kam fook (yum cha)

eggtarts"I haven't been to yum-cha in a-a-ages!" "Well then, let's go Saturday." "Oh. Ok." This is how lunch plans get made around my place. One moment you have nothing planned for the weekend, and then it's 11am on a Saturday and everyone's running around and "Are you ready?" "The queues will get long! Hurry up!" and "I forgot my phone!" before we bundle ourselves into the car and brave the Chatswood traffic. Two will leap out early to get a ticket and the others will circle the ever-full parking lot before joining the first two with a "What number are we?" "What number are they up to?" and an "Oh... so many people!"


We finally make it inside, "Number forty-four! Sei-sup-Sei!" a tea menu is surveyed, "Better than drinking colour water, you know." and the dishes begin to roll.

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salt & pepper hairy crab

For some, largely unknown, reason, our yum-chas have recently tended to either start with, end with, or otherwise include whatever crab is being spruiked around the place. I don't know how this tradition started, perhaps a conscious effort to eat that-which-is-not-normally-eaten, perhaps my mum & I on a trip, just the two of us, and a penchant for indulgence, but it stuck.

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vegetarian dumplings

"Can you heat it up for us?" and while the trolley lady left her happy trolley alone, I snuck a picture of the vegetarian dumplings that we weren't going to eat, and of the egg tarts (top image) I was hoping to get around to later.

The crab, when it came back, was, by the way, delicious. If somewhat frustrating to eat, being a non-mud crab and all. I digress.

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sweet taro buns

While we were mid-crab (read: shell all over the table, our hands, our hair), we were offered some buns. "New dish!" said the trolley lady, in Cantonese, "Very good! You want?" "New dish!" said mum, all excited. "Yes please!" said we. And we did. It was sweet, not savory. And for a moment, we were confused. But then the crunchy butter and sugar top and the gooey purple yam paste took over and "Mmmmmm" was all that could be said of them.

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shark's fin & lettuce dumplings

But there was more to be had. Shark's fin and lettuce dumplings (of which I got two!) with the taste of the lettuce really coming to the fore.

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shark fin & seafood whole bowl dumpling

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...and with vinegar!

A big bowl of dumpling (that's right, a bowl of dumpling!) appeared. And when you break the skin, a veritable sea of prawn and shark's fin (I know, more of it!) and scallop and sweet, sweet soup.

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lo mai fan

Then the chickeney rice steamed in a lotus leaf. Which is usually good, but was this time a little dry, a little lacking, and we passed it around - not wanting to fill ourselves up, but not wanting to waste it either.

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siu mai

At this stage, all were almost full. Except for the sister, who had passed on most of what came previously. "Fried or steamed?" we asked. "Steamed" said she. Trays came and went. Too many veges, too much meat. Too weird, not weird enough. And then. Siu mai. Which were nice, if a little plain and porky, after what had been previously.

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xiao long bao

The xiao long bao came in tin foil cups. We looked at them. Pricked, prodded, success! "Oh no! A drip! You're leaking!" But the tin foil cup caught the soup and all was saved.

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egg tarts

The crispy flaky egg-tarts that I'd snapped at the beginning of this (now hour long) meal had long vanished. I made do with smaller, less flaky versions. I was a little sad about this, but it's hard to remain sad through a mouthful of warm custard, so I was not sad for long.

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to-fu fa

Just when we thought we could eat no more, someone mentioned to-fu fa.

I'll be honest. The to-fu fa at Kam Fook is a force to be reckoned with. It's a big, BIG bowl. Split between four, we had enough to be content and wanting just that little bit more, but not so much that we were to-fu'd out (as has happened when split between two). Warm and gingery syrup, smooth, silky tofu. A perfect end to yum-cha-cha-ing with the family.

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the bill: $88.90

Kam Fook
Shop 600, Level 6
Westfield Shoppingtown
28 Victor Street
Chatswood NSW
Tel (02) 9413 9388

also at:
Shop 6010, Level 6,
Westfield Shopping Centre
100 Oxford Street
Bondi Junction NSW
Tel (02) 9386 9889

5 bites more:

FFichiban said...

OOhh haha I haven't been in ages as well! I actually prefer the mor epastry egg tarts than the flaky ones.
How you compare Fook Yuen to Kam Fook?

chocolatesuze said...

wow 88bux including the crab?? niiiice! i have to say i like my desserts at yumcha more than the savoury stuff lol

shez said...

FFichiban: Oooh... tough question. I haven't been to Fook Yuen since "prior" days :) I think I remember it being good, but getting annoyed at having to wait on the stairs for so long. It's a lot more crowded in the dining room there, no?

chocolatesuze: I know right? and $10.20 of it was tea :) I normally get my "yum-cha" desserts from elsewhere (mango pancakes are best at furama), except for to-fu fa. Mmmmyummm gingery sweet!

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

What I'd for some yum cha right about now. Bad idea to read this post just before lunchtime methinks!

shez said...

Lorraine: Oh I know - I get such huge yum cha cravings. It's ridiculous!

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