Posts Tagged ‘Dumplings’

Din Tai Fung, Sydney and Tiramisu Recipe

It certainly has been a long time since my last visit to Din Tai Fung (DTF) – can you believe over a year? ‘The Mother’ and I went to the DTF in Hong Kong and Taiwan and it was just as good but for half the price! ‘The Mother’ loves DTF, he claims they are the BEST dumplings in Sydney as they are consistently good. I am not sure if I agree with him – I wouldn’t say its the BEST dumplings in Sydney, but he sure does love them. So when I asked what he wanted to do for his birthday, he suggested DTF.

We had an early dinner, 6 pm and the place was already busy! Thankfully we didn’t have to wait at all and walked straight in. I left all the ordering to ‘The Mother’ (first time ever!) and surprisingly, he ordered well!

Started with my favourite silken tofu with pork floss and a thousand year old egg. ‘The Mother’ is not a huge fan of this, he doesn’t like pork floss and hates cold tofu.

However, this is probably one of my favourite dishes, soft, silky tofu with pork floss and gooey, creamy thousand year old egg. How can he not like thousand year old egg?

We ordered Shanghainese noodles with chicken and soup on the side. The noodles cooked to perfection, slippery and oh so soft.

The chicken incredibly tender, and the soup delicate and lots of flavour. It really complemented the noodles well.

Two servings of xiao long bao – steamed pork dumplings and steamed crab meat and pork dumplings – 8 in each. They are as good as I remembered them to be. Make sure they are cool enough before putting the whole thing in your mouth, as they are juicy and the juice can burn your mouth! Yes, it has happened to me before, a hard lesson learnt! ‘The Mother’ loved it so much that he ate 14 and left me with TWO! yes… TWO – one of each!

The stir fry black pepper steak is a favourite of ours. The meat deliciously tender and succulent with a nice peppery kick. Unfortunately silly me forgot to take a picture, you just have to trust me that it was good!

Green beans with pork mince is also another favourite, and by this stage, we were both getting extremely full!

Service is efficient, by the time we finished at 7pm, there were a queue of people waiting to dine. Don’t fret, turnover is quite quick, so don’t be put off by the queues. However, in saying that, I don’t usually like to wait.

Incredibly full, we really couldn’t stomach any dessert and waddled to the movies to watch Harry Porter. Not a bad film, although the last 45 mins dragged a little.

You can’t have a birthday without a cake right? Earlier that day, I made him a tiramisu. My mixer is currently broken, so I wanted to do something relatively easy that doesn’t require a lot of hard labour!

For the life of me I can’t remember where I got the recipe from but being the lazy cook that I am, I picked the easiest and simplest!


  • 4 eggs, separated (i didn’t have enough eggs so used 2)
  • 1/2 cup Caster sugar (reduced my sugar to only 1/3)
  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • 1/3 cup coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua)
  • 200ml thickened cream
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 28 sponge finger biscuits
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (didn’t have cocoa powder so grated some dark chocolate!)


  • Beat egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Gently fold in mascarpone and liqueur.
  • Whip cream to firm peaks, fold into mascarpone mixture.
  • Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, fold into mascarpone mixture, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins.
  • Combine coffee and warm water in a shallow dish, stirring until coffee dissolves. Dip biscuits 1 at a time in coffee, turning to coat. Place in a single layer, over the base of a 6cm-deep, 18cm x 28 cm (base) baking dish.
  • Spread half the mascarpone mixture over biscuits to cover. Repeat layers with remaining biscuits, coffee, mascarpone mixture.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.
  • Dust top with cocoa powder and serve.


To my dear husband, best friend, and the most important person in my life – Happy Birthday and here’s to many more to come!

GA’s ratings for DTF: 7.5 / 10

Din Tai Fung

644 George Street

Sydney 2000

Din Tai Fung on Urbanspoon

Westfield Sydney fancy food court

The not so new Westfield has been opened for almost a year now. New stores are still opening and the food court is bigger than ever. The extension to the level 5 food court was unveiled last week. It’s still on the fancier side, you won’t find KFC, or Mc Donald’s or anything like that but you will definitely find some delicious funk-alicious food!

I came here one lunch time and noticed the snag stand, which looked to be one of the most popular stores, selling gourmet sausages and hotdogs.

There are about 15 varieties of gourmet sausages including Toulouse sausage which is served with aoili and salad on a toasted brioche roll, the American classic woodsmoked frankfurter and many more.

The price ranges from $7.90 to around $10.90 – which is quite a lot for a hot dog but I have to admit, it was quite tasty! You can also get bun-less hot dog which was exactly what I felt like! The Toulouse sausage with salad ($10.90) – sounds very plain but I have been eating way too much carbs lately and feeling super duper bloated! Two delicious pork sausages which were wonderful, a little bit on the salty side, but the salad was a wonderful complement. I thought it was a little pricey for a hot dog, but I can see the attraction. With the bun, you only get one sausage though. I am definitely keen to try other sausages; a friend tried the turkey sausage and thought it was ‘pretty good’.

‘The Mother’ and I came back on the weekend to check out the other stores. He went straight to Din Tai Fung, they have finally opened one in the heart of the city, and I am impressed that everything is still made by hand on the premises!

He ordered the xiao long bao ($5.50) for FOUR xiao long bao’s – WOW! Now I thought that was expensive, but ‘The Mother’ really enjoyed it. If it was me though, FOUR would NOT be enough! I would probably need three times that. Mind you, the xiao long bao he ordered was just the ‘standard’ one, if you wanted crab, it is slightly dearer at $9.50!

He also got the mango pudding ($5.80), unfortunately, it wasn’t the best mango pudding. The one at yum cha is definitely better. I thought the mango pudding was too firm and superior sweet.

He also got a drink, lychee mint juice ($5.80) and this was beyond superior sweet! Even ‘The Mother’ couldn’t finish it all and he HAS a sweet tooth!

The last time I was here, I was attracted by the sign ‘Fried Chicken’ which was by Sassy’s Red, who also owns Chinta Ria.

Fried Chicken with rice ($10.00), five small deep fried chicken pieces. Unfortunately the chicken was a little dry for my liking, however, I must admit, I did enjoy the flavours.

I also got a serve of Loh Bak ($6.00), made with chicken and wrapped up with bean curd skin then fried. It was better than I thought but complimentary chilli was a little disappointing.

I noticed they had laksa, nasi lemak and some rotis. A diner next to us had the nasi lemak, I have to say, it didn’t look as good as I had hoped. He was Indonesian and I overheard him say that it was ‘so so’.  I also noticed that they had teh tarik, will definitely have to try this next time!

My ‘uncle’ had the Pie, by Mick’s Bakehouse. Apparently Mick started out as a small bread shop in Leeton in 1990. I was keen to try their meat pie but he warned us, told us that the pie was not great. The pie and pastry was cold and he certainly did not enjoy it.

The other side of the food court, Cloudy Bay Fish Co, they have premium seafood again at a price. John Susman is the supplier of this fine seafood place. Huge cuts of salmon and tuna, diners can order rolls, salads of roast salmon, braised tuna and fish and chips.

I wanted something healthy, so opted for the king salmon salad ($16.50). It was a generous serving, the king salmon was served at  room temperature, and the salad was refreshingly light and stupendous.

Reuben and Moore – I think they changed the name, it used to be Eat, Deli and Kitchen from memory. Michael Moore is the man behind this, and his reuben sandwich is known to be one of the best in town. Apparently this is Michael’s first venture, more casual, very different from his revolving Summit Restaurant on top of Australia Square.

At Reuben and Moore, you can order meats with rolls or just the meats itself with baked vegetables and chips. There are also pre-made sandwiches and salads. I opted for the slow roasted pork leg meal ($16.50) with apple vanilla jam, fennel and romessco sauce – again it wasn’t cheap, rolls are slightly cheaper, from memory it was $11 but it was one hell of a pork! Tender succulent pork with sweet apple vanilla jam and roasted vegetables – YUM!

It’s definitely not a cheap food court. I am definitely keen to try Sushi Hon, it’s not only a takeaway store but also sushi train. Sabbaba looks great too, different types of sandwiches and bagels. I am sure we will be back. Not to mention the magnificent Becasse Bakery – I had to refrain to get one of each of everything!

I did however got some sweets for Mother’s day lunch. To all the Mother’s out there – Happy Mothers Day and I hope you are spoilt rotten!

GA’s rating Snag Stand: 7 / 10

Snag Stand on Urbanspoon

GA’s rating Sass’y Red: 6 / 10

Sassy's Red on Urbanspoon

GA’s rating Din Tai Fung Dumpling Bar:  7 / 10

Din Tai Fung Dumpling Bar on Urbanspoon

GA’s ratings Cloudy Bay Fish and Co: 7.5 / 10

Cloudy Bay Fish Co. - Westfield Sydney on Urbanspoon

GA’s ratings Reuben and Moore: 7.5 / 10

Reuben & Moore on Urbanspoon

Westfield Sydney

86 – 100 Market Street

Sydney 2000

More than just dumplings at Taste of Shanghai, Sydney

You would think that after spending 10 months plus in Hong Kong, I would be sick of Chinese food. Alas, no, I love Chinese food, especially when it comes to dumplings and xiao long bau, I, personally cannot resist?

Taste of Shanghai in World Square is the newest out of the three, the original being in Ashfield, followed by Eastwood. I have been to the Ashfield and Eastwood branch many many times and although out of the two, I still do think that the Ashfield branch is infinitely better.

‘The Mother’ and I thought we would invite the family, and catch up. We got there early, so didn’t have to wait too long. They left all the ordering to me, which in a way is a good thing AND a bad thing! My brother had a couple of requests but everyone else weren’t too fazed as long as there was food.

We started with the prawn, and pork belly in bamboo shoot. This dish was deliciously spicy and the combination of prawn and pork belly was fantastic. The pork belly was thinly sliced and fatty, and the prawns were a great compliment. The photo below does not do justice on how generous the serving was, it was like a bottomless pit.

The garlic bamboo chicken was another great dish. The chicken was lightly battered and deep fried, it was tender and served with a generous amount of fried garlic. The chili gave it a nice kick.

Yangzhou fried rice served with ham, prawns, peas and egg was also tasty. It was a little salty for my liking, but the diners seemed to have enjoyed it.

Shallot pancakes wasn’t as flaky or thin as I have hoped, it was thick, firm and extremely filling. It was good, but I do prefer my shallot pancakes thin.

Next came Sheng Jian Bao (pan fried dumplings), we ordered two servings of this, and I made sure that I waited a good 15 minutes before eating them. I was afraid, and rightly so, that they were going to be too hot, and I was right. They were still hot after 15 minutes, and as I took a bite into these fluffy, soft Sheng Jian Bao, a ‘generous’ amount of ‘juice’ squirted out of my bao and landed all over the table near my mother. I was embarrassed but was glad to know that I wasn’t the only klutz that did that! These Sheng Jian Bao were seriously good, if they weren’t so filling I could have easily eaten a dozen on my own!

Last but not least, xiao long bao, again we ordered two servings of this. If you think we have ordered too much, we did! This is what happens when you leave the ordering to me, you will never get hungry.

I was a little disappointed with these xiao long bao, they had delicate thin pastry, which I liked and incredibly juicy, however, I found them a little too salty for my liking. I thought the filling might have been the same as the pan fried dumplings (Sheng Jian Bao) but unfortunately they weren’t. I still do prefer the xiao long bao from Din Tai Fung. It’s a shame, because I was really looking forward to them.

This third branch is a little fancier and newer and being in World Square I can see why one has to queue during peak hour. Come early and avoid the rush and order the prawn and pork belly in bamboo shoot and the Sheng Jian Bao, you will not be disappointed.

It was great catching up the family, even though I did manage to catch up with my family 4 times in the space of 10 months, I still missed them dearly.

GA’s rating: 7 / 10

Taste of Shanghai

Shop 9.07, World Square,

644 George Street

Sydney, Australia

Ph: +61 2 92618832

Taste of Shanghai on Urbanspoon

Delightful Dumplings, Sam Tor, Hong Kong

I love dumplings! Who doesn’t right? There are many different types of dumplings from all over the world but the dumplings I totally utterly love is the Chinese dumplings – jiaozi and wontons. Both are different of course, the skins for both are different, wontons have a thinner and less elastic wrapping, and are usually boiled in light broth or soup and made with a meatier filling.

My high school friend, M, took me to this little, cozy spot in Central call Sam Tor and they seriously have the best dumplings I have had thus far. The dumplings are meaty and juicy and they are HUGE! We had a bowl of just dumplings with choy sum and were totally and utterly stuffed! These little delights were so easy to eat, especially with chili. I probably couldn’t eat more than a bowl but seriously, they were unbelievable!

The menu is quite limited to different types of wontons, fish / beef balls with or without noodles. They also have tripe, pigs’ stomach, blood and liver. However, I think the dumplings are an absolute winner! I, for one, was deliciously full and was ready for an afternoon nap!

If you haven’t been, try them for yourself! They are delectably meaty and juicy and value for money!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Sam Tor

G/F, 30 Pottinger Street

Central, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2801 6352