Posts tagged Dim Sum

West meets…East Ocean, Haymarket

Sydney Food Blog Review of East Ocean, Haymarket: Rice Noodle Rolls with Chinese Dough Sticks

What happens when you give a glutton two hundred dollars to spend at a restaurant? So much food that you’d have to roll me home, that’s what. And it didn’t even involve crab, the most magnificent of food creatures.

That’s just a regret that I’m gonna have to live with for the rest of my life. :'(

Sydney Food Blog Review of East Ocean, Haymarket: Beef Tripe

It all started with a surprise gift of an East Ocean voucher from Zomato coinciding with my birthday. It was like the Universe was telling me that I was long overdue for some dumplings, and what’s good eating without some good people to eat it with?

Sydney Food Blog Review of East Ocean, Haymarket: Seasoned Jellyfish Salad

5 people can smash $200, right? Surely, with prices of food what they are in Sydney’s CBD. Well, no. We only hit $176, and you could hear my cries of asian-stingy-anguish from the next street over, as I waived away my right to finish off that voucher. URRRRGGGHHHH. How did we not hit target??

Although I guess, it speaks to the value for money. I personally ate till I couldn’t eat anymore, and we didn’t hold back in the ordering either: suckling pig, jellyfish, soup dumplings, scallop dumplings, chicken feet, rice noodle rolls and more, all made multiple appearances around the table. In front of me. Mostly.

As for the quality of the food, it was actually pretty decent. There were a few items that weren’t as up-to-scratch: the rice noodle rolls needed a thinner sauce in larger quantities, the soup dumplings were dryer than an Australian dessert…but you know what, I really enjoyed the sheer variety that they had, and all printed in a pictorial menu, no less.

And the service? Well, it isn’t a good Chinese restaurant unless the service is…questionable. Some good, some bad, so that evens it out I guess. Although there were times I just wanted to hold them by the collar and yell, “JUST FEED ME!!! FEED ME GODDAMMIT”

I’m not me when I’m hangry.

Oh and one last thing: the good stuff – like the aforementioned suckling pig – only comes in at 11am. Don’t bother rocking up before then if that’s what you’re after. Trust me.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Zomato.
East Ocean
421-429 Sussex Street
Sydney, NSW
Phone: 02 8318 2200

East Ocean Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Michelin Effect: Tim Ho Wan, Chatswood

Review of Tim Ho Wan, Chatswood

The Michelin guide started as a general guide for motorists. The Michelin brothers (who owned the tire company), decided to publish a guide that included maps, instructions for changing tires…and where to eat if you were going on a road trip. Today, this humble guide started by two men who owned a tire company has become a force unto itself, elevating restaurants to 6-month-waiting-list levels, or crushing the dreams of a chef slaving away at his craft.

All within those three little stars next to the restaurant’s name.

Well Tim Ho Wan – famous for being the cheapest Michelin starred restaurant – has expanded beyond its original Hong Kong venue, to the busy streets of…Chatswood.

Hundreds of excited foodies flock to Tim Ho Wan in its opening week…and then another week, and another. The queue never seemed to end. But luckily, I’m Singaporean, so I’m not afraid of a queue!

Review of Tim Ho Wan, Chatswood - Prawn DumplingPrawn Dumplings

Review of Tim Ho Wan, Chatswood -  Pork Rib with Black Bean SaucePork Ribs with Black Bean Sauce

Review of Tim Ho Wan, Chatswood - Rice Noodle Rolls with ShrimpRice Noodle Rolls with Shrimp

Review of Tim Ho Wan, Chatswood - Glutinous Rice in Lotus LeafGlutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf

Review of Tim Ho Wan, Chatswood - Fish Maw with Prawn PasteFish Maw with Prawn Paste

Simon and I went for a weekday brunch to minimise waiting time – surely other people have day jobs right? – and we were seated in 5 minutes. Win! We ordered a mixture of classic dim sum – rice noodle rolls and prawn dumplings, to name a couple – and the signature/new dishes – barbecued pork buns and fish maw with prawn paste. The classic were, well, a disappointment. The rice noodle rolls were brittle, and sorely lacking the chewy pull that I look forward to, and the prawn dumplings and pork rib with black bean sauce were mediocre.

The signature dishes, on the other hand, were much better executed, perhaps because there isn’t much competition out there. The barbecued pork buns with its buttery shell of “crumble” over the top of sweet, stuffed milk buns were truly special, and kept me going back for more. And the fish maw – fish stomach fried to a sponge like texture and then stuffed with fresh prawn paste and steamed – was quite the representation of good cantonese cooking.

For such a short menu, it’s a shame that there were more mediocre dishes than good ones. The glutinous rice – another in a long list of classic dim sum menu items – was expertly executed, but on the whole, the experience wasn’t enough to even keep us for dessert. Not worth the hype, nor the trip, unfortunately. Maybe a takeaway order of the barbecue pork buns?

This meal was independently paid for.
Tim Ho Wan
Victoria Ave & Railway St
Chatswood, NSW
Phone: (02) 9898 9888

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Gold Leaf, Docklands

It always boggles my mind that in Australia, yum cha – which literally translates to “drink tea” – has not very much to do with tea. Instead, it’s used synonymously with dim sum – the little plates that come around in endless trolleys and steamer baskets.

But differences aside, there is always one constant: you never only order just one dish.
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Prince Restaurant, Parramatta


I’ve heard many recommendations to try the Yum Cha at Prince Restaurant in Parramatta, and one Sunday, I decided to walk down there to get my Yum Cha fix.

It was extremely busy, and the hustle and bustle of ordering families and trolley ladies really got me excited for a great meal!!

A large hotplate of various delights greets you near the entrance, and I really love the look of the food being fried/cooked in front of you. It gives me a great feeling of immediacy of the hot steaming food.



The first thing that I absolutely have to order is the selection of rice noodle (Cheong fun) dishes. As previously mentioned, I have a certain thing for the steamed silky mouthfuls of prawn stuffed rice noodles. What I’ve recently discovered, though, is that I absolutely adore the fried version too! The fried version here came with a sesame/sweet dipping sauce, and each springy mouthful was an absolute delight.

I also ordered from their selection of dumplings.

The dumplings were all okay, but nothing absolutely fantastic. But then again, I have been spoiled for choice. The fried dumplings that they had here were okay, but I much prefer the ones my mother makes.

I know, spoiled right? 😉


Finally, no Yum Cha experience is complete without the order of Mango Pancakes!

Mango flavoured pancakes are wrapped around a soft filling of sweet, ripe mangoes and smooth creamy ice cream. Yum.

Considering that it’s a walking distance from home, it was an experience I would definitely repeat. The service, while sometimes slightly inattentive due to the business of the joint, was largely not bad! The food must also have been better than I remember, since most of the stuff I’ve eaten I seem to have forgotten to photograph! Goes to show how much a hungry tummy and make me slightly irresponsible in the food blogging department. =)

We ate at:
Prince Restaurant
(02) 9891 5777
100 Church Street
Parramatta NSW 2150

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Sky Phoenix, Sydney


Sydney, especially in Chinatown, has a fair few decent Yum Cha places. The Phoenix chain of restaurants are especially reputable, with many restaurants dotted throughout the busier suburbs in Sydney.

Sky Phoenix isn’t particularly outstanding, but it’s got decent food, and decent enough service.


It’s definitely consistent, and it’s a great option in the city, especially if you’re meeting friends for a shopping trip, and feel like going for some dim sum.

We ate at:

Sky Phoenix
77 Castlereagh St
Sydney, NSW 2000

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Stories From My Childhood, Part 1

Happy Lunar New Year y’all!!! (And happy Valentine’s Day if you celebrate it!) Chinese New Year has always been a tasty and food-filled tradition for me and this year hasn’t been any different. Most of my childhood memories are closely associated with food, and growing up in a food obsessed culture, it’s not hard to see why.

two pictures featuring both the soup and dry versions of beef kway teow, a local noodle dish.
From top: Beef Kway Teow in soup, with tendon, tripe, meatball and braised beef pieces, and Beef Noodle in thick gravy, with salted vegetables and braised beef pieces

Every Sunday afternoon my mom would bring me to music class, and on the way there, there used to be a really popular Beef Kway Teow stall which had queues going around the block. As the class was at 1pm, we would often visit that stall for lunch, and I would always top off my Beef Noodles (dry) – with it’s thick gravy, fragrant toasted peanuts and crunchy salted vegetables – with extra chilli sauce with its tangy undertones and capsaicin kick, and cinchalok – which is an incredibly tasty condiment made of salted krill, chilli, shallots and plenty of lime. A taste bud explosion, I love the combination of the silky noodles drenched in thick gravy, textured with tender pieces of beef, and punctuated with the high notes of chilli and cinchalok.

A layout of two pictures featuring a busy hawker centre scene on the top, and brilliantly lit fluorescent signs of the food these stalls offer.

Hawker centres are often a crazy maze of people driven by hunger. Besides the dozens of stalls – some selling similar food – vying for your attention, you have to navigate getting a table, not losing your dining companions, and making sure that your table does not get commandeered by other, louder groups.

So why go to a hawker centre? Often the food is wayyy better (and cheap! $3 is often enough to get you a meal), and really, isn’t good food meant to be paired with the appropriate atmosphere?

From top: Chee Cheong Fun, Fried Yam Cake, Fried Carrot Cake
From top: Chee Cheong Fun, Fried Yam Cake, Fried Carrot Cake

Although these lovely morsels aren’t anywhere near to all of what hawker centres in Singapore have to offer, these are certainly some of my must-haves when I visit home.

When I was little, my mother used to put me in a pram and take me for a walk to Seletar Market. There, there was a friendly matronly lady who, upon seeing that I liked the Fried Carrot Cake (Cai Tow Kuey), used to have a plate ready whenever my mother wheeled my pram to a table. Fried Carrot Cake is so named because of the little pops of diced salted radish that give the dish its characteristic taste. Add in fried egg, and diced rice cakes and there you have it! It comes in a white version and a black version, with the black version having the addition of dark soy sauce and sweet soy sauce. Unfortunately the market has since been torn down in favour of high rise apartments, but I still remember it fondly as a big part of my childhood.

When I was older, I attended a kindergarten that was part of the childcare programme organized by my mother’s workplace. The building that my mom worked in was located conveniently near Amoy Street Food Centre, where a middle aged man with a round belly and a white singlet dished up the first food that I was truly addicted to – Chee Cheong Fun. A rice flour mixture is first steamed into thin sheets of noodle, then rolled. Usually served with a sweet, thick sauce, I now prefer to unravel the rice noodles and toss it in a mixture of soy sauce and sesame seed oil. The silky noodles carry the hint of salt from the soy, and the fragrance from the sesame seed oil. These plain rice noodle rolls are sold in most Asian stores in Australia as well, if you fancy steaming them and dressing them yourself at home. =)

Food, to me, is a great conveyor of memories, and these are foods that give me constant (and enjoyable) flashbacks.

What are your childhood favourites?

La Premiere, Hoyts Moore Park


It’s been a great time of eating lately, and it is topped off by – much like the gorgeous chocolate sundae pictured above, but more about that later – a cordial invite by the nice people at Hoyts to try their La Premiere menu!

La Premiere was described to me as their ‘business class’ offering – a more relaxed feel than ‘first class’, but more sophisticated and swanky than just a movie. Good food at the movies provide a multitude of possibilities: Let’s say you’re on a first date and you’re nervous. Well, no awkward pre-movie dinner conversation! Just order the food at the movies, and then you have something to talk about afterwards to break the ice! Or let’s say you want to meet up with a couple of girlfriends after work to catch some food and a movie. Sometimes dinner can run long, causing you to be late for the movie. Well, this solves that problem too.

The problem used to be, though, that the food at the cinema was crap. I’m sorry, I know that there’s a place for cheesy nachos and popcorn, but it does not make for a great food experience if you want a ‘nice night out’. When I think ‘nice night out’ I tend to think about decent food that’s relatively light, that I can pick at with my friends. Nothing too heavy, but a nice variety.

And the heaviness was something that Hoyts wanted to address. Before this change, the menu was dominated by deep-fried food that wasn’t particularly inspiring. So they partnered with Lotus & Ming and 2 newly-hired chefs to come up with something better for movie-goers to enjoy.

I like to identify myself as a rabid fan of movies – at one point I was going once a week, scary I know – so I’m very lucky to have been invited by the lovely people at Hoyts to try out this new menu!

Let’s get down and yummy shall we? 😉

First up was the Peking Duck Pancakes ($17 for 4).


As someone who’s grown up with these pancakes, I always get really wary of the ones offered in Australia. Sometimes it’s overtly sweet, sometimes there’s a bad balance of fresh veg (cucumber and spring onion) to duck, and sometimes there’s so much sauce that it just gets soggy and hard to eat.

But these were genuinely a joy. You could definitely tell that the focus was on food that you could handle easily in the cinema. The duck was shredded, meaning that you didn’t need to be chewing through skin – come on, we’ve all had those moments where we’re trying to bite through duck and we’ve just pulled whole pieces out, leaving the rest of the roll empty. These spring rolls are definitely the type that you can pick up and eat in the dark safely, without worrying about having filling all over your clothes. The plum dipping sauce was also a nice addition, as it meant that the rolls weren’t overly soggy with sauce and you had the option if you wanted more. 


In following with the roll theme, the Farm Fresh Vegetable Spring Rolls ($12 for 3) were up next. Filled with a variety of ingredients like shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts, these spring rolls were tasty and comforting. It was served with a soy infusion sauce – I have no idea what the term means, but to me it tasted more like a dressing with a touch of tanginess than the salty hit of just soy sauce. Simple and comforting, these rolls are easy to share with friends on a girls’ night out. 


The Yum Cha Combo ($17 for 6) caught me a little bit off guard. As a general rule, I don’t eat dumplings unless I am going to yum cha or at a reputable chinese restaurant. There was a mixture of shrimp dumplings and chicken ones, they were decent, but not quite my thing. Especially after the first two dishes which were pleasantly surprising, these fell just a bit short for me. The bite size pieces were still great to eat in the dark, but after growing up with home-made dumplings, my personal bias just got the best of me in this one.


If you’re a fan of the crunchy fried option, then you’ll like this one. The Salt and Pepper Seafood Medley ($22) consisted of crumbed prawn, calamari and whiting served on a bed of fries. The seafood was good and I love how the crumbing was not saturated and dripping with oil, but I think the unsung heroes of this dish were the chips.  Paired with the garlic and chive aioli, those chips were amazingly moorish, leading us to keep picking at them throughout. The amazing part? Even after almost an hour of being on the table, the chips kept their crisp!!! There was a satisfying crunch even when many other chips would have been stale, and even when they were at room temperature, they still hit the spot texturally. LOVE THOSE CHIPS.

When  I think of chips, I somehow think of burgers, so how appropriate was it that the next thing that we got to try was the La Premiere Burger Trio ($17)?



Three mini burgers were served with a palette cleansing cranberry and raspberry juice shot. The Wagyu Beef Slider (top photo, left) consisted of a patty made with grass fed beef, cheddar cheese and tomato relish. The Grilled Chicken slider (top photo, right) consisted of marinated grilled chicken, cheese and creamy creamy avocado. And finally, the Gourmet Turkey Slider (bottom photo, top) had turkey with melted cheese and a lovely dollop of cranberry sauce.

These mini burgers were the size of a Mini-Disc (anyone remember those) and were trés cute! The beef was my absolute favourite, with heaps of gorgeous umami flavours bursting forth with every bite. It was the heaviest of the three, but the small size prevented it from being too much and weighing you down. The chicken was my next favourite, with the creamy avocado adding a touch of luxury to an otherwise light and healthy-tasting burger. I felt that the turkey was festive, and a great idea, but the turkey piece itself just was a touch dry for me. Speaking with Chris – the man who is leading the charge in the full revamp of the menu – he mentioned that the turkey burger was the trickiest because of the nature of turkey meat being quite lean. Full disclosure, though, I’m really picky about such things. Sam, whom I went with, didn’t feel that it was dry at all, and loved it.

Something else that Sam and I both love is cheese – both the dairy and Disney sort – and the Cheese Board ($24) did not disappoint.


The cheeses on the board consisted of a creamy Adelaide hill Brie and Goats Cheese Curd (top left and right, respectively), Blue Cow Country Cheddar (middle, left) and and mild Hysen Blue Cheese (bottom, left), with quince paste and lavosh. A cheese board can be pretty simple, and sometimes leaves people to think that for the price they pay they can just buy the cheeses themselves and create the board. Chris had thought about this and told me that the conscious decision was made to use cheeses from suppliers that are not as commonly found so that there was something different, a point of difference from the rest. Something for people to come back for.

Well, this is something that I would definitely get again and again. I love how the Goat’s Cheese Curd wasn’t quite as strong on the aftertaste like many goat’s cheeses I’ve tried. The brie melted luxuriously in my mouth, and the blue cheese was not as sharp as some of the others, making it a great beginner’s blue for people who are hesitant in ordering and trying blues. I’m not a great cheddar eater, but Sam was, and this reiterated the sharing concept of the menu. There is something for everyone.

But with almost every eating experience, there is the pièce de résistance. Let me present to you the La Premiere Chocolate Fudge Brownie Sundae ($24).


As modeled by Sam, this ginormous sundae is close to the size of her face.A 1.8L glass bowl is filled with generous scoops of vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, fudgy chocolate brownie cubes, whipped cream, wafers and nuts. Holding this bowl made me want to replace (in my dream wedding) a wedding bouquet with a gargantuan ice cream sundae. Whether it’s a breakup, celebration or just because, this sundae is a definite sharing favourite! There is even a strawberry version which has an entire punnet of strawberries emptied into its creamy depths. LOVE IT.

In all, I felt that the amount of effort and thought that went into the revamp – considering how people would eat the food in the dark and how they would feel after eating the food – deserves lots of praise. Considering that there are limited facilities in the kitchen, the team has done a fantastic job in presenting more than decent food with great variety. Sure, I’m not crazy about absolutely everything, but the whole point of the variety is that there is something for everyone to try.

At the moment the La Premiere menu is available in NSW at Moore Park and Chatswood, but they are expanding it in more locations soon. 

Note: Tammi and guest of Insatiable Munchies were invited as guests of Hoyts Australia.

Fisherman’s Wharf Seafood Restaurant, Pyrmont, Sydney

The lovely Miss Piggy and Starloz organized a blogger’s meetup, and much MUCH food was consumed. We all went to Yum Cha at a restaurant and sat above the Sydney Fish Markets, and well, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.


Yes, that was our bill in the end. Though, considering that it was over 20 hungry food bloggers in attendance, it wasn’t a bad effort at all!!

The food, well, it was ok, but not particularly exquisite. I think that especially since I have to commute to the city, there’s no real draw for me to make another dedicated trip back by myself.

I did have a really good time though, and I think the whole experience made it really fun for me – the hustle and bustle as the trolley-pushing ladies jostled for our attention, cameras going off in every direction, plates and cups clinking…it all made for a very memorable day indeed.

A big thank you to our lovely organizers, and it was lovely to meet everyone!!! =)

We ate at:

Fisherman’s Wharf Seafood Restaurant
+61 2 9660 9888
Sydney Fish Markets Gipps St,
Pyrmont NSW
Mon – Fri: Yum Cha and A La Carte Lunch – 11am-3pm; Dinner 5pm-11pm
Sat – Sun: Yum Cha and A La Carte Lunch – 10am-3.30pm; Dinner – 5pm-11pm

Fisherman's Wharf Seafood on Urbanspoon

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Victor’s Kitchen, Singapore

Dim Sum
Steamed Carrot Cake
Golden Lava Bun
Honey Dew Sago

This is a really really popular lunching outlet with the office crowd nearby, so remember to go there early in order to secure yourself a table. Also, the service is not the most patient, but when it’s bustling like the day we went, I’m not expecting much in terms of service, because the food is so good!!!

We ate at:
Victor’s Kitchen
Sunshine Plaza
91 Bencoolen St
Singapore 189652
+65 9838 2851

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