Prince Restaurant – Parramatta, Sydney

Yum cha is always best when you have a lot of people. You get to try so many different foods without having force yourself to have another serving of the name dish. Yum cha is always great with family (because it means I don’t have to pay), but friends are great as well (explaining the elements of each dish).

My place of choice to go yum cha is a 30 minute drive from my place (on a good day). However, I do make the effort to go quite often as my dad is the head dim sum chef there. I think my tastes towards yum cha have been skewed by my dad’s cooking and I don’t think there are many other yum cha restaurants that are as good, but that’s what I grew up with. The restaurant’s popularity supports my views that Prince Restaurant is quite good for yum cha.

On a previous post about another yum cha restaurant, Eastern Treasures Seafood Restaurant, I spent hours trying to find the chinese name to each dish. As New Years is approaching, I still have much to do, so I will include my engrish and english translation of each dish.

Ham Sui Gok (Combination Pork Dumplings)
Deep fried rice flour dumplings with a pork and vegetable filling. The dough is my favourite part, it is a mixture of crunchy, sticky and sweet.

Wu Gok (Crispy Taro Turnovers/Taro Dumplings)
Boiled and mashed purple taro and pork is encased in a light and crunchy pastry. The pastry is so delicate and it just melts in your mouth.

Boneless Duck Feet
This dish is served cold, similar to white chicken feet. This dish is quite chewy and the sauce gives it a little bit of tang. It comes with some wakame which is always nice. But, I don’t think I would order this dish again though, even though I love white chicken feet.

Phoenix Claw (Chicken Feet)
The chicken feet are flash fried then stewed in a sauce of black fermented beans, bean paste and sugar. This is one of the more common dishes at yum cha, people from around the world have heard about this dish. The objective is to suck off all the meat, skin and sauce and leave the bones. My mum has always said you have to eat a pair or you’ll walk with a limp, but I only ever eat one.

Ngow Gun (Beef Tendon)
This slippery dish is difficult to pick up. Beef tendon is slowly braised in a sauce. The textures of this dish can range from crunchy with a little bit of a bite, to quite soft and slightly sticky (due to all the collagen inside).

Beef Honeycomb Tripe (Ngow Toe)
The honeycomb tripe is cooked until tender and steamed in black bean and garlic sauce. The sauce gathers in the honeycomb which makes it delicious.

Gau Choy Gow (Pork and Chives Dumplings)
A mixture of garlic chives and chopped prawns wrapped in a chewy dumpling wrapper. I love the chewy dough, I usually eat the filling first and leave the outside for last.

Har Gow (Prawn Dumplings)
Minced prawn and bamboo shoots wrapped in a chewy dumpling wrapper. This dish is a classic yum cha dish. I often imitate the ladies pushing the trolleys and say “Yoo wan some prown dumpling?”.

Lo Mai Gai (Glutinous Rice Tamale with Chicken)
This cubic lotus-leaf package contains glutinous rice, stuffed with chicken and pork, sausage and vegetables. This dish is quite filling but well worth giving up a dumpling or two.

Lo Mai Goon (Sticky Rice Bun)
Glutinous rice and sausage is wrapped in a soft bao (bun) dough then steamed. Carbs in carbs? Yes!

Yu Jook (Fish Congee)
An asian porridge of rice cooked down in water and then a variety of ingredients can be added. In this case it is fish, but my favourite is lean pork with thousand year old egg. The congee is topped with fried squares of wonton wrappers and shallots.

Ngow Jap (Mixed Beef Innards)
A mixture of beef innards stewed in a thin sauce. As asians, we try and make use of the entire animal. I love it, it means we don’t waste as much. My favourite is the beef liver as it’s so spongy and soft.

Gai Lan with Yu Darn (Chinese Greens with Fish Balls)
Long stalks of these green vegetables are blanched and served with a soy-based sauce. At Prince Restaurant, you can get light hand-made fish balls to accompany your vegetables. I love the stem of the vegetables more than the leaves and the fish balls are so light and spongy, nothing like what you buy in asian supermarkets.

Bao Yu Jup Arp Jeung (Duck Feet in Abalone Sauce)
The duck feet are slowly simmered in abalone sauce so that the sauce penetrates deep inside. There is collagen in this dish which leaves my mouth feeling very sticky. This is one of my least favourite dishes.

Cheung Fun (Rice Noodle Rolls)
Wide, long white rice noodles are steamed and then stuffed and rolled. These rice noodles are stuffed with something that resembles a spring roll. The filling is minced prawns wrapped in a wonton pastry, fried then rolled up in the rice noodles. These need to be specially ordered from a waiter and are made-to-order.

Jar Leung (Rice Noodle Rolls with Chinese Doughnut)
The cheung fan (rice noodle rolls) are quite silky against the crispy doughnut. These often need to be ordered to ensure that the inside doughnut is crispy when it reaches your table.

Jin Cheung Fun (Pan-Fried Rice Noodle Rolls)
Wide, long white rice noodles, speckled with green onions and dried shrimp are pan-fried until slightly brown and are served with hoisin and peanut sauce.

Yao Yu Sou (Crispy Fried Squid)
Sliced squid pieces and tentacles are dipped in seasoned flour and deep-fried. An asian version of hot chips?

Jar Har Gok (Deep-Fried Prawn Wontons)
Prawn wontons are deep-fried and are accompanied by a chinese mayonnaise salad sauce. Crispy on the outside, warm and juicy on the inside, dipped in a tangy sauce. Yum.

Pei Dan Sou (Century Egg Pastry)
A thousand year old egg is encased in lotus paste and wrapped in a flaky pastry. It’s a balance of savoury and sweet.

Nai Wong Bo Lo Bao (Pineapple Bun with Custard)
From the outside it looks like a normal pineapple bun, but when you rip it in half, you will find a filling of custard. Chinese custard is not like normal everyday custard you find in the supermarket, our custards are thicker and are mostly found in baos (buns).

Darn Tart (Egg Tart)
Small, flaky pastry tarts, filled with egg custard, baked until golden brown and served warm. The filling is soft and sweet and it’s the only part I eat of this dish. The pastry is nice but it goes everywhere because it is so flaky.

Lao Leen Sou (Durian Pastry)
One of my dad’s specialities. Durian flesh is wrapped in a flaky pastry and then baked. The flavour of the durian seems to have mellowed during the baking process, I think even non-durian lovers will give it a try.

Ngow Lei Sou (“Beef Tongue” Pastry)
Now, this is a dessert. It is NOT beef, nor is there any meat in it. It’s like kind of like a chinese doughnut, or a yau char kwai/yau tiew, but the centre is slightly sweet. I like to call these footballs as they are the same shape. This is another one of my dad’s specialities and is quite often snapped up once it leaves the kitchen.

Mango Pancakes
Fresh mango and fresh whipped cream is wrapped in a mango crepe. This dessert is loved by everyone, it isn’t too sweet either.

I think the dishes at Prince Restaurant are quite good for value. The more people you have, the more you can try and the cheaper everything seems to be. I remember this meals costs us less than $15 per person which is pretty good as we were stuffed after. Tea is free apart from public holidays which saves you a couple of dollars. However, don’t expect the service to be that great. As with many chinese restaurants, many Chinese people don’t have much manners, it is about par for me. The restaurant is pretty packed during the weekend and you should get here at about 11:30 to secure a seat. There is 2 hours free parking downstairs or you can choose to park in Parramatta Westfield which is a short walk away. I won’t be going to yum cha again until next year, but if you do go soon, consider checking out this restaurant.

Happy nom nom nom-ing!

Prince Restaurant
100 Church Street
Parramatta NSW 2150
T: (02) 9891 5777

Merry Christmas

To all the readers, bloggers, blogettes, chefs and chefettes out there..

I would like to wish all of you a

Merry Christmas!!

I hope your day is filled with heaps of great food and great company.

I still have a reindeer honey bread to nibble on.

Merry nom nom nom-ing!

Heston Blumenthal

Whenever people ask me who my favourite celebrity chef is, my answer is always Heston Blumenthal. He is my idol. Ever since I learnt about him, my dream is to visit his restaurants in the United Kingdom. When I heard that he was coming to Australia, I nearly had a heart attack. I had to go. I can officially say that I will be attending his only Australian show. I wish I got better tickets, but these aren’t too shabby. I’m so excited to see what he has to say.

I guess it’s kind of scary to be able to see you idol in person, rather than see them through a screen. I’m sure he will not personally talk to me, but just to have the chance to see him in person is enough. Oh I’m so silly, I’m tearing up as I think about it. I’ve never really admired any real celebrity until now, but I think he’s just fab (I’m getting into my ‘English’ lingo).

If any of you are interested in going, you can buy your tickets through Ticketmaster or alternatively just Google “Heston Blumenthal – Out of the Kitchen, Live – Grilled by Matt Preston”. I saw that Showbiz was selling tickets as well, but their seats are not as good and are more expensive.

Happy nom nom nom-ing!

District Dining – Surry Hills, Sydney

I’m writing this post up a second time because WordPress decided to delete 90% of my original post. Sad.

My long awaited visit to District Dining has finally arrived. After pushing my booking back for a week, I spent most of that week excited about my visit. It did not disappoint me in the least. District Dining has been one of the talks of the town since it opened a couple of months ago. It is one of the newest ventures by acclaimed Chef Warren Turnbull, head chef and owner of Assiette. I told the boyfriend about District Dining and he went twice with his colleagues before he went with me. They all loved District Dining since the prices are reasonable and it’s just around the corner from their office. The restaurant is tucked away in a side street, but still can be quite easily found. Exclusivity meets accessibility.

I love the Mondrian style artwork at the entrance.

The boyfriend and I dined at District Dining through Jump On It deal where it was $69 for two 3-course meals and a bottle of wine. The menu was as follows:

Entree:

Warren Turnbull’s selection of his favourites from the menu

Main, choice of:

Hiramasa kingfish, miso, radish salad, eggplant

Spiced pumpkin, marinated feta, honey, walnuts

Castricum lamb shoulder, cumin, honey, baby carrots

Dessert, choice of:

Efi’s rice pudding, cinnamon ice cream

Strawberries, raspberries, meringue, vanilla cream

Wine, choice of:

Bondeville Blanc. Grenache Blanc: Pineapple, grapefruit and fresh lime

Bondeville Rouge. Syrah: Medium bodied, dark fruits, cinnamon and spice

Bondeville Rouge. Syrah: Medium bodied, dark fruits, cinnamon and spice
I’m not a fan of wine. Actually, I’m not a big fan of alcohol. I let the boyfriend drink the wine and he managed to get through half before he felt a little bit tipsy. He felt the wine was quite strong and regretted not choosing the white wine.

Orange Juice $4.50
Bottled, not fresh. Still, it was nice and refreshing.

Warren Turnbull’s selection of his favourites from the menu

Veal Tongue, Pickled Turnip, Salsa Verde, Almonds
Now I know many people don’t like the idea of eating an animal’s tongue, but I have to say it is one of the most delicious parts of a cow or ox. This veal tongue was so soft. I could feel the tenderness as I pricked my fork into the tongue. The pickled turnip and the salsa verde worked well with the tongue.

Crispy Quail Eggs, Tarragon, Anchovy Mayonnaise
I would say this dish is like Quay’s Snow Egg. First you have the crispy outer layer, then when you crack into the centre, you find yourself faced with a perfectly cooked white and a runny yolk. Ultimately, it was like eating a deep fried poached egg. The mayonnaise provided the saltiness to this dish.

Smoked Eel Pate, Cucumber, Bread Roll
I don’t like pate, but I gave it a shot. The boyfriend, who doesn’t like seafood, enjoyed this dish. The sliced cucumber was quite refreshing though. That is all.

White Asparagus, Salmon, Radish, Citrus Salad
Yum, yum, yum! I love asparagus, and I love it even more when it is cooked properly. Quickly blanched enabling the vegetable to retain its crunch. The citrus salad is so appetizing and it worked quite well with the asparagus. This part was so moreish absolutely delicious. If you gave me a whole plate of this, I would gobble it down in no time. Downside is that it doesn’t seem to be on the menu.

Hiramasa Kingfish, Miso, Radish Salad, Eggplant
The fish was so well cooked, the fish was so moist and succulent. The crunchiness of the cucumber and radish give the dish some texture and pepperiness. The only thing I didn’t like about this dish was the eggplant and normally I love eggplant.

Castricum Lamb Shoulder, Cumin, Honey, Baby Carrots
It was SO soft. The lamb was cooked to perfection and it just melted in my mouth. The carrot puree was so smooth and silky, it just slides down your throat. The only off putting thing about this dish was an oily substance that was leeching from the puree or the lamb, it just went everywhere.

Strawberries, Raspberries, Meringue, Vanilla Cream
Who doesn’t love a pile of meringue, cream and fruit? This pile of strawberries, freeze dried raspberries and meringue covered in a mass of vanilla cream then topped with a quenelle of tart raspberry sorbet. This dessert was absolute heaven.

Efi’s Rice Pudding, Cinnamon Ice Cream

Efi’s Rice Pudding
This was the most creamiest and nicest rice pudding I have had in my life. It was not stodgy at all and was so moreish. If I could’ve licked the jar clean, I would have.

Cinnamon Ice Cream
This was served on a bed of cookie crumbs which gave it some texture. Just remember to try and eat all the ice cream before it melts all over the board, licking the board is not appealing to others.

Overall I loved this restaurant. The presentation of each dish is quite interesting and unique. Jar, chopping boards and even tin cans. The staff are quite friendly, especially our waitress Lauren. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone out there looking for a reasonably price meal. Many of Warren Turnbull’s dishes are cooked to perfection, I’m just picky. The atmosphere is very relaxed and the location is very convenient. I will be sure to return again. The boyfriend loves it even more than I do, he’s already been there four times!

Happy nom nom nom-ing!

District Dining
17 Randle Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
T:
(02) 9211 7798

District Dining on Urbanspoon

Jasmin 1 – Punchbowl, Sydney

One of my favourite restaurants that I discovered this year hasn’t got any hats and they don’t have degustation menus either. Instead, it is a Lebanese restaurant that serves generous servings of great food with a smile. I first visited this restaurant after a recommendation from one of the boyfriend’s colleagues. It was an instant hit with all of my friends. The food is cheap, the interior is well decorated and the locals go there, it MUST be good!

The motif on the wall has been so artistically painted on.

Even the ceilings are made to look like the sky.

The walls of this restaurant are just breathtaking. The effort gone into each wall can be seen through the intricate detailing. Instead of hanging a piece of artwork up, the wall has become the artwork. I haven’t seen a restaurant like this before.

The staff are nice and friendly. Our usual waiter is not working tonight, but they are all as friendly as the next. The boss mans the register but comes around every so often to see how we are doing. He always has a smile on his face which is passed onto the customer. I think my friends and I have been there enough times that the boss gives us a smile that seems to say ‘welcome back’.

The boyfriend and I head to the drinks fridge. So many choices, so many different things that I’ve never seen anywhere else.

Kazouza Tamarind $3.00
This is my all time favourite drink when I visit Jasmin 1. It’s a carbonated drink with tamarind and rose water. The drink is slightly tangy and is not overly sweet.

Cade Pink Cocktail $3.00
This pink drink tasted like pink lemonade. I’ve always thought it was weird how it is called a cocktail. It also comes in a blue cocktail, according to my friend, it tastes ‘blue’.

Bavaria Peach Malt Non-Alcoholic Beer $3.00
Yes, it does taste like beer. For all those who are craving a beer without the alcohol, here’s your drink. I personally do not like beer, but Muslims are not allowed to drink alcohol can have a taste of what beer tastes like.

The food comes on big trays that rest of the waiter’s shoulders. I would probably collapse under the weight, but these young boys are strong.

Complimentary Vegetables: Mint, Tomato, Olives, Gherkins, Pickled Turnip, Pickled Feferoni (?), Onions.

Complimentary Chilli Dip
I’m not a fan of chilli. From what I had of it, it is quite spicy.

Complimentary Tahini Sesame  Seed Dip
Not a fan of this dip at all. In fact it was hardly touched during the entire meal.

Complimentary Toum Garlic Dip
YUM! It is basically garlic cloves blended together with olive oil. It is quite strong but also so delicious. Make sure you have some gum with you to chew after your meal though.

Complimentary Lebanese Bread
You can’t have Lebanese cuisine without some lebanese bread. The bread is so fresh and soft. The bread is all-you-can-eat, but why would you fill up on bread when you have lovely dips and meat to eat.

Doner Kebab $12.00
Marinated steaks with spices cooked on rotating skewers. It was quite flavourful and moist.

Falafel $7.00
Cracked chick peas, cum with herbs and spices, fried in vegetable oil. The crunchiest and most tasty falafel I’ve had in my life. You won’t even realise that you’re not eating meat.

Kebbeh $12.00
Mince meat, crushed wheat and spices fried in vegetable oil. I find this slightly dry but the boyfriend loves it.

Standard Mixed Plate $15.00
This is for the indecisive part in all of us. In this you get:
Hommus: Mashed chick peas, sesame seed paste, lemon juice and garlic.
Baba Ghannouj: Mashed eggplants, sesame seed paste, lemon juice and garlic.
Falafel: Cracked chick peas, cum with herbs and spices, fried in vegetable oil.
Kafta: Mince meat, parsley, onion and spices grilled on skewers.
Shish Kebab: Lamb cubes grilled on skewer.
Charcoal Chicken: Chicken charcoal grilled until tender.
Kebbeh: Mince meat, crushed wheat and spices fried in vegetable oil.
Tabbouleh:Chopped parsley, onion, mint, tomatoes, lemon juice and oil.
You get a little taste of everything. Truthfully, one plate is enough to feed two people. At $15.00 a plate, this dish is a steal. My favourite is the kafta, it is so moist and flavourful. Best of all you get two kafta skewers on this plate of choice.

I think Jasmin 1 is a great value-for-money restaurant. The decorations are unique, the servings are generous, the prices are cheap as, and to top it all off, the staff are so friendly! It may be quite a drive for some people, but I think it’s worth it to drive 45 minutes for this meal. Jasmin has many other restaurants in Lakemba, Auburn and Bankstown. I haven’t been to their other restaurants in fear they won’t be as good. But I heard from a little birdie that there is a new one located a lot closer to the city. I shall investigate and report on it. Until then..

Happy nom nom nom-ing!

Jasmin 1
224 The Boulevarde
Punchbowl NSW 2196
T: (02) 9740 7866

Jasmin One Lebanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

MasterChef Live 2010

What a whirlwind of a day! Some major highlights included:

  • Bring surrounded by loads of stalls ranging from chocolate truffles, to gelato, to olive oil and ginger beer, I had heaps of fun sampling foods from many different stalls and most of the time I would end up purchasing something. How can you say no to deliciousness. My granny trolley which I had brought along came in handy with helping the boyfriend, his sister and my best friend tow around all our goodies. Best investment ever! It may not be that stylish, but it saves you from lugging around your purchases.
  • Seeing Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris, Matt Preston, Adam Liaw, Marion Grasby and Donna Hay! Matt Preston has lost a lot of weight. Well done!
  • Sitting next to Adriano Zumbo while he demonstrated how to pipe. He was like 30cm away from me! *swoon* I got a photo with him as well. He’s so nice and down to earth.
  • Bumping into Lorraine (Not Quite Nigella). I saw her from afar but was initially too shy to say hello, it took some discussion with the boyfriend, his sister and my best friend to see whether or not I had seen the wrong person to finally convince myself to go and say hi. To say I was like a giddy little school girl is to say the least. Side note: Lorraine, I’m sorry if I seemed weird in any way at all.

I had so much fun today. I’m always so happy when surrounded by food. Even though it was hot and muggy, the food made up for it. Normally I would’ve been complaining about the weather, but the food just makes up for it all. MasterChef Live is on until this Sunday, if you have a chance to go you should.

Happy nom nom nom-ing!

MasterChef Live 2010

So what is everyone doing on Friday? I know where I’ll be..at MasterChef Live 2010. I’ve just received information that MasterChef Live is giving away free promotional tickets for Friday 10th December. So if you want to go for FREE, print and complete the form and present on arrival. It’s as simple as that. Although you don’t get a seat in the MasterChef Live Theatre Show or the Jaguar VIP Lounge, there are a stackload of demonstrations and other foodie things to see.

Happy nom nom nom-ing!

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