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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Chopsticks in Chinatown, Part II: Dim sum fun

Sticky rice bun from Lai Shing Dim Sum

If you can't make it to yumcha, or even if you have just have, take-home dimsum enables dumpling goodness either at home or via the office microwave.

Despite the efforts of our yum cha extravaganza still making its way through our digestive tract, Pinkcocoa, Shin Chan, Saffron and I head across Chinatown for more dim sum... the portable kind.

First we head to Lai Shing Dim Sim, a tiny hole-in-the-wall shop at the southern end of George Street. A giant menu in the window advertises its wares in a typical Chinese reverence for practical minimalism and price.

Inside, the shop is similarly functional, with two large chest freezers and an upright drinks fridge housing the dumpling hostages. Look closer though and discover the joy of char siu bau (BBQ pork buns, 6 for $3.60), har gao (prawn dumplings, 12 for $5.80) and siu mai (pork dumplings, 12 for $6.00) all packaged and ready to ransom.

One of my favourites here is the sticky rice bun--a rectangular log of sticky rice encased in plain sweet bun and sliced into thick chunks (6 pieces for $4.00). 30 seconds in the microwave and you have the tastiest hottest glutinous treat in your hands, and not a sticky finger in sight.

Another favourite is their egg custard bun, with its perfectly eggy sweet heart of wintry satisfaction.

Beyond the counter you can spy the staff making the dim sum fresh before your eyes. As soon as the dim sum are cool from steaming, the heat-sealed bags are popped straight into the fridges, the buns still soft and pliable.

They also do quantities in wholesale--perfect for the next time you're in need of 100 mini spring rolls ($33.00) or 50 wonton ($15.00).

Two blocks away is Ho's Kitchen Dim Sim. There's little kitchen action here but a greater variety of biscuits including wife cakes, walnut cookies, lotus paste cakes and palmiers.

A heat-lamped display cabinet contains a couple of deflating ham soi gok (yes, Saffron's eyes do light up), and trays of mantou buns and sticky rice pyramids line the counter.

Take your pick from the assortment of frozen dim sum huddled together in the chest freezer, or pluck your lucky contestant from the fridge full of buns.

Both outlets provide wholesale quantities to restaurants in Sydney and regional NSW. So now you can recreate that authentic yum cha experience at home any time of day or night. You'll just have to fight over who has to push the trolley around the room...

Sticky rice buns from Lai Shing Dim Sim

Egg custard bun from Lai Shing Dim Sim

Lai Shing Dim Sim
808 George Street, Haymarket, Sydney
Tel: 02 9211 4458

Open 7 days, 9am-9pm

Ho's Kitchen Dim Sim
429A Pitt Street, Haymarket, Sydney
Tel: 02 9281 2725

Open 7 days, 9am-6pm

More mouthfuls from our Chinatown banquet:
Grab Your Fork
Chopsticks in Chinatown Part I: Dragonstar, Haymarket
Chopsticks in Chinatown Part III: Lucky Thai sweets, Haymarket
Chopsticks in Chinatown, Part IV: Thai Kee Supermarket, Haymarket
Chopsticks in Chinatown sweet conclusion: Emperors Garden and Passionflower, Haymarket

4 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 7/19/2005 09:30:00 pm


  • At 7/19/2005 10:16 pm, Blogger eat stuff said…

    I love these places....mmmmmmmm

    nothing better than some "buns" and steamed greens for dinner!

  • At 7/20/2005 8:32 am, Blogger Veruca Salt said…

    Fantastic. What a discovery.

    Thanks for sharing

  • At 7/20/2005 10:27 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow! thanks for sharing the knowledge. Looking fwd to my next trip back to sydney to try it out :)

  • At 9/12/2006 2:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My god! So cheap, yet so delicious.

    I bought some char siu bau for lunch (eat two, and look forward to eating the others shortly), and am planning on going after work to buy a bag or two to take home and share with the family.


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