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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Golden Century, Haymarket Chinatown

It's midnight at Golden Century and the place is packed. Sure they've closed down access to the second floor, but the first level is still teeming with diners feasting on siu ye, a Hong Kong tradition of late night snacking.

Friends, couples, businessmen and families chatter amidst the click-clack of chopsticks and the occasional spin of the lazy susan. We spot not one, but two whole lobster sashimi being served, a envy-inducing spectacle that is hard to miss, arriving on a huge platter in a dramatic shroud of dry ice mist.

Congee rice porridge with cod fillet $10.50

Siu ye is more often than not all about congee, a thick rice porridge that is usually eaten for breakfast. We order a bowl to share, warm spoonfuls of boiled down rice flavoured with pork broth and filled at the bottom with thick tender chunks of cod.

You tiao (yao char gai) fried bread $3.00

Because congee is pretty much fat-free, there's not excuse not to order a plate of you tiao, Light and crispy, I love eating these airy fried bread batons dunked briefly in congee, giving a perfect contrast between dry and wet, soggy and crispy, white and golden, tasty and tastier.

Salt and pepper squid and white bait $18.80

Salt and pepper squid is always welcomed. We order a combination plate which comes with white bait. The squid is a little chewy, but the white bait is wonderfully delicate. I would have preferred a little more crushed Szechuan peppercorns, but this doesn't stop the happy scrabble of chopsticks toward this dish.

Fried noodles $16.00

There's a minimum order of $9 per person after 10pm at Golden Century, so we continue the feast with a platter of fried noodles. A crunchy nest of deep-fried noodles is lubricated by a saucy mix of pork, long yellow onions and fresh bean sprouts.

Gai lan chinese broccoli $13.80

A plate of gai lan chinese broccoli, bright green with freshness, provides all the vitamins your mother could hope for. The stalks are crisp and crunchy, although somewhat potent with liberal use of fresh garlic.

Complimentary fruit and sweets

Complimentary house desserts include cold wedges of super-sweet navel oranges and a plate of sugar biscuits and pastries dusted with icing-sugar.

We'd done well. Dinner at 6pm, a Sugar Hit at 9pm, another Sugar Hit at 10.45pm, and then a round of siu ye to round off the night. Oh yes, all four posts took place on the same Saturday evening.

Gluttons? Guilty as charged.

Would I do it again? Absolutely.

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Golden Century Seafood Restaurant
393-399 Sussex Street, Haymarket, Chinatown, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9212 3901

Open 7 days, 12pm-4am

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Golden Century (Jan 10), (Oct 07), (Nov 06), (Oct 05) and (Jul 04)
10 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 10/21/2007 07:21:00 pm


  • At 10/21/2007 7:45 pm, Blogger Anna (Morsels and Musings) said…

    brilliant! i love that you ate so much all on one night. those nights are the best (and so memorable).

    my sister and i had a recent experience at bodega where we ate four savoury tapas, then ordered all the desserts on the menu w sweet wine and then switched back to tapas and red wine! it was great.

  • At 10/21/2007 9:48 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hehe you did very well to eat at 4 spots within 4 hours! i love lobster sashimi but more and more restaurants have started dropping it from their menu saying animal cruelty etc

  • At 10/23/2007 12:57 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Anna - lol. I was very guilty of using the "just think how memorable this night will be" to justify our excessive consumption!

    Your Bodega meal sounds fabulous. I've yet to emulate a friend of mine who eschewed tradition and had three courses of dessert at a swish restaurant instead!

    Hi chocolatesuze - What can I say but commitment, and dedication :)

    The animal cruelty issue always plagues me :( I had always thought that the lobsters were killed first until I was recently englightened; I'm sure our lobster was not served live. I definitely don't agree with live sashimi, although where does that leave me with freshly shucked (live) oysters? Eek!

  • At 10/23/2007 5:39 pm, Blogger (ノ・_-)☆*+cella:*+: said…

    migosh i'm so hungry T___T *cries*

  • At 10/24/2007 4:33 pm, Blogger Jules said…

    That is the defition of impressive!

  • At 10/25/2007 5:21 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Cella - Crying's no good. Get some food into you :)

    Hi Julia - Impressive? Or excessive? Perhaps both!

  • At 10/28/2007 7:25 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    wow, I'm impressed! how in the world did you all manage to eat all that and still manage to appreciate the food??
    Btw, I love your blog- I use it every time I'm trying to find a nice place to celebrate- so here's a long delayed THANKS!!

  • At 10/29/2007 1:12 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Rachy - It's amazing what willpower and a pair of loose pant can do :) Glad you're enjoying the blog. Hope you find plenty of tasty celebratory treats!

  • At 10/30/2007 3:25 am, Blogger Laura said…

    Oh, oh... those fried noodles. I lived in Hong Kong for a bit and those were the second best thing I ever consumed during my entire time there -- first was Char Siu, naturally. But those noodles make my pasta arrabbiata lunch seem positively unappetizing.

  • At 10/31/2007 1:13 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Laura - Ah yes who can beat fried noodles? Pasta arrabiatta sounds pretty good too though :)


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