when all the food arrived.  Should have seen the look on all of our faces when we were waiting for the food!  Sooo hungry!
My sister xD! Mind the grainy pics! “Mind control… nami nami *kaboom*! Waiter’s head explodes”

Yobi! The YO boy! Hipster fail.  > than 2% body fat!  He said the food is… “Only 40% full”

Xin Ling –> stoner.  Don’t know seeing what.  She say .. the food is “ok-LAH”

Kelvin!  The bread guy looked like he was pretty happy with the food!

I pledge that it is my hobby to eat.   I like to eat.  But I have no car so it is really hard to do anything!  Hopefully I can a new replacement asap!  Today I went to Subiaco and I saw another Mazda 3! I miss my car!!!

I find the food @ Jade to be pretty good.  But then again. Every place has its ups and downs.  I loved the siu mai, the squid leg was fantastic but the prawn dumplings was over steamed and the egg tart was a bit cold.  In the end it’s how you perceive things facing you that decides the outcome.  Thus sometimes it better to have a wider range of acceptance, hence the criticism from Xin Ling and other friends regarding the credibility of my “OKs” in things such as:

1) Girls
2) Girls
3) Girls


Jade Dynasty Chinese Seafood on Urbanspoon