If you’re currently in Melbourne :) You may know that the annual Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (MFWF) is on and running from the 1st to the 17th of March ~ Even though I love eating out and experiencing the Melbourne food scene, I’ve never really gone to any events and with Mr Bao working so much lately, I didn’t want to book into any events and have to drag him there ~ But I was very lucky and Libby (The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar) invited me to be her guest at the World’s Largest Outdoor Yum Cha event held by Chan’s Yum Cha at the Treasury Gardens last Saturday (2nd March).
It was the perfect day to hold this event at the Treasury Gardens wasn’t too hot but around the mid to high 20 degree and with lots of trees around to provide shade.
Apart from the rows of tables for patrons participating in the World’s Largest Outdoor Yum Cha, there were also marquees outside providing face painting for the kids, a photobooth and the The Teo Chew Association was also there to play songs using traditional Chinese instruments throughout the event. It reminded me of Chinese New Year festivals we had a couple of weeks ago in the City ~
They even organised Lion Dances to be performed throughout the yum cha ~ But to be completely honest with you…I am terrified of lion dances lol I’ve never liked them growing up as a child and use to hide behind my parents :P Now that I’m an adult…they are tolerable but I still DISLIKE them and prefer if they didn’t come near me hahaha
As the name of this event suggests, it was an attempt to break the Guinness World Record of the largest outdoor yum cha :) The record before was 500 people, this time there were 800 tickets sold so as long as we had more than 500 people seated and eating at least 2 dim sums, we’ll beat the record! Doesn’t sound too hard :)
All I could see were rows and rows of tables and so many people seated at the tables! There was definitely more than 500 of us! :)
Even though this was an outdoor event with so many people, Chan’s Yum Cha was trying to do it right, with chopsticks and a tea cup for tea :) There were no forks, spoons or knives in sight, so for those who weren’t good with chopsticks they’d have to practice ~ Thank gosh they have the instructions in front of us hehe
It was going to be a 5 course yum cha with a variety of dim sims, dumplings, buns and dessert :) Tickets to this event was $20 per person, which I thought was definitely good value considering the amount of food we were getting ~
First course was the most traditional and popular prawn hargow ~ which I’m sure most of you would have heard of and tried. I was quite impressed with the flavour of the filling and the crunchiness from the shredded bamboo inside, however, I would’ve liked it more if the dumpling skin wasn’t as dry and sticky. But I guess this can’t be helped as the kitchen was trying to pump out dumpling for 800 people!
I haven’t had Sesame Prawn Toast for the longest time! My parents never liked it and said we should avoid ordering too much fried food when going to yum cha. But I remember we would order it for my Caucasian friends when we went to yum cha together ~ I was quite impressed with these as it was freshly fried and had a good amount of prawn paste spread over the toast, I also liked the toasted sesame flavour!
Third course was the Ginger Prawn dumpling which had a yellow wrapper, it reminded me more of a HK style wonton and even though I liked the flavours, I found them quite similar to the prawn hargow and my throat was slightly ticklish after eating it. So I suggest that there was some MSG in it :( I quite liked the Shiitake Dumplings though, the filling the Shiitake mushrooms and also bamboo shoots and carrots, I’m pretty sure this was the only vegetarian dumpling too :D
I’m a fan of buns :) Love their steamed fluffy texture ~ These BBQ Pork Buns had a good sweet Charsiu (BBQ Pork) filling, however, Libby found it a little too sweet not me :P But we didn’t really like the buns itself, it had a very doughy and dense texture and kind of stuck to our teeth >_< Once again I’m not sure if it’s because of the lack of time the kitchen had to prepare these, I think they would have tasted better if they were steamed for a couple of minutes longer.
Last course and of course most important was dessert, which was Lady finger banana fritters with vanilla ice-cream. I was worried that the kitchen wouldn’t be able to fry these fritters in time and when it reached our table it would be soggy, but it was actually still quite fresh and hot when the waiter placed it on our table :) It really brought back childhood memories eating this dessert, as my parents would order it for me whenever we went out for dinner ~
Overall, I thought this was a great event and WE BROKE THE RECORD :) Out of the 800 tickets sold there were 726 or so people seated and had yum cha in the outdoor! WOO HOO! I’ve never helped break a guinness world record before hehe YAY! Also if you’re interested in trying you can buy Chan’s Yum Cha dumplings at large supermarkets and Costco in Melbourne ~ This isn’t the first time I’ve had Chan’s Yum Cha hehe because Mr Bao and I usually stock up on a few yum cha items and leave them in our freezer because they’re so convenient when we’re too lazy to cook dinner or go out :P
Once again would like to thank Libby for inviting me to such a fun event ~ and hopefully one day I’ll even break or create my own Guinness World Record :P
Daisy@Nevertoosweet attended this event as a guest of Libby (The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar)