It has been 2 years since my first and last meet-up with other Sydney food bloggers so I was thrilled to receive the email invitation to a yum cha meet and greet at East...
On the weekend... I found myself at the Buddha's Birthday festival in Darling Harbour. I was there for the vegetarian food fair ofcourse! The Chinese Garden Forecourt was filled with hungry families and volunteers from BLIA (Buddha's Light International Association) and IBAA (Fo Guang Shan Nan Tien Temple).
I have just discovered a local Yum Cha that is comparable to those in the City. Rhodes Phoenix is neatly tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Rhodes Shopping Centre (also home to giant outlet Ikea). It is the 4th child of the Phoenix Restaurants family, the other siblings being Sky Phoenix, Hilltop Phoenix and Manly Phoenix; so I suppose it's success isn't really that surprising.
I've been working across the street from Mother Chu's Vegetarian Kitchen the last 9 months. So I jumped at the opportunity of finally lunching there when 2 workmates mentioned that they were planning on trying something new. The elderly Chinese have a respect for this place, and I can totally understand why. They serve delicious vegetarian alternatives and the Buddhist culture is truley brought out in the casual decor, genuine service and hearty menu. Catering for strict Buddhists means that there's no alcohol consumption on the premises. Sparkling juices are prepared in replacement of wine and beer. And tofu or soybean of all shapes and textures are served looking and sometimes even tasting like the meaty variation.