Sunday, 31 May 2009

Restaurant Review: East Ocean, Sydney

Today I went for lunch with Brad and Chel to East Ocean in Chinatown. It was my first true yum cha experience.

East Ocean is a large restaurant packed with families out for lunch. There is no menu, but circulating between the tables are friendly staff pushing trolleys filled with delights; dim sum, noodles, rice, vegetables, seafood, pastry, deserts and drinks. The trolleys either stop to show off their food or you can hail them down.

We started with some dim sum. Steamed pork, prawn and pork & prawn dumplings. All of them tasty little morsels that came with a soy and a chili dipping sauce. We followed up the dim sum with my first ever taste of chicken feet (pictured above). Have you ever seen a chickens foot so large? The technique, as I was informed, was to put a toe in your mouth at a time and suck all the meet away from the bones before discreetly spitting the bones back out. Tastier and more tender than I had anticipated. I'm not sure they'll become a family favourite, but they certainly weren't unpleasant.

After the chicken feet we had some steamed rice wrapped in banana leaves. Brad was enthused, although nice I didn't think they were as good as the ones I had in Singapore and Chel was less impressed still thinking they were dry and re-heated from the night before. Our final savoury treat were some steamed pork buns.

For desert we had some mango pancakes, lovely, and sweet tofu. I've been promised the tofu is a grower.

It was a great lunch, good value and liked the way all the food carts came circulating round the room. If you didn't know what you fancied or wanted to take a look at what was on offer before you decided it was a fantastic way to organise things. It also helped by being with two experts.

After lunch we popped next door to a Chinese bakery and then went for a look round Paddy's Market.

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