Sean and I decided to start a new tradition this year. We love going to Yum Cha (or "drink tea" if literally translated) and thought that it'd be nice to go for Yum Cha for lunch on the first of every year!
For this first gorge we decided to go to Tingha Palace in Parramatta. It was bustling with families of all nationalities, and we were quietly directed to a spot on a shaded balcony. Now let the ordering begin!
We ordered Fried Spring Rolls to start off with. Crispy on the outside and steaming hot on the inside, the spring rolls were good, but nothing out of the ordinary. If anything, I felt like the pastry to filling ratio was a little bit skewed, and that it should have just a little more (better seasoned) filling.
And what's a Yum Cha session without dumplings?
We ordered Chive and Prawn Dumplings (pictured above), and Har Gow (which literally translates to Prawn Dumplings). They were both good, flavour-wise, but I personally found the texture rather lacking. There is something about the translucent, fragile skin that gently encases crunchy, fresh prawns, that has a comforting chewiness about it. I love biting into a prawn dumpling and feeling that token bit of resistance before it gives way to my determined appetite. These ones, however, were just a little too placid and limp for my taste. But they were good dumplings otherwise!
Sean also had to have his favourite - Char Siew Pao.
It was sort of...average. It had the lovely fluffy buns around sweet, barbecued pork. Nothing mind-blowing, but definitely nothing to complain about.
Now on to my Yum Cha must-haves...
Cheong Fun!!! I love the silky sheets clinging delicately around tasty fillings, smothered in a magically sweet and salty dark sauce. Again, similar to the pork buns, it's good, but not inspiring. If anything, we found that the sheets of rice noodles were a little too thick in some places where they've clumped together.
And last but not least (of the savouries)...
The Phoenix's Claw (or braised chicken feet) are lovely and well stewed, with the strategic hits of chilli rounding up a medley of exciting flavours. Kudos to the restaurant for getting this right, as chicken feet are quite hard to cook correctly, and has to be stewed enough to allow all the flavours to meld. It also has to be tender enough to fall apart in your mouth, but not fall apart around your chopsticks. Full marks for this dish.
And now, on to the desserts!!
We ordered the Mango Pancakes and the Mango Pudding. As with the other dishes, these were thoroughly average. In fact, the pancakes were a little too clumpy and not silky enough, and there was entirely too much pancake to filling. We were left craving more desserts at the end of this meal, and it didn't help that the dessert cart took forever to arrive at our table. For some reason, our table had been cleared and we were waiting for a good 20min before the dessert cart was called to the us.
All in all, it was an average experience. The prices were regular Yum Cha prices, and not fantastic value for money, since the dishes were so...regular. If nothing else, it's really convenient for when we want a Yum Cha hit, but otherwise, nothing really worth traveling for.
Of course, when you go to a Chinese restaurant, you gotta spend some time looking into the giant fish tanks that line the walls!!
We ate at
Parramatta Leagues Club
1st Floor, 13-15 O'Connell Street, Parramata NSW 2150, Australia
(02) 9890 168
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