"I've never been to yum cha."
"Well let's go then. Are you free next week?"
"Yes! I was hoping you'd say that. You're my foodie friend."
She wasn't even coy about it, she just had to mention it and I was keen. I just jump at any chance to go out and eat anyway. So after some mumblings I decided to invite some people from work too. Yum cha is better with people, its always cheap anyway and PPP is all about the spirit of generosity and being flush with cash like we're secretly rich. I wrote it up on the message board and asked a whole bunch of people. Drum roll please . . .
Six people turned up! WOAH THERE, DON'T GET A FAT HEAD NOW. Turn out was NZ-A and her family, LGS, L., and myself, so seven in total. So really, four people turned up cause if you get your family or partner to go, that doesn't count.
Anyway, the big deal I had this time was I hate yum cha. I hate it. Its the whole good food vs good service thing. I hate yum cha cause no speaks English, no one pays any attention to you when you're trying to order something, you have to pay for every small thing like tea, sauces, containers, your order always gets misplaced, you can't get drinks, its noisy, the food is average to good and the service staff are rude. The real kicker is that you aren't even full after, you can walk it off in an hour and then get a real lunch elsewhere.
Many yum cha enthusiasts would reply that we would go to yum cha for the food and not for the service. You go to a hospital not to eat delicious food but to get healthy is a similar thing. Why can't the two principles be mutually exclusive? Can't I get good food AND good service? Fair enough, if its one and not the other, but I'd rather good food and terrible service any day of the week. Yum cha for me is bad food, bad service and leaving irritated.
That being said, I go with my friends cause they enjoy it and I'm a bossy cow who likes to tell people what to do. Years of yum cha with my family and friends mean that I've been to most of the major big name yum cha places in Brisbane, Landmark, Big Gun, King of Kings, Kingsfood, Haoke and countless others I probably can't even remember. I can honestly think of a negative experience for each and every one of those, so I was sort of stuck for a new place to go to as per food blogging rules.
I was thinking Landmark was the stock standard. It was central in Sunnybank, its well known, its Asian impressive, the food is good by non-Asian standards. I hate Landmark so much though, re read my complaints from earlier and multiply it by ten. Then I heard that Westfield Carindale had opened up a Yum Cha place so off to that we went. I did hear from H., and Z., at work that it was nice, but a bit pricey and geared towards white people.
|Empty as hell|
They had to hastily vacuum the floor, what on earth is that white stuff anyway?
|What is that paper?|
The BBQ pork buns were solid. They were full of that dark sweet char siu meat and it was nicely salty, they were a touch sweet for my liking, but I never like the combination of sweet and meat in any case. LGS told me that the first and last time she had ever had a BBQ pork bun was when she was drunk and had one from 7-11 in some foreign country that she doesn't remember. She said this was much better.
|BBQ Pork Buns|
The siu mai, or prawn and beef mince dumplings as they were called here were great as well. They were a good solid height, filled right to the top with filling, held their own shape, had a good mix between the veggies and meat and were perfectly seasoned. They didn't have the little fish roe that the picture did though!
By the time, LGS and I had smashed through the first two layers of dumplings and a bun each, NZ-A and her family had arrived. After getting their drinks, they ate the rest of our dumplings and the ordering began in earnest.
We got two rounds of salt and pepper king prawns. Oh man, these were fantastic. They came six to a plate and they were so delicious, hot and moreish. They had a beautifully seasoned salt and pepper nuggety coating that clung to every inch of that crunchy shell, I even found myself nibbling the tail for more of it! The prawns were beautifully cooked, and properly deveined as they should be! They were juicy, bouncy and large, not quite king prawn size but not bad either! Probably one of the unexpected hits of the day.
|Salt and Pepper King Prawns!|
|Fried Rice and steamed BBQ pork buns|
L., had arrived by now and she wasted no time in ordering a homemade lemon tea. She later whispered to me that it had no sugar in it at all, but that was how she liked it hahaha.
|Iced lemon tea!|
|Deep fried bean curd and prawns!|
|Shanghai soup dumplings!|
|From the very top! Coconut jelly, custard tarts, custard steamed buns|
|Sesame and red bean balls.|
The service was fantastic for yum cha. There was actually a waitress for our quarter of the room whose sole job was to do whatever we wanted, clear plates, get extra chairs, get sauces, order food. It was magical. Service actually picked up once the busy rush started, wait more dishes started to come out and we got offered lots of stuff by the waiters and waitresses rushing around. I'd definitely come here again, but I'd time it for closer to noon perhaps.
|Much better :)|