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Monday, January 22, 2007

Zilver, Haymarket Chinatown

prawn dumplings
Har gow prawn dumplings $5.20

"What number did she say? 61?" R asks me, in pleading despair as we enter our twentieth minute waiting for a yum cha table.

Despite my reassurances that no, she said 51, I'm sure she did, R strides confidently to the yum cha bouncer. The woman behind the podium, scribbling determinedly as her radio mic cackles, looks up with a stern face.

R is insistent, feigning a cheerful confident smile as she presents our ticket stub for brief inspection. The bouncer is not so easily fooled and with a curt snap of her head sends R back to us with an abrupt "Not ready yet. I call number soon".

rice noodles
Pan-fried rice noodles with peanut sauce $4.20

We make it eventually, although there is a brief interlude when attempts are made to seat us in the entrance corridor, far away from the traffic jam trolley action. After three minutes of growing isolation we abandon our table and plead for another. Sensing our resolute determination, Ms yumcha bouncer scores us another table, a prime location we note, to our gloating satisfaction.

prawn rolls
Fried prawn rolls with sesame seeds $5.20

I'd eaten at Zilver before, but A and R had been keen to try it after Helen Greenwood's glowing review. The food, I'm pleased to note, is as good as it was last time. Steamed dumplings are thin and sticky, and the siu maai pork and har gow prawn dumpings are generous with large chunks of prawn.

pork dumplings
Siu maai pork dumplings $4.20

I'm still easily impressed by their use of orange fish roe too - it doesn't taste of much, but their liberal scattering on the siu maai and scallop dumplings still make me oohhh with inner delight.

scallop dumplings
Scallop dumplings $5.20

garlic chive dumplings
Gao choi gow garlic chive dumplings $5.20

I'm happy as a pig in mud once I have a gao choi gow garlic chive dumpling in the grip of my chopsticks. And then a trolley with ham soi gok trundles past and my eyes fire up again, head nodding with greed-induced urgency.

combination pork dumplings
Ham soi gok combination pork dumplings $4.20

I love these combination pork dumplings, mini footballs that behold a hidden mouthful of sweet and salty pork mince inside. Their magic is in their deep-fried packaging though, a crunchy exterior that shatters to a sticky starchy slightly sweet dough within.

This one is truly one of the best I've eaten. It's fully inflated, meaning it's just come out of the deep fryer, and it's a delicous dark golden hue that lends itself to extra crunch and tackiness.

chow mein
Chow mein fried noodles $9.80

There's an assortment of fried bits and pieces, some pan-fried rice noodles and a huge dish of chow mein too. The noodles are a little on the oily side and I wish the whitebait had more salt and chilli, but the batter is light and crispy.

fried squid
Fried squid $5.20

fried whitebait
Fried whitebait $8.80

The damage for 3 is $66.70, but we have a little box of takeaway as evidence of our over-ordering gluttony.

the bill

We roll out the door with our bellies swollen, our blood sugar levels on a GI high. A slow start to our lunch, but some things are worth waiting for.


Zilver Restaurant
Level 1, 477 Pitt Street (corner of Hay Street)
Haymarket Chinatown, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9211 2232

Monday to Friday lunch: 10.00am-3.30pm
Monday to Friday dinner: 5.30pm-11.00pm
Saturday to Sunday lunch: 9.00am-3.30pm
Saturday to Sunday dinner: 5.30pm-11.00pm

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Chinatown--Dragon Star
Chinatown--East Ocean, August 2006
Chinatown--East Ocean, August 2005
Chinatown--East Ocean, October 2004
Chinatown--Zilver, February 2006
Marrickville--Hung Cheung
13 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 1/22/2007 07:24:00 pm


  • At 1/22/2007 9:00 pm, Blogger PiCkLeS said…

    We're meeting with Zilver tomorrow to discuss it as a possible reception venue. We really liked Rhodes phoenix but Because Jacky's dad is good mates with the Zilver chefs they can give us a good deal. See what happens.

  • At 1/22/2007 10:22 pm, Blogger Vintage Wine said…

    Yummy, I'm really in the mood for some chinese food right now ;-)

  • At 1/22/2007 10:33 pm, Blogger Kat said…

    I know it ruins the helter-skelter mood of yum cha but Zilver takes reservations. It feels great to bypass the loooooong queue and get a table right smack in the middle of the dining room. *g*

  • At 1/22/2007 10:49 pm, Blogger papa lazarou said…

    yes, zilver's yum cha is the best at the moment... and the staff are quite friendly... if u havent seen your faves yet, let them know and some of the higher ranking wait staff can order it for you...

  • At 1/23/2007 7:11 pm, Blogger papa lazarou said…

    was thinking about it all morning and ended up taking a client here for lunch today! haha! dinner at zilver is not bad... servings are smallish...

  • At 1/23/2007 8:33 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    *gasp* no custard tarts? mango pudding? dont tell me you were so full you didnt get a chance for dessert!

  • At 1/23/2007 8:40 pm, Blogger MissK said…

    Garlic chive dumplings are my favourite.
    That price for 3 if good value.

  • At 1/24/2007 12:38 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I read Helen Greenwood's review too, and have been meaning to go for awhile.. your photos have made me want to go even more!

  • At 1/29/2007 12:18 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Helen... I've just been there the other day. Do you like Durian? Have you tried their Durian Pudding? It was beautiful, an alternative besides Mango Pudding.

  • At 11/01/2008 7:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am looking for a recipe of chow mein that is on offer at yum cha -- like the one you have pictured at zilver - do you know of one?

  • At 11/10/2008 8:17 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi threepaws - I don't have a recipe for it but I'm guessing if you google chow mein you should be able to find one? I thnk the trick is using lots and lots of oil. You also soak the shrimp noodles for only a few minutes in boiling water to soften, then stirfry with lots of oil, a splash of sesame oil and oyster sauce.

  • At 11/12/2009 12:38 pm, Anonymous Amy said…

    I love YUM CHA cuisine and ZILVER looks nice, so I will try it very soon. The only thing that I don't like so much about it is the service. In Regal Restraurant waitresses didn't take time to present dishes and wanted to give me dishes that didn't want. And they didn't speak English very well, so it was hard to understand them when they decided to talk. But anyway it was really yummy and I will go back for sure!

  • At 11/13/2009 6:11 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Amy - It's a shame when the waitstaff don't take the time to explain the dishes. Sometimes it can be fun to just let go and go along for a mystery ride :)


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