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Sunday, August 06, 2006

East Ocean, Haymarket, Chinatown

siu lung bao
Siu lung bao soup-filled dumplings $6.00 for four

Okay so this is now the fifth post on Chinatown's East Ocean, but who can pass up a bit of yum cha food porn on a Monday morning?

chicken feet and prawn dumplings
Har gow prawn dumplings $5.20 and
Fung jao chicken feet $4.20

It was only two of us for yum cha on a Sunday, and we stuck to our regular favourites like har gow steamed dumplings, packed with prawns, and sticky gelatinous chicken feet or fung jao, a dish that requires patience and chopstick dexterity.

ham soi gok
Ham soi gok combination dumplings $4.20 for three

The golden footballs known as ham soi gok are light and crunchy, perfectly tacky in texture beneath the blistered surface, a modest mound of tasty pork mince within.

We sup delicately on siu lung bao [top photo], tiny dumplings filled with a teaspoon of pork and sloshing with sweet pork broth within. The secret to their production, apparently, is to fill the dumplings with frozen soup, which of course converts into liquid once they are cooked. It's always a precarious first bite however, wondering whether that first burst of hot soup will end up scalding your tongue or, better yet, splashing all over your clean white shirt.

cha leung
Cha leong deep-fried crullers in rice noodle $5.20

Cha leong are the only disappointment on this occasion. Deep-fried crullers, or Chinese bread sticks, are wrapped in silky soft sheets of thin rice noodle. The complete contrast in the two textures--crunchy meets silky--can be utter bliss as the soy soaks into both and the spring onions add some bite.

Today the crullers aren't as crispy as they could be, a little softened already which makes the dish rather sad and forlorn.

daan tart
Daan tart custard tarts $3.20 per plate

The daan tart, thankfully, are a good as ever. So much so that M insists on grabbing a huge excess of them just to take home for family (they're never as good at the Asian bakery).

daan tart innards

A classic Chinese custard tart has layers and layers of fanning flaky pastry (I've never been big on the shortcrust version) and a filling that is bright yellow, eggy and sweet. The sheen on these tarts is always mesmerising and I can rarely resist these beauties, even if I do feel that familiar queasy aftertaste of lard (mmm... lard).

east ocean kitchen

There's always an obligatory inspection of the tanks filled with fish and crustaceans, and the human fish tank as well... or rather, the glass-walled kitchen area where dumplings are manufactured with lightning speed, and the smiling man with the meat cleaver chops shiny-coated roast ducks and caramelised strips of pork char siu.

east ocean dining area

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
East Ocean yum cha, October 2004
East Ocean yum cha, August 2005
East Ocean dinner, Feburary 2005
East Ocean dinner, April 2006

Yum cha
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Hung Cheung, Marrickville
Zilver, Haymarket, Chinatown
9 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 8/06/2006 11:47:00 pm


  • At 8/07/2006 12:48 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've been studying for the last few hours and upon deciding to take a break, decided to peruse the blog world...

    You're right, it's food porn you feature and it's just not fair :( I've had dinner but my mouth is watering (particularly at the looks of those dumplings!), and I don't know anywhere that delivers dumplings at 12:40am *sigh*

  • At 8/07/2006 11:32 am, Blogger Alpineberry Mary said…

    It's nice to meet another fung jao aficionado!

  • At 8/07/2006 12:42 pm, Blogger Veruca Salt said…

    Drool........... I have yum cha withdrawl.

  • At 8/07/2006 12:44 pm, Blogger myCoffee said…

    The food looked so good. This used to be my 2nd favourite dim sum place after the 'previously known" Kam Fook in Haymarket when I was a student in Sydney. I noticed that Kam Fook had now changed name. Is East Ocean the best place for dim sum now in the city?

  • At 8/07/2006 4:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dammit, I'm going to have to go out for yum cha this week now.

    P.S. I like your blog, found it via chubby hubby.

  • At 8/09/2006 11:18 am, Blogger Julia said…

    Going there on Sunday, can't wait.

  • At 8/10/2006 4:13 pm, Blogger Reb said…

    My fave yum cha. But I can NEVER get those Shanghai soup dumplings!!!! Arrrgggh!

  • At 8/10/2006 10:38 pm, Blogger Anastasia said…

    this is making me super hungry!
    does anyone havea good recipe for those Custard tarts - i can never get enough of them!!

  • At 8/11/2006 8:06 pm, Blogger thanh7580 said…

    I love those Shanghai dumplings, especially when the soup explodes in your mouth. You do have to be careful because sometimes the soup is so hot it burns your tongue hahaha. The best Shanghai dumplings I've ever tasted was in Guang Zhou in China. The soup in those were so flavourful.


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