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

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Eastern Treasures Seafood Restaurant – Bondi Junction, Sydney

Last week I attended the opening ceremony (sounds like the Olympics, doesn’t it?) of a new chinese restaurant in Bondi Junction. My dad is friends with the boss, the manager, as well as the head dim sum chef there. The opening was quite successful, it had the local MP, the board of directors, dancing lions, the whole shebang. I didn’t take any photos because I didn’t really know anyone there (only my dad’s cheffy friends) and I was bored.

Today my dad woke me up and told me we were going to go yum cha. While I am a fan of yum cha, I have grown to despise many yum cha restaurants around where I live. So every so often, I drive all the way to Parramatta (I live on the North Shore) and I have yum cha at The Prince in Parramatta. Main reason why I go there: my dad works there and I guess my taste buds have grown to only like the dim sum he prepares. But on days where my dad doesn’t have to work, he takes me around to his friend’s restaurants, having yum cha and testing out their flavours. Today was no different. We met up with his friend Peter Gor (he used to be the boss of Kam Fook in Hurstville and most recently New China Restaurant in Haymarket) to try out this new restaurant.

This reminds me of those olden day China shop signs.

I was met with the restaurant manager William Wong (黃明) who is my dad’s friend, who I had also met last Thursday. He didn’t recognise me, which I kind of like (I don’t like those people who ‘shine shoes’ 擦鞋 when they know who my father is). He was very polite though when he realised who I was but I didn’t mind. We were shown to a nice table where my dad was greeted by his friends. I whipped out the camera and was in my own little world of photography.

The interior is quite nice. The theme is very Chinese and Asian, but with a slight modern twist to it. Along one wall is a row of windows, this helps with the lighting of the restaurant. However, as the ceilings are quite low, there is a certain dimness to it. But I’m all for natural light since it does help the environment, so bravo to them.

I love this part of their ceiling. It looks like rolls of fabric hanging from the ceiling.

The lanterns are also very authentic with a clutter of modern placement.

Very clean and simple table decorations and cruets.

A wall of giant bamboo steamers.

焼売 Siu Mai (Pork and Mushroom Dumplings)
An open-faced dumpling stuffed with ground pork, chopped prawns and mushrooms in a wonton wrapper.

鳳爪 Phoenix Claw (Chicken Feet)
Chicken feet simmered in black bean sauce.

潮州粉果 Chiu Chow Fun Gor (Chiu Chow Dumplings)
A mixture of peanuts, garlic chives, ground pork, dried shrimp, dried radish and mushrooms wrapped in a chewy dumpling wrapper.

韭菜虾餃 Gau Choy Gow (Pork and Chives Dumplings)
A mixture of garlic chives and chopped prawns wrapped in a chewy dumpling wrapper.

蛋塔 Darn Tart (Egg Tart)
Egg custard baked in a flaky pastry cup.

雞包 Gai Bao (Chicken Bun)
Steamed bun filled with minced chicken and ginger.

炸两 Ja Leung (Chinese Donut Rice Paper Roll)
Chinese donut wrapped in a rice paper roll.

My dad ordered the Chicken Bun (雞包) when I had gone to the bathroom and when I came back there was only 1 left in the steamer. That’s why the bun looks so lonely.

My favourite dim sum lately has been the Chiu Chow Dumplings (潮州粉果). Although I do admit I only really like the peanuts that are usually present in the dumpling. Therefore I was slightly disappointed when I bit into the dumpling and there were no peanuts. Turns out that there are a lot of people allergic to peanuts, therefore they replaced the peanuts with pinenuts. I do, however, commend them on their chewy dumpling wrapper. It was thick, but not too thick, and it was quite chewy (which I like). Many yum cha places have not perfected the art of wrapper making and they come out with dumplings that just break apart on touch.

Sous Chef and Head Dim Sum Chef

Eastern Treasures Seafood Restaurant has an opening special:

  • For every 3 dim sum dishes you order, you get the 4th for free.
  • 10% off the total bill.
  • Free tea.

It’s a pretty good deal and their dishes are reasonably priced. The only problem is the parking. Closest parking is in Westfield Bondi Junction and that only has 2 hours of free parking (Can people really go shopping in only 2 hours?). Alternatively you can catch a train, the train station is a couple minutes walk away. There’s also another shopping centre nearby which offers parking but I don’t know the name of it. Personally I would rather still drive to Parramatta to go have yum cha, but if you live near Bondi, why not try this place?

Happy nom nom nom-ing!

Eastern Treasures Seafood Restaurant

Level 1, No. 9 Bronte Road
Bondi Junction NSW 2022
(inside Eastern Suburbs Leagues Club)