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Sunday, December 05, 2004

Hung Cheung, Marrickville

It's a Sunday in Marrickville and the Hung Cheung is packed to the rafters with families, couples and at least half-a-dozen prams. Sunday is yumcha** day. Rather than a roast chook for dinner, it's more likely to be a chicken foot or a prawn dumpling for brunch in these quarters.

The Hung Cheung is a large suburban Chinese restaurant. Three walls of windows let in plenty of natural light and round tables topped with lazy susans are aplenty. Like most Chinese restaurants, the atmosphere is chaotic efficiency and the accompanying din is ideal for kiddie friendliness.

**I've posted on yumcha at East Ocean before if you're not familiar with the concept of yum cha or dim sum.

Fung jao (phoenix claws or chicken feet)
Chicken feet are adored by most Chinese. The gelatinous texture is enhanced by the sticky sweet black bean, garlic and chilli sauce. The cringe factor (ewww! Chicken feet!) is usually met with disdain by its most ardent fans.

Ham sui gok (combination pork dumplings)
Crunchy fried footballs of goodness. A small spoonful of seasoned pork mince rests inside. The best bit though, is the delightful contrast between the crisp shell and the tacky starchy interior.

Gow choi gao (garlic chive dumplings)
My favourite (apart from the ham soi gok). Heaven for anyone who loves garlic and greens. These may also come with finely chopped scallops.

Pai gwut (pork ribs in black bean with chilli)
Chinese love fat (flavour). Chinese also love bones (flavour). Always tasty and tender, and yes you can use your fingers.

Har gow (prawn dumplings)
The Benchmark dish. Always judge a yum cha joint by the quality of its har gow. The bigger and tastier the prawns, the better.

Har cheung fun (prawn noodles)
The Chinese love cheung fun because the long noodles have connotations with having a long life. For the gastronome, har cheung are velvety soft ribbons of fresh rice noodles encasing either prawns, beef, char siu or fried bread sticks. Go the prawns every time and enjoy the long tasty memories.

Lo bak go (turnip cake)
A traditional homestyle dish, turnips are shredded and steamed with a mixture of rice flour, water and finely chopped pork. The turnip cake is then cut into squares and shallow fried for a crispy texture. Another one for starch lovers.

Jin cheung fun (shallow-fried rice noodles with satay sauce)
Delicate rolls of fresh rice noodles are shallow fried with sesame oil, shallots and toasted sesame seeds. A dipping sauce of peanut and hoisin sauces add flavour and contrast.

Woo gok (yam dumplings)
These flaky egg shapes are often criticised for being over-oily. However get past this, and you will marvel at the egg-roll like flaky pastry covering a soft mound of cooked yam surounding a spoonful of savoury pork mince.

Coconut jelly
Fluffy clouds of coconut jelly are like manna from the gods. Unfortunately we did find this coconut jelly more stout and sturdy, almost as if it had been set with agar. We love coconut jelly so soft and fluffy it falls apart in your fingers, makes a terrible mess but leaves a satisfied sticky smile.

Mango pudding
Chinese mango pudding is one of the few things you can buy which a) taste like real mango and b) contain real mango. For an easy-peasy recipe, check out this juicy posting from the energetic and enthusiastic Pinkcocoa.

Daan tart (egg custard tart)
No yum cha experience can be complete without the daan tart conclusion. Pastry so flaky, crisp and delicate contrast with smooth silky eggy custard which glides down the throat.

The Hung Cheung offers above-average suburban yumcha at prices which are almost laughable. Yes there are perhaps not quite as many dishes on offer as the ones in the city, but parking is readily available (and free!) and the distance from the clamouring kitchen to your ravenous belly is satisfiably much closer.

Hung Cheung
338 Marrickville Road, Marrickville
Tel: 02 9560 4681
4 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 12/05/2004 11:59:00 pm


  • At 12/15/2004 7:24 pm, Blogger pinkcocoa said…

    hey! This is the yumcha you have recommended me! The dim-sum looks really good. Sad to tell you, I haven't yet make my way there. *aiks*

    Haven't been to yumcha for a long while now. Friends like going to Fook Yuen, not sure why. Just wondering, round about how much did you pay per person?

    Thanks for 'advertising' for me. You're the greatest! hehe

  • At 12/16/2004 9:26 pm, Blogger Reid said…

    Hi Augustus Gloop,

    Chicken feet...yummy! I just had some this past weekend at my favorite dim sum spot, Panda Cuisine. Post is here:


    The rest of the dim sum dishes look equally delicious.

  • At 12/23/2004 2:50 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Mmmm, was inspired after read this to head on to Hung Cheung for yum cha for lunch!

    And, yes, kiddie friendly. There were toddlers and babies everywhere. And at least one teddy bear perched on its own chair next to its owner. And we played peek-a-boo with one little boy. (Max was unfortunately not in attendance, although he would have had a great time.)

    Very nice, thanks for the memory jog! I have been there a couple of times before. The range isn't as good as the city (I'm a new Marigold fan), but it's friendly and convenient and delicious.

    And all sorts of yummy a la carte dishes went past - including a live lobster on its way to the kitchen! And scallops on the shell and natural oysters with what looked like a ginger and shallot sauce. Mmmmm.


  • At 8/15/2013 3:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Not many Chinese digs in Marrickville but Ive got to say that this place fills a void. The inner west heart that is the suburb of Marrickville is starting look to like a Newtown and Surry Hills Sydney stablemate.


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