Noodle Markets, Yum Cha and Zilver, Haymarket.
November 4, 2010 § 6 Comments
I once said that, if I were a parent, then DOCS would come after me with the way I’ve neglected the Strawberry Patch. Since that day I vowed to stay committed, even when uni and all the rest of it threaten to devour my last speck of free time like NB would devour a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. But the past two weeks have been a bit manic, I have seven days left of my university career and choosing to blog instead of write, record and edit a radio documentary, present an advertising campaign and conjure a 3000 word creative response to the bush trope from the depths of my exhausted brain didn’t seem like the smartest idea at this stage of the game.
During the mania there have been a couple of cheese toast nights, a couple of burnt cheese toast nights, a couple of emotional breakdown nights and a couple of dumpling nights. The former aren’t of much interest (note – closing the oven door when the grill is melting your cheese will set off smoke alarms from the kitchen to the living room as soon as you reopen the door). But the latter was quite a delicious excursion into the world of Asian morsels.
It all started a couple of weeks ago during the Crave Sydney Night Noodle Markets when NB and I fronted up on a cold, blustery Tuesday night to sample prawn dumplings, beef rendang and nasi goreng. We smiled at the dancing dragon, perved on other people’s plates and commented on the lack of actual noodle dishes amid okonomiyaki, chicken satay, san choy bau and tandoori.
Then, the following Sunday my oriental experience continued with a girl excursion to the Chinese Gardens to dress up in princess costumes and then head on to Yum Cha for a late brunch.
This was actually my first yum cha experience, if you can believe it, even after living in Sydney for three years! I’ve always had a love affair with the simple dumpling, its silky casing, plump, moist filling, and interesting accompaniments and sauces make me far happier than they should. I like being able to go and buy a single dumpling as a late afternoon pick-me-up from the stalls at Bondi Junction’s Saturday food markets, yet I’ve never rallied the troops and made a meal out of it.
So after we had had enough of posing as Chinese princesses, it was time to return kimonos and put the Yum back in the Cha. We went to Zilver, Haymarket (477 Pitt Street) an enormous three room space that still required a 25 minute waiting list to seat all the hungry patrons.
Once inside though the carts come up beside you as fast as a hyperactive sibling in a dodgem car. Get ready for fast decisions, this is thinking on your feet in a foreign language kind of dining.
Yes prawn steamed dumplings.
Yes weird looking spongey vegetable.
No thankyou chicken feet (not my choice, I wanted to try them).
Despite a continuous misunderstanding regarding jugs of water, the service was really on the ball and the food was pretty top notch – think seafood inspired dumplings and mango/cream filled rolls that make you want to use adjectives like velvety, sumptuous and plump. Our favourite dish was a plate of plain noodles dressed in a sticky peanut/oyster kind of sauce.
We left feeling rotund, content and, for less than $20 a head, not bankrupt. Now that’s my kind of eating.