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Friday, October 02, 2009

Yum Cha at The Dynasty, Belmore


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


Bamboo steamers


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


Dessert trolley

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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The Dynasty on Urbanspoon


The Dynasty
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)

19 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 10/02/2009 12:25:00 am


19 Comments:

  • At 10/02/2009 1:24 am, Anonymous Mrs Pig Flyin' said…

    Oh I was there two weeks ago! Most dishes were nice and the prawns in rice noodles was particularly good the day I went.

     
  • At 10/02/2009 3:56 am, Anonymous Simon said…

    Is it oil on the egg tarts? I'd always thought it was the sheen of syrup or gelatin.

    What is it with RSL clubs and Chinese restaurants. Some of them are meant to be pretty good too.

    Are the taro/coconut jellies heart shaped?

     
  • At 10/02/2009 6:03 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    what happened to freebie friday!?

     
  • At 10/02/2009 6:57 am, Anonymous Veruca Salt said…

    There food here looks alright. Why no coconut clouds?

    How was the pricing compared to the usual suspects in Chinatown?

     
  • At 10/02/2009 7:06 am, Anonymous Southern Grace Gourmet said…

    Your pictures are amazing! I have always seen chicken feet in the spanish and asian grocery, but have never seen them prepared before. Thanks for sharing!

     
  • At 10/02/2009 8:27 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    God I love yum cha. Really craving it now...chicken feet, ham soi gok and egg tarts are my must haves and those egg tarts look like they are nice and flakey :) Like you, I love the entire experience of it, it's not the same without the crowds and the trolleys!

     
  • At 10/02/2009 9:41 am, Anonymous shez said…

    Boy oh boy I love me some chicken feet and tofu fa! Good thing I'm heading out to yum cha tomorrow, else I'd be one very craving-cranky camper :)

     
  • At 10/02/2009 2:23 pm, Blogger Renee said…

    yummo! I love yum cha and this looks great!

     
  • At 10/02/2009 2:40 pm, Blogger tomatosalsa said…

    Thanks for a great review! The pictures looks amazing.

    You should try The Ming Chinese Restaurant at Penrith Panthers Leagues Club, and also Noble Court at the Easts Leagues Club. They are owned and operated by the same owners as The Dynasty.

     
  • At 10/02/2009 3:01 pm, Anonymous Belle@OohLook said…

    The food at Dynasty is great; in fact, my mum became a member of the leagues club so she can take people there (she wouldn't know who the Bulldogs are, though). Apparently, the food in the other places in the club aren't much good (bistro and bain marie food).

     
  • At 10/03/2009 1:46 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    looks delicious, how does it fare amoungst other yum cha experiences which restaurant has the tastiest yumcha in sydney?

     
  • At 10/03/2009 12:38 pm, Blogger Cherry Blossom Cupcakes said…

    Oh yum! I always get completely overwhelmed at yum cha, so much pressure! I think I need to hire a guide next time. Lol!

     
  • At 10/03/2009 8:13 pm, Blogger melissa leong said…

    My mother's 85 year old friend told her about this place about a year or so ago...When we went, it was a case of "how the hell didn't we know about this earlier!" Definitely worth the trip. :)

     
  • At 10/04/2009 12:20 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Mrs Pig Flyin' - Ahh yes I remember hearing you often head here :) Our family always orders the prawns in rice noodles whenever we have yum cha too.

    Hi Simon - I always presumed it was oil but maybe it is syrup? I think Chinese restaurants are ubiquitous whereever you go, and yes the taro jellies were heart shaped but got attacked with a knife before I could take a photo. lol

    Hi Anon - Freebie Friday is only sporadic but keep your eyes peeled because you never know when the next one will be happening!

    Hi Veruca Salt - Ha, I think we're the only people obsessed with coconut clouds. The ones here come with red bean which impact on the fluffiness :(

    Pricing is pretty good - I'd say about the same level as China Grand? Cheaper than East Ocean.

    Hi Southern Grace Gourmet - Thank you - glad you enjoyed the photos. Chicken feet are a staple for any yum cha - hopefully you get o try them sometime.

    Hi Stephcookie - Oh yes, chicken feet and ham soi gok are mandatory for me! I find the noise and clatter really comforting - it's like the big family you never had, but you can always leave after a couple of hours! lol

    Hi Shez - Long weekends always seem to involve yum cha. Hope you enjoy your dumplings!

    Hi Renee - Yum cha is such a great way to socialise and eat at the same time. Glad you enjoyed the post.

    Hi Tomatosalsa - Thanks for the tips - I didn't realise the owners of Dynasty operated other Club restaurants too. Will have to try to check them out sometime.

    Hi Belle - What a great story about your mum! I haven't eaten wlsewhere in the Club either :)

    Hi Anon - I found it pretty good for yum cha. Lots of yum cha staples prepared well. It's hard to say who has the tastiest as it depends on what you usually order, but I tend to recommend East Ocean, China Grand and Hung Cheung.

    Hi Cherry Blossom Cupcakes - There's always so much to choose from at yum cha, as for a guide, sometimes a blind exploration is half the fun!

    Hi Melissa Leong - I've found so many people who rave on about Dynasty, particularly the older generation it seems? Great to hear it's also found a fan in your mum and you :)

     
  • At 10/06/2009 1:07 am, Blogger Daniela said…

    Bellissime queste ricette e le relative foto, particolarmente interessante la ricetta del pane fritto. complimenti per il tuo blog.
    Ciao Daniela

     
  • At 10/07/2009 1:26 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Daniela - Thank you, glad you enjoyed the post :)

     
  • At 10/09/2009 12:21 pm, Blogger pojaya said…

    Haven't been to this place for a few years, glad to read that it is still doing well.

    The price of yum cha seem to be heading higher and higher. :( Recently a group of us had yumcha in a suburban Melbourne place, ended up $30 a head, and this is without any drinks (other than tea), and shared desserts.

    Yum cha in the US and Canada cost less than half what it does here. One place we went to in Manhattan's Chinatown cost us a grand total of $10 -- for two of us, for yum cha!

     
  • At 10/11/2009 8:19 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    great review, was there recently and the manager explained that he sourced the chefs directly from Hong Kong. They start at 7am to prepare for yum cha.. Dont go on weekdays as the Yum Cha menu is limited--- weekends are the best. The mango pancakes when in season are heaven!
    c

     
  • At 10/13/2009 2:15 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Pojaya - It's always interesting to compare the price of yum cha from place to place. I remember finding Melbourne yum cha more expensive than Sydney, amd whilst I've had yum cha in Manhattan, I found myself preferring Sydney's yum cha - I guess it's what you're used to! Taxes and tips are also a forgotten "surprise" too :)

    Hi C - Wow I didn't realise the chefs came from Hong Kong. I tend to only go for yum cha on weekends but thanks for the tip. And yes, who can resist a mango pancake!

     

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