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Sunday, October 24, 2004

East Ocean, Chinatown

We've visited East Ocean a number of times over the years and always found the food consistent and of high-quality. With a recent refurbishment, East Ocean is probably one of the only Chinese restaurants in Chinatown with booth seating, respectable toilets and a colour scheme devoid of red and gold.

For those familiar with yum cha, or dim sum as its known in the UK and US, yum cha simply means to drink tea, or have tea. Trolleys laden with bamboo steamers offer bited-sized delights fresh from the kitchen--all you have to do is point at what you want and it will be placed on your table and your docket stamped according to its price. Popular with families and groups of friends, one can easily spend several hours eating, drinking and chatting. To pass as a yum cha expert, always tap the table when someone pours you tea. To find out how this custom came about, click here.

We found a wide variety of yum dishes available with plenty of trolley action circulating regularly. Some of the dishes we found a little oversweet and the chicken feet and pork ribs could have done with more chilli and salt, but overall this is good value, good quality yum cha.

Yum cha on a Sunday in Sydney is always best attempted before 11.00am with the crowds peaking at about 12pm. And always grab as many har gao prawn dumplings as you can!

Fung jao, meaning phoenix claws or chicken feet to you and me.

Beef balls.

Pai gwut or pork ribs steamed with black bean and chilli.

Chicken buns.

Lor mai gai or sticky rice.

Har gao or prawn dumplings -- everyone's must-have and the benchmark I tend to use to determine a restaurant's quality of yum cha!

Gow choi gao - garlic chive dumplings.

Har cheung fun or long fresh rice noodles with prawn.

Chilli calamari.

The glassed prep area where you can watch dumplings being made and roast ducks being chopped in a frenzy of cleaver swipes.

I have yet to see a male pushing a yumcha trolley.

Our gluttonous dessert smorgasboard.

Sago pudding -- a sweet caramelised coconut-y baked bowl of starchy goodness.

Coconut jelly -- light fluffy clouds of coconut.

Mango pudding with evaporated milk topping.

Dow fu fah or soy bean jelly. A delicate subtle and fragile dessert of fresh tofu in a sweet gingery syrup.

Daan tart or egg custard tart -- rich, eggy custard in a flaky pastry made with yes, life-giving lard. We're sure this was the original pasteis de nata or Portugese custard tart.

The damage for 7 ravenous people = $133 or about $19 each.

East Ocean
Entry either from
421-429 Sussex St or
86-88 Dixon St, Haymarket, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9212 4198

Related GrabYourFork posts:
East Ocean dinner, Feburary 2005
East Ocean dinner, April 2006
East Ocean yum cha, August 2005
1 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 10/24/2004 01:30:00 pm


  • At 12/22/2005 11:29 am, Blogger Julia said…

    East Ocean is still my ultimate, and as yum cha is my favourite food group I've tried most of them!

    ADORE the blog, can't wait to explore it all!


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