Fung jao phoenix claws (chicken feet)
I'm looking forward to the long weekend.
More often than not, we find ourselves at yum cha. For some people, the chaos of yum cha sends them into a frazzle from sensory overload. I revel in it.
There's something comforting about the ritual of yum cha. The inevitable queue out the front, the hustle towards your table - still being cleared by efficient but surly waitstaff- and the general crescendo that swells in the full dining room: the rumbling chatter, the tinkle of chopsticks hitting ceramic bowls, and the occasional shriek of children, despite the attentions of doting grandparents.
Surely yum cha is a theme park for the hungry? Trolleys stacked high with bamboo steamers trundled straight to your table, the cloud of steam that rises when the lids are lifted for inspection, and the doleful cries of the trolley ladies, particularly those saddled with the dim sum that are hard to shift - the spring rolls, the sharks fin dumplings and the stuffed tofu pockets.
Yum cha trolley action
At The Dynasty, the atmosphere is a little more sedate but still bubbly with enthusiasm. Located on the ground floor of Canterbury Leagues Club, the retaurant features a cascading water feature, wooden bridges and lucky giant frog statues. There's a deliberate emphasis on stately elegance, the waitstaff dressed in smart black uniforms and reasonably attentive. It's the kind of place I picture Chinese businessmen having meetings in, or where people bring overseas visitors - where an element of prestige is sought after and highly valued.
On the other hand, it's also perfect for families, the spacious restaurant is filled with interesting things to distract fidgeting young ones: the fish tanks, the bridge, the waterfall, the frogs and the Club lobby. Free parking in the Club carpark is also a bonus.
Gow choi gao garlic chive dumplings
I've eaten here several times for dinner now, but it's our first visit for yum cha. Fung jao are particularly good, the chicken feet deep-fried to a lovely fluffiness and served with a good amount of black beans and chilli - so often missing or diluted in yum cha offerings these days.
Ham soi gok, one of my favorites, is also commendable, the deep-fried combination pork dumpling fresh from the fryer and wonderfully sticky.
Ham soi gok combination pork dumplings
Char siu bao barbecue pork buns
Pai gwut pork ribs
Har gow prawn dumplings
Har gow prawn dumplings also pass the test - the thin transluscent skins holding a precious parcel of sweet prawns with the slight crunch of finely diced bamboo.
Lo mai gai sticky rice in banana leaves
Dim sum trolley
Dai ji gow scallop dumplings
Whitebait in spicy salt
It's all delicious. The white bait is light and non-greasy although the portion is modest. Ja leung is the biggest disappointment, the deep-fried bread sticks undeniably soggy and chewy within the slipperly sleeping bag of rice noodle.
Low bak go is fancier than usual, dressed with delicate ribbons of a thin pale omelette. The thick batons of radish cake have been pan-fried to a lovely caramelised crisp, enlivened with diced and fried lup cheong sausage and a generous handful of shallots.
Har cheung fun prawns in long rice noodles
Ja leung deep-fried bread sticks in long rice noodles
Low bak goh pan-fried radish cake
There's always room for dessert. The kids clamour for coconut and taro layered jellies, a wobble of green agar on top of creamy coconut and sweetened taro.
Jellies and puddings
Coconut and taro layered jellies
Fruit salad pancakes (mangoes weren't quite in season)
It's still early days of the mango season so mango pancakes have been replaced by fruit salad pancakes, the fluro yellow crepe rolled up with sponge cake, straweberry, peaches and cream.
Tofu fah sweet silken tofu
Tofu fah is as slinky as satin, although I prefer a sweeter gingery syrup.
Daan tart flaky egg custard tarts
And to conclude? Flaky egg custard tarts. I'm always mesmerised by the slight slick of oil across their sunny surface.
Pastry crumbs down the front of your shirt and an eggy custard trail around the lips. It's the only way to leave a successful yum cha.
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Canterbury Leagues Club
26 Bridge Road, Belmore, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9704 7704 or
Tel: +61 (02) 9740 6633
Open for yumcha
Monday to Friday from 11am
Saturday and Sunday from 10am
Open for dinner
Monday to Sunday from 5.30pm
Related GrabYourFork posts:
Yum Cha -- China Grand, Haymarket
Yum Cha -- East Ocean, Haymarket (Oct 08), (Aug 06), (Aug 05) and (Oct 04)
Yum Cha -- Hung Cheung, Marrickville
Yum Cha -- Palace Chinese, Sydney CBD
Yum Cha -- Regal Restaurant, Sydney CBD
Yum Cha -- Zilver, Haymarket (Jan 07) and (Feb 06)
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10/02/2009 12:25:00 a.m.