Early Sunday morning, crowds gather amongst the steps of this restaurant to wait for a seat. Towards the busier afternoon, numbered tickets are handed out to ensure that it’s a smooth process (yes, hungry yum-cha goers can sometimes make a scene if the queue is unjustified). Once our number is called, we feel a sense of pride… as though we’ve just won exclusive entrance to a celebrity fested event. I felt everyone’s envy as we were hushed into the busy restaurant.
Immediately, we begun pointing at dishes we’d like order. Today, my yum-cha companion is Zen. With both of us speaking poor Chinese, we naturally order in English. I found that the majority of waitresses were able to describe the dishes with 2 words or less. I was often told that the food was “different” or “very nice”.
Combination seafood and vegetable dumplings.
These are my all-time favourite.
I love the light twist of the coriander…
My second most favourite yum-cha item is the taro puff. I was extremely disappointed with this version, which looked bald in comparison to the normal thick lacy & crispy exterior.
Inside the taro puff reveals a contrasting soft interior of pork mince and shitake mushroom.
… which are filled with lots of whole scallops! As you do, I love my yum cha foods with lots of chilli sauce.
Har Cheung Fun, which translates to prawns rice noodle.
Prawns hide inside these sheets of rice noodle… The soy was nice and sweet, and the rice noodle sheets were soft and silky. But inside, there were prawns… when I truely had wanted to wait for the ones with the deep fried batter.
The notorious prawn dumplings.
The inside goodness of whole prawns and bamboo shoots.
Chicken feet (aka. Fung Jao). These too were a miss. The marinade was overpowering… and it was too glutinous for my liking.
Pork and shrimp dumplings (Siu Mai). Too meaty and too dry… but Siu Mai have never been a hit with me.
Egg tart… just the way I like it… with a flaky puff pastry exterior.
And inside the restaurant…
Overall, we were charged a little over $40… which I thought was pretty pricey for the quality and quantity! I’ll be sure to post up the over-due entry on Emperor’s Garden – Yum Cha soon…
Crystal Seafood Restaurant, Strathfield
Shop 29/11 The Boulevarde, Strathfield.
Opens for Yum cha from 11am – 3pm on weekdays and from 11am – 3pm on weekends.