Tag Archives: Chinese

Weekend Getaway – Tasmania with Aden

Another week, another weekend getaway :) This weekend I jetted off to Tasmania to spend the weekend with Win Win and her in laws. That’s 8 adults and 2 kiddies hahaha I haven’t travelled in such a large group for a long time ~ it’s so hard to organise accommodation, transportation and most importantly meals!

Wrest Point Hotel

Wrest Point Hotel

They started their Aussie tour in Sydney and then came to Melbourne and now off to Tasmania. I wasn’t going to join but I couldn’t exactly turn down an all expense paid for holiday :) They arrived early Friday while I arrived after work ~ I’ve visited Hobart a few times so am quite familiar with it. We checked into the Wrest Point casino hotel in Sandy Bay.
Mewah Chinese Restaurant

Mewah Chinese Restaurant

Just like our parents, Win Win’s in laws only like Chinese food especially at night they need to eat rice 😂 so for our first meal we ended up at Me Wah one of the famous chinese restaurants.
I didn’t bring my camera but my Brother in Law who’s a much better photographer has done the honour of taking the photos for me. So once I get the photos I ll be able to blog about it in full. But to summarize, we quite liked the dishes especially the roast duck but found it to be rather overpriced.
Hotcakes - PB crumble, banana and chocolate with salted caramel and double cream $15.5AUD

Hotcakes – PB crumble, banana and chocolate with salted caramel and double cream $15.5AUD

Next morning we headed over to Salamanca Place. I have been told by many including BBFF (Shellie) and Colleague (Barry), that I have to go to Machine Laundry Cafe for brunch and have been warned about their long queues. Having 10 adults and 2 kids… I was not hopeful that we’ll get a table, but luck was on my side and after a short 10 minute waiting we scored the one and only large communal table.
The highlight for me was definitely this Banana and chocolate hotcake, with peanut butter crumble and salted caramel sauced finished off with double cream! Blog post to come :D
Salamanca market

Salamanca market

We then strolled around the Salamanca Markets, which only opens on Saturdays and is actually Australia’s largest outdoor markets. There was a variety of stalls there, ranging from art/craft, clothing, vegetables and fruit to honey and vintage antiques. I did end up getting a few props for the blog and something for Mr Bao as he didn’t come hehe
Smith's Specialty Pies

Smith’s Specialty Pies

I couldn’t leave without getting one of Smiths scallops pies! If you haven’t had scallop pie before and you like scallops I seriously urge to find one or make one yourself. The flavour and sweetness from the scallops it’s really something special!
Scallop Pie $6.5AUD

Scallop Pie $6.5AUD

It was then followed by a revisit to Doctor Coffee, one of the first places I actually blogged about ~ I really like their mocha, it’s more like a hot chocolate with cinnamon, so best way to describe it would be a hot chocolate chai! Whatever they want to call it, it’s delicious and am looking back to go back just to drink this and their other coffees!
Doctor Coffee Mocha $4AUD

Doctor Coffee Mocha $4AUD

It was now time to leave Hobart and start making our way to Launceston, but on the way there, we did stop by Richmond Bridge, that was built in 1843AD! Even though I’ve already visited a few times, I still think it’s gorgeous and feels like I’m in Europe and not Australia.

Richmond Bridge

Richmond Bridge

Half-way to Launceston, we also stopped by a small town called Ross, not sure if you have heard of the Japanese Anime movie ‘Kiki’s Special Delivery’ by famous animator Hayao Miyazak, he actually visited Ross a few years ago and found inspiration for the movie at the local Ross Village Bakery!

Ross Village Bakery

Ross Village Bakery

They’re not only famous of the Anime, they also have what is described as the ‘best’ Vanilla slice ~ my brother-in-law who claims he doesn’t like sweets, was excited about trying. It’s the first time he’s tried one, and he really liked it! In fact he liked it so much, I didn’t even get the chance to have a bite and the whole slice disappeared :P So of course we had to order another one! It was a really nice slice, with an extra creamy not too sweet custard filling.

Vanilla slice $3.5AUD

Vanilla slice $3.5AUD

Finally we made it to Launceston in the evening, and immediately checked into our hotel, the Peppers Seaport Hotels. I was totally taken by surprise because I expected a tiny hotel room, but instead we got a huge self-contained apartment! And I got a whole Queen size bed to myself :D Thanks Win Win!

Pepper

Peppers Seaport Hotel

Dinner time…yup another Chinese Restaurant hahaha I don’t think I’ve had so much Chinese food since my parents left :P This time it was at the local Dynasty restaurant, when we drove past, we thought it was going to be a reasonably-priced, but nope, they were actually quite pricey at least $30 for a dish! They tasted alright, but we didn’t think it was very authentic so if you want Chinese food in Launceston, we suggest that you try somewhere else. Maybe Mewah as they have another branch there ~

Sheffield Mural Fest

Sheffield Mural Fest

Sunday morning we left bright and early at 8am to head up to Cradle Mountain, on the way there, we stopped at Sheffield a small town with a population of only 1000 people. But they’re quite famous of their mural wall paintings all around the town. The kiddies really liked the colour paintings and we were also blessed with blue skies!

Favourite mural

Favourite mural

This is my favourite mural ~ It’s so colourful and just looking at it makes me so happy!

Cradle Moutain

Cradle Moutain

That’s Cradle Mountain! It’s got lots of lakes and nice walks but unfortunately, the good weather gods decided it was time to rain…and began pouring as we got up to Cradle Mountain. So we couldn’t really see anything, which is a real shame! But hey people say ‘more reason to go back!’

Love him heaps!

Love him heaps!

I then had to rush from Cradle Mountain back to Launceston and to the airport to catch the 6:10pm flight back home. Turned out to be more like a 7:45pm flight as Jetstar decided to delay my flight again >_< even though it was another rushed weekend away. I really enjoyed spending time with this little man! They still have one week in Melbourne before they head back to Hong Kong, going to miss them so so so much, don’t get to spend this much time with them!

PS. Did you spot some of the pretty photos? They’re from my Brother-in-law, he’s recently picked up photography and I think he’s pretty good at it :D

Dill-licious Dumplings – ShanDong Mama

Dumplings, I’ve grown up eating them :) On my Dad’s side our family originated from Shanghai so we eat dumplings like Xiao Long Bao, probably one of the most known dumplings ~ But technically they’re supposed to be little buns because Bao means buns. While on my Mum’s side they’re from the Canton reason so the dumpling they eat are more like dimsims and Shu Mai are definitely my number 1 favourite!

Shan Dong Mama1

But I’ve actually never heard of Shan Dong dumplings, and didn’t know that they had their own version of dumplings ~ I first heard about Shan Dong Mama from Ms I-Hua’s blog post about them a few months back and have been dying to go. Laziness got the best of me, because Shan Dong Mama is in the shopping centre in China town, parking is a nightmare and I try to avoid that area at all costs :P

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Finally a few weeks ago, we so happened to be in the city catching up with Yue and they once again came to me for suggestions and I immediately said “ShanDong Mama”, especially since they were driving hahaha I called up before but was told that they didn’t take bookings.

Fortunately, they weren’t too busy on a Friday night and we immediately got a table. If you’re a frequent guest of Chinese restaurants you will immediately recognise the bright lights, brown tables and chairs and also super quick service at ShanDong Mama hahaha it’s all about serving customers efficiently so they’ll eat and leave :D

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We flicked through the menu and found a good range of dishes and not just dumplings, it also offered side dishes, snacks, rice and noodle dishes but of course no dessert :( We had a bit of a laugh at when we saw this ‘translation’ on the menu ‘Yuro’ and ‘Daryl’, we suspect it’s because it’s too hard for people to pronounce the Chinese translations.

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As an appetizer we ordered the homemade smoked spiced fish, it’s a dish that my grandma makes at home all the time, but I know there are many versions of it and uses different types of fish. I’m not really sure what fish this was but for $8, we thought it was a very generous serving. If you haven’t had Chinese smoked fish before, the fish pieces are marinated in Chinese spice such as ginger, Chinese rice wine, soy sauce, star anise and then deep fried in peanut oil. It is then tossed in sticky sweet sauce very similar to those used for the marinade :) This one didn’t feel like it was deep fried instead it was pan fried then covered in sauce. Either way it was quite good, even though Mr Bao thought the sauce was a little sweet.

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Initially we wanted the Daryl, but they had sold out so we opted for the Yuro. Still a good choice, with noodles and fish pieces and lightly scrambled eggs through a thick sauce that they called gravy ~ We really liked the flavour of the fish and the chewiness from the black fungus. The gravy was quite thick and I think we would’ve preferred if it was thinner and more like a noodle soup dish instead.

Melbourne Dumplings $13.8 - Diced seafood and chicken mince lemon rind olive oil parsley and garlic

Melbourne Dumplings $13.8 – Diced seafood and chicken mince lemon rind olive oil parsley and garlic

Wanting to try both steamed and pan-fried dumplings, we started off with the Melbourne Dumplings steamed. I was very curious to what filling it will have and how will it reflect ‘Melbourne’ :D Turns out it was a combination of diced seafood, chicken mince with lemon zest, olive oil, parsley and garlic. I liked the diced seafood with prawns, calamari, mussels fish and also chicken but I found the lemon zest and parsley to be a little out of place but still tasted nice.

Dill-icious Pork Fried Dumplings $12.8 - finely chopped pork mince and fresh dill, spring onions, ginger, dried shrimps and a dash of sesame oil for extra flavour

Dill-icious Pork Fried Dumplings $12.8 – finely chopped pork mince and fresh dil

Another funny name for dumplings the ‘Dill-icious’ pork fried dumplings hehe the filling had pork mince, fresh dill, spring onions, ginger, dried shrimps and a sesame oil. The dill really gave the dumplings extra flavour along with the dried shrimps and sesame oil, was the favourite dumplings of the night.

Prawn, Black fungus and chives dumpling $12.8

Prawn, Black fungus and chives dumpling $12.8

We also tried the prawn, black fungus and chives dumplings, it tasted a little similar to the Dill-licious dumplings, we liked the black fungus and the replacement of dill with chives instead ~

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Left – Prawn dumplings Right – Dill-licious Pork Dumplings

Both dumplings looked very similar so thought I’ll take a photo of them both together to show you what the filling looks like inside ~ The dumpling skin was a good consistency and not too thick, I also liked the  crispy bottom.

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That sums our my first experience trying Shan Dong dumplings and it was great ~ We all really enjoyed the dumplings here. I also agree with I-Hua that because there was so much flavour in the dumplings itself, unlike Shanghainese dumplings, we didn’t have to use any sauce like vinegar and soy sauce :)

Shandong Mama is definitely worth recommending to those who like dumplings and want to try something a little different :) It’s also a bonus when reasonably priced, with all this food it cost about $22 per person, just don’t forget it’s a cash only restaurant ~

Shandong Mama on Urbanspoon

Mr Bao Special – HK Style Swiss Chicken Wings

I haven’t had a Guest post here at Never Too Sweet for quite a while, so I am very excited that someone very special has finally decided to make his debut and that is the one and only Mr Bao! Hahaha I have been asking and bugging him to do a guest post for me for the longest time, but he always declined…but finally he agreed :) He’s actually posting a savoury recipe which is also a first time for my blog ~ Hope you will enjoy this post!

PS. Please do not believe everything he says, because it’s not all true :P
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Hello everyone! It is my honour to guest post for Daisy here at Never Too Sweet, you may know me as Mr Bao, I am actually  the co-founder of this blog as I came up with the name “Never Too Sweet For Me”. Great name don’t you think? Would like to thank all the readers who have supported this blog and I hope you will continue supporting us.

HK Style Swiss Chicken Wings

HK Style Swiss Chicken Wings

Photo courtesy of Lianne Thank you!

The reason why I decided to do this post is because, a couple of weeks ago, we were invited to a pot luck at Lianne’s, where we were asked to bring a dish, there were a lots of good dishes such as the Kong Ba Bao and sticky pork ribs…all the great food you name it!! As an international student, once in a while we miss home, having these Asian dishes inspired me to make our HK Style Swiss Chicken Wings.

I wonder how many of you are curious about why this dish is called “Swiss” Chicken Wings? Let me tell you a little story about Swiss Chicken Wings.  In 1860, there’s a HK style Western restaurant called Tai Ping Koon Restaurant (太平館餐廳).  The founder invented a sweet soy type of wings.  A tourist tried it and adored it.  He asked the waiter about the name of the dish.  The waiter’s reply was “Sweet Wings…”.  Due to confusion of Chinglish, the tourist mistaken it as “Swiss Wings”.  Therefore, the funny name has since lasted until the modern days.

Here I’d like to take this chance to share this recipe.  This recipe is super simple as I’m such a lazy person, it only took me about half an hour.   Meanwhile, I could go play my PS3 while the chicken is cooking =)

Preparation time: 10 mins     Cooking time: 30 mins   Serves: 4

Ingredients:
– 8-10 Chicken wings (full wings or middle wings), rinse and bloat dry with kitchen paper
– Half a bowl (small Chinese rice bowl, roughly 125 ml) soy sauce
– 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
– 2 teaspoons Shao Xing wine
– One big bulk of rock sugar (preference depending on sweetness)
– 3cm ginger, roughly chopped into 3-4 pieces
– 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
– 1 cup of water (may vary, just enough to cover all wings)
– Garnish: 1 stalk of spring onion chopped finely (optional)

Method:
– Boil chicken wings with cold water to remove fat and any impurities.  Drain well, bloat dry and set aside for use.
– Heat a large heavy based saucepan adding vegetable oil.  When the oil is hot, add the garlic until fragrant followed by the wings.  Stir fry the wings until the skin is slightly golden brown.
– Stir in all the ingredients, set to boil and cook for 10 mins.  Frequently turn the chicken wings to make sure they absorb as much soy mixture as possible (this step is very essential).
– Turn the heat to low.  Cover the saucepan and let the wings cook for another 20 mins.
– At this time, you may taste the mixture and see if more rock sugar or salt is needed.
– Cover the pan again and turn the heat up.  Let boil for another 3 mins.  This allows the final favour to be absorbed by the chicken wings.
– Turn the stove off and let the saucepan rest on the stove for 10 mins before serving.

So there you go my simple and delicious swiss chicken wings, I hope you will like it :D.  Finally of cause, I would like to specially thank the real founder of NTS for letting me to post this.  Cheers guys, you may see me haunting this blog very soon in the future again!

HK Delights – Happy Chinese New Year 2013

Kung Hei Fat Choi! In the year of the Snake!

Kung Hei Fat Choi! In the year of the Snake!

Happy Chinese New Year! Kung Hei Fat Choi in the year of the Snake :D Wishing you all a prosperous, happy and healthy new year! It’s time to say goodbye to the Dragon and welcome the Snake! Do you celebrate Chinese New Year (CNY)?

Being alone in Melbourne with Mr Bao and no family, we didn’t plan anything for CNY and decided to just go with the flow :) We do miss celebrating with family, having a huge feast together and receiving lots of red packets (envelope with money inside ;) )

Because of CNY, I was inspired to write a post about the HK street food I was indulging in :D Really sorry, but I didn’t manage to get the price and address of every item, but if you go to HK, these can be easily found on the streets especially in Mong Kok.

Rice Noodle Roll (Chu Cheong Fun) $12HK ($1.50AUD)

Rice Noodle Roll (Chu Cheong Fun) $12HK ($1.50AUD) found at snack food stores

As soon as I arrived in HK, my parents bought me these delicious Chu Cheong Fun otherwise known as Rice noodle rolls. The ones we get at Yum Cha usually have a filling such as BBQ pork (char siu), prawns or beef. But these are plain rice noodles rolls cut into little pieces and covered in the best sauces Hoi Sin Sauce, Sesame Sauce, Soy Sauce, Sweet Chilli Sauce and toasted sesame. It’s a really simple dish and very cheap to make and buy, but it’s SO damn good :D I love the rustic way they wrap the cheong fun in butchers paper and in a plastic bad, and you eat them with bamboo skewers!

Curry Fish Balls $8HKD ($1AUD)

Curry Fish Balls $8HKD ($1AUD) found from snack food stores

One afternoon, Dad took me out on a ‘Street Food’ raid in Jordan, and the first thing I got was the Curry Fish Balls. If you grew up in HK, I’m sure you have had you fair share of curry fish balls :) These fish balls were hot, spicy and super bouncy hehe it’s very hard to find these kind of fish balls outside of Australia. If you grew up in HK I’m sure you have had your fair share of curry fish balls, do you remember when they use to be sold in those carts on the streets? Unfortunately, due to hygene factors theres a lot less of them around on the streets now :(

"Soup Dumpling" Guan Tang Jiao available from most Yum Cha outlets

“Soup Dumpling” Guan Tang Jiao available from most Yum Cha outlets

Yum Cha in Australia is pretty good so I don’t have much to complain about that ~ but I do miss Soup Dumplings or they are called ‘Guan Tang Jiao’ in Chinese :) It may seen strange to some but basically the Soup Dumpling is literally placing a dumpling with chicken, mushroom and prawn filling into a bowl of soup. It’s a very comforting dish ~

Retro Vitasoy milk $7.9HKD ($1AUD)Retro Vitasoy milk $7.9HKD ($1AUD)

Retro Vitasoy milk $7.9HKD ($1AUD) available at 7/11 and other convenience stores

Dad then got me this retro Vitasoy milk in a glass bottle that was slightly warmed in hot water. Dad was also telling me how these retro Vitasoys use to be 20c HKD hahaha and now have increased to $7.9HKD ~ I’m not usually a fan of the Vitasoy in the paper packs, but something about the glass bottle really made it taste better, a much stronger soy taste.

Red Bean Icy Pole $6HK ($0.80AUD)

Red Bean Icy Pole $6HK ($0.80AUD) available at 7/11 and Supermarkets

On our way home one day, we saw a street store selling ice-cream and other sweets, Dad immediately pulled over and bought two Red Bean Icy Poles :D These are his favourite ~ if you like red bean desserts, you’ll definitely like this, it’s not too sweet with crushes red bean throughout the icy pole.

HK Style Baked Sweet Potato $15HKD ($1.8AUD)

HK Style Baked Sweet Potato $15HKD ($1.8AUD) found on the street

This may not look that attractive, but I love these HK style baked sweet potato :) I’m not sure how they ‘baked’ whether they used charcoal or something else. But the sweet potatoes are a different variety than the ones we get in Australia, I found them to be much sweeter. They occasionally have the purple sweet potatoes too ~ but I didn’t see them this time.

Cocktail Buns approximately $8HKD ($1AUD)

Cocktail Buns approximately $8HKD ($1AUD) available from most HK bakeries

Even though, I love my artisan breads, I occasionally do crave HK style bakeries, the breads are simply different with a much lighter texture. My favourite are these cocktail buns with a sweet coconut filling! Thankfully we can get these here in Melbourne Bread Top and they’re not that bad either ~

Silken Tofu (Tofu far) $9HKD ($1.1AUD)

Sweet beancurd (Tofu far) $9HKD ($1.1AUD) from Kung Wo Dou Bun 

I’m very lucky because there’s an amazing store that sells Tofu Far, Kung Wo Dou Bun which I’ve blogged about ~ It quite sad because I haven’t found tofu far that I really like in Melbourne, it’s all made from powder and gelatine. While the ones in HK are made from soy milk and has a strong soy flavour.

Egg Waffle $12HKD (($.150AUD) and Pearl Milk Tea $15HKD($1.90AUD)

Egg Waffle $12HKD (($.150AUD) and Pearl Milk Tea $15HKD($1.90AUD) available from  snack food stores

Egg waffles are probably the most famous HK street snack, they’re called egg waffles I assume because of their bubble shape. It’s got a pretty unique texture, I love the ones that are freshly made, super hot, crispy and a pillowy inside :) Unfortunately, it’s quite hard to find fresh and delicious egg waffles now in HK, but if you’re lucky you’ll find them in Jordan and Mongkok ~

Pearl Milk Tea originated from Taiwan, and many Milk Tea outlets such as Gong Cha, Chatime and Comebuy have opened in HK basically every corner. I personally think they taste better than the ones we get in Melbourne and very similar to the ones made in Taiwan :)

HK Style Waffle $12HKD ($1.5AUD) found from snack food outlets

HK Style Waffle $12HKD ($1.5AUD) found from snack food outlets

These HK Style Waffles go hand in hand with the Egg Waffles :) Most people either like one or the other like me BOTH hehe These waffles have a very spongey texture and not at all crispy, and you can see it is folded in half, because inside its slathered with generous amounts of peanut butter, condensed milk and sprinkle of caster sugar! It’s SO hard to find HK waffles now :( most places are very stingy with the spread or have pre-made the waffles and hence, they’re quite dry and stiff. But if you manage to find these, trust me you will LOVE them!

Tai Cheong Bakery

Tai Cheong Bakery

Last but not least Egg Tarts! Egg Tarts! Egg Tarts! I had so many of them in HK this time :D

Tai Cheong Egg Tarts $5HKD ($0.8AUD)

Tai Cheong Egg Tarts $5HKD ($0.8AUD)

In my opinion, Tai Cheong Bakery probably makes the best egg tarts in HK ~ I love the biscuit/short bread crust and not the flakey puff pastry (I’m weird :P) While the filling has a rich egg flavour and very silky texture. They’re even better when they’re fresh out of the oven, luckily, there are now many Tai Cheong Egg Tarts and most make yummy egg tarts. But if you can I would recommend you going to their main store in Central and see if you can catch some freshly baked ones.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and it wasn’t too random for you :) Once again sorry for not being able to provide you with the exact address of all the places to get the food. But if you do happen to travel to HK and would like some advice please feel free to email me and I’d be more than happy to help you!

Michelin Dim Sims – Tim Ho Wan

I am OFFICIALLY back in Melbourne :) It’s such a bittersweet feeling to be back ~ Its great to come home, sleep in my own bed but at the same time, I miss my family especially my sister and nephew SOOOOO MUCH! Have had such an amazing holiday!

Love you both!

Love you both!

I’m not really sure if I’m a tourist or a local when in HK :) Because of family, I have always gone back and forth at least once or twice a year. And back at Uni I would come back for 3 to 4 months, so that’s why it’s so easy for me to overlook the more ‘touristy’ places such as Disneyland, Ocean Park and some other HK must go restaurants.

Tim Ho Wan

Tim Ho Wan

Tim Ho Wan is definitely one of them :) I have heard that it is one of the cheapest restaurants in the world to have been awarded a Michelin star and I know many tourists put ‘Tim Ho Wan’ on their must-go lists. So this time round, I decided to persuade my parents and family to go try their famous dim sims ~
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I have heard that waiting for a table can be a nightmare and because there only around 18 seats in the Mongkok store there is usually at least 45 minutes wait. Thank gosh I remembered Lorraine (Not Quite Nigella) mentioning in her post that you can book a VIP room and some of the other stores ~ and there is only a minimum spend of $1000HKD(approximately $125AUD), which sounds like a lot, but when some more expensive VIP only dim sims its actually quite easy to reach $1000HKD.
Thanks to Win Win we got a VIP room immediately for a table of 10 and also placed our orders for their special dim sims such as the abalone puff tarts, prawn and chicken dumplings and bird nest egg tart ~ you can’t order these dim sims unless you have a VIP table :)
We went to the Sham Shui Po store and got there at around 6:30pm, thankfully it wasn’t very busy, Tim Ho Wan has kept the traditional HK yum cha ambience as you can see with the wooden table and chairs. Staff were the no nonsense type but were still attentive and helpful as we went with my little nephew and niece :)
Prawn and chicken dumplings $20HKD ($2.5AUD) Each

Prawn and chicken dumplings $20HKD ($2.5AUD) Each

It slightly strange to have dim sims for dinner as its a very brunch and lunch type food ~ We were all pretty hungry so Dad immediately ordered the first round of dim sims. The first to appear at our table were all the special dim sims we had pre-ordered like the prawn and chicken dumplings. They were so pretty and reminded me of the Swarovski swan with the little prawn tail :P
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These were quite nice with chicken meat in the bottom of the dumpling and topped with a prawn. However, I didn’t find them that different and don’t really understand why they need to be ordered in advance.
Red rice steamed prawn noodles $30HK ($3.75AUD) per plate

Red rice steamed prawn noodles $30HK ($3.75AUD) per plate

Dad insisted on getting these as he’s trying to lose some weight and wanted to try the steamed rice cakes made with red rice instead of white :) I really liked the pink colour but taste and flavour wise, they’re very much the same as the regular white ones ~
Abalone and chicken puff pastry tarts $40HKD ($5AUD)

Abalone and chicken puff pastry tarts $40HKD ($5AUD)

I was excited about trying these abalone and chicken puff tarts, because I’ve never had abalone in the form of a tart :) *Warning* these are PIPING HOT and very crumbly, I tried to pick one up and it started to crumble and the chicken pieces were pouring out and burnt my finger ~ But gosh these were tasty!
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I loved the combination of chicken and abalone and also the slightly chewy texture of the abalone :) I also want to know Tim Ho Wan’s secret for making such good puff pastry with the ability to immediately melt in my mouth.
Har Gow $23HKD ($2.8AUD) and Siu Mai $23HKD ($2.8AUD)

Har Gow $23HKD ($2.8AUD) and Siu Mai $23HKD ($2.8AUD)

Once we finished our special dim sims, it was time for the more traditional dim sims such as Har Gow (Prawn dumplings) and Siu Mai (Pork and prawn dumpling). My nephew Aden is obsessed at Har Gows and can have 3 to 4 all by himself! He’s only 2 hahaha we all liked the har gows especially the thin and soft dumpling skin. I’m a Siu Mai girl and always choose them over har gows :) I liked the ones here, as they were freshly steamed but once again thought they were quite similar to the regular siu mais at our local restaurant ~
Steamed pork ribs $14HKD ($1.75AUD) and Chicken Feet with Black bean sauce $15HKD ($1.9AUD)

Steamed pork ribs $14HKD ($1.75AUD) and Chicken Feet with Black bean sauce $15HKD ($1.9AUD)

Another yum cha stable, steamed pork ribs Mr Bao loves these ~ these were very flavoursome with the black beans and was not at all overcooked. I don’t like it when it’s overcooked and becomes very chewy. LOL I hope I didn’t scare anyone by posting a photo of chicken feet ~ I know many of my friends are scared of them and will never even attempt putting one in their mouths, but please give it a go, you might like it! I personally love the rubbery texture of them :P Okay… I better stop there hehe
Steamed Beef Balls $14HKD ($1.75AUD) and Chiu Chow dumplings $10HKD ($1.25AUD)

Steamed Beef Balls $14HKD ($1.75AUD) and Chiu Chow dumplings $10HKD ($1.25AUD)

When I was growing up lol I would only eat Steamed Beef Balls when we went to yum cha, but now I think I’m a bit over it :P I liked these ones though as they had soft and spongey texture and the mince beef was of a better quality than some other restaurants. Mum was a fan of these Chiu Chow dumplings which have pork mince and wood ears filling enclosed in the same dumpling skin as a Har Gow.
Baked Pineapple BBQ Pork Bun $16HKD ($2AUD)

Baked Pineapple BBQ Pork Bun $16HKD ($2AUD)

These baked pineapple BBQ pork buns are probably Tim Ho Wan’s most famous and popular dim sim dish ~ If you are familiar with Hong Kong snack food you would have had the pineapple (polo bao) bun before. These are like the pineapple bun but with BBQ pork (char siu) filling :) Definitely something different from the traditional BBQ pork buns, we quite liked it. I particularly liked the sweetness from both the bun and the filling ~
Radish cake luo bak go $12HKD ($1.25AUD)

Radish cake luo bak go $12HKD ($1.25AUD)

Another favourite of mine is radish cake, luo bak go no matter if it steamed or pan fried, while this one had good flavours, I think it lacked some radish pieces and was quite soft in texture.
Luo Mai Ji Steamed Glutinous Rice $24HKD ($3AUD)

Luo Mai Ji Steamed Glutinous Rice $24HKD ($3AUD)

I can easily fill myself up with dim sims, but I find most men I know can’t :P They still need something more carb-loaded hehe That’s why we ordered the steamed glutinous rice parcel, it was quite big with chicken, pork mince and dried shrimp as the filling.
Pork Bone and Bean Congee $18HKD ($2AUD)

Pork Bone and Bean Congee $18HKD ($2AUD)

We also got the Pork Bone and Bean congee, I don’t usually see many restaurants serving this congee, very tasty and filling with the beans :)
Steamed beef rice with egg $18HKD ($2.25AUD)

Steamed beef rice with egg $18HKD ($2.25AUD)

Not sure how my brother in law was able to eat one of these steamed rice by himself ~ Definitely value for money though as they were only $18HKD less than $3 AUD! The topping was pretty much the same as the dim sims we’ve had before, but the rice came with a sweet soy sauce which made plain rice so much more exciting.
Ma Lai Go (Steamed Cake) $14HKD($1.75AUD)

Ma Lai Go (Steamed Cake) $14HKD($1.75AUD)

There were a few sweet dessert options on the menu, starting with the Ma Lai Go which is a steamed cake made from brown sugar and lard. It’s quite hard to find good Ma Lai Go even in HK, they’re either too wet or too dry some are too sweet and some aren’t. I know Tim Ho Wan are not known for their ma la gao, however, I was quite impressed with both flavour and texture :D *WIN*
Osmanthus jelly $10HKD($1.25AUD)

Osmanthus jelly $10HKD($1.25AUD)

We also ordered the osanthemis jelly, Win WIn is usually a fan of this jelly but found it to be too sweet, and after trying it, I must agree with her, that they could have probably used a little bit less sugar especially for people in HK ~
Bird Nest Egg Tart
The last special dim sim we ordered was the Birds Nest egg tart, bird nest is considered a delicacy in Chinese cuisine so it’s quite precious to find them in street foods such as egg tarts. Once again there were fresh out of the oven and this time Dad burned his tongue when he put one in his mouth :P They had a firmer biscuit base than the abalone tarts ~ it had a very eggy filling which was nice, but don’t think it was sweet enough. I think I still prefer the egg tarts from Tai Cheong more hehe ~
I think that’s all the dim sims we tried at Tim Ho Wan ;) I hope I haven’t missed any because there was so much food, my parents kept ordering multiples too! I also had to fight to take a photo of the food before they hacked into it ~ Overall, I think I was underwhelmed by the food here at Tim Ho Wan, there were some show stoppers such as the abalone puff, pineapple BBQ bun and also the ma lai go. However, the other dim sims were comparable to other local yum cha restaurants. I don’t think I would wait 45 minutes or longer for a table, but would recommend a VIP room if you have more than 6 people as it’s quite affordable and you also get to try the special dim sims! We were all full and had some left overs and it worked out to be around $135HK ($16.9AUD) per person :)
Tim Ho Wan
G/F, 9-11 Fuk Wing Street, 
Sham Shui Po
深水埗福榮街9-11號地下
PH:2788 1226

Taro or Pork Belly Bao? – Wonder Bao

Do you go through eating phases where you love something and constantly eat it and then get sick of it? Or do you consistently like the same kinds of food? I definitely go through phases… I went through a bagel phase a couple of months ago, then it was this banana bread phase and now I think I’m onto a BAO phase :P Last week, I visited Bao Now, then had lau sha bao at Tai Pan with fellow bloggers on the following Sunday and then the next day (Monday) I met up with the awesome Libby (The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar). I was having Monday blues lol you know the feeling you get after the weekend :P but it made time go by much quicker because I had something to look forward to hehe, as soon as it was time for me to go, I literally ran out the door and rushed to Wonderbao. For Melbourne Readers, WonderBao can be a little difficult to find if you’re going for the first time, it’s on A’beckett St located at the back of an apartment complex, Sarah (Sarah Cooks) is so fantastic she even drew a map and posted it on her blog to make it easier for us to get there, you can find it here. The store itself is very small and have very limited seating, I have heard that it gets very busy during lunch times, so be prepared to have to wait. We were quite lucky and got there when it was fairly quick and scored two seats.

Small menu big flavours!

With a small and consise menu it only offers 7 types baos and 3 gua baos to choose from. We decided to get two gua baos and two sweet baos to share :) We actually started off with the sweet baos lol as we had to wait for the gua baos to be made.

Sweet baos $1.7AUD

Nai wong bao! The bao with an Chinese egg custard filling :) It been my favourite since I was a little girl ~ my family doesn’t really like it so I don’t get to order it much >_< thank you Libby for ripping it apart so nicely for me to take a photo of the filling hehe the bao itself was warm, soft and lovely everything a good bao should be. While the filling was nice with the traditional ‘nai wong’ flavours, I didn’t find anything too special about it and would have liked it even more if the filling was a little big warmer

Nai Wong Bao (Egg Custard) Bao $1.7AUD

I’m not sure if Taro baos are traditional as I have actually never had one before, and LOVED IT! The taro filling was so delicious! I really like taro flavoured desserts, but I can be quite picky and I hate that artificial taro flavouring that some places uses, especially the ones they use to flavour bubble milk tea. It’s simply not the same as using real taro puree, you immediately tell that WonderBao used ‘real’ taro to make the filling. Hmmm a bit hard for me to describe the taste of the filling, because unless you’ve had taro before it’s quite a unique taste. Either way it was very yummy so go try and let me know what you think :D I also think it’s a bargain for only $1.7AUD for a sweet bao ~

Taro Bao $1.7AUD

Moving on to the savoury gua baos, if you’re not sure what a gua bao has been described as a Chinese sandwich or Taiwanese burger. It is made with the same dough as the steamed baos, however, it is shaped differently and the filling is not enclosed inside. I say Momofuku’s David Chang has definitely helped popularise this type of bao with his famous Pork Belly Bao that he sells at his Momofuku restaurants. I’m still salivating over the one I had in NY *NOMZ*

Fried Silky Tofu gua bao $3.8 AUD

Starting with the vegetarian fried silky tofu gua bao, the filling included  a piece of fried tofu inside the bao then topped with pickled mustard, coriander, sweet soy sauce and crushed peanuts. I took a bite and immediately thought of Taiwan! Everything about it :) The flavours were so familiar to me ~I really liked the flavours of the pickled mustard and crunch from the crushed peanuts. However, though it needed a little bit more of sweet soy sauce as the fried tofu was quite bland and the bao does not have a lot of flavour.

Braised Pork Belly gua bao $3.8AUD

I’m pretty sure the pork belly gua baos have become the signature bao to get when you come to WonderBao ~ Libby had tried the Roast Pork Belly last time, so we opted for the braised, which had the condiments as the fried silky tofu except with the addition of the pork belly. I love love love the braised pork belly, it was well marinated and braised until it’s soft and tender :) I think WonderBao has got the flavours spot on for this pork belly gua bao ~ poor Mr Bao has been left out from all my bao eating events lol so once again I bought him one take away and he also said it was his favourite. Highly recommend it!

Homemade Soya milk $2.8AUD

It is so traditional to have Soya Milk when you eat baos hehe it was quite warm that day, so we both got a cold homemade soya milk ~ It was lightly sweetened and I thought it was quite refreshing but it was a little bland not sure if it was because there was too much ice and it diluted the drink. Libby did mention that the hot drink had a stronger soya taste ~ I think I’m gonna try the hot one next time :)

Char Siu Bao (BBQ Pork) $2AUD

I got also bought Mr Bao a Char Siu Bao (BBQ Pork) to try, sorry about the bad pic I took it in the carpark before Mr Bao literally shoved the whole thing into his mouth :P

I also managed to snatch it away from him after he took a bite to take this photo, he said it was nice but it wasn’t outstanding because the filling wasn’t very flavoursome. I think he’s just use to the baos that we get when we go have yum cha :)

I’m really having trouble deciding whether I like the taro bao more or the pork belly gua bao more…they were both very delicious…but being a sweet toothed person lol I think the taro bao still wins, just because I’ve never had one before and I’m addicted to the filling! I definitely enjoyed WonderBao, unlike Bao Now they take a much more traditional approach with their baos, I think its always nice to have freshly steamed baos with familiar fillings that we have grown up eating :)

Wonderbao on Urbanspoon

PS. I’ve gone on a sweet trip with Mr Bao to Sydney and Brisbane for a couple of day :) So please accept my apology for being slow at replying comments, emails, tweets and all ~

Chocolate Mousse Bao – Bao Now

“Baos” are you familiar with them? Have you grown up eating them or are they a new concept to you? ~ I know for my Asian especially Chinese Readers baos are probably nothing new to them ~ because we eat them all the time especially when we go to Yum Cha, it’s basically a staple to have Char Siu Bao (BBQ Pork Bun). For my lovely Readers who are not familiar with Baos, they can be described as Chinese steam buns with a filling which can be either savoury or sweet.

In the past month, two stores specialising in Baos have opened up in Melbourne, Bao Now and Wonder Bao. I’ve been meaning to go visit, but I have been so time poor lately, that I have been making more lunch time runs and recruiting colleagues to go eat with me and put up with me taking a million photos of their food :P

Last week the blog victim was Yue, my amazing colleague ~ you might remember him from this post, where I made him a chocolate cake for his birthday in June ~ I’m the only girl in our team and the youngest, so this poor guy has to look after me all the time and put up with all my whinge and rants :P oh and he’s always having to eat or reject my baked goodies too hahaha

Anyhow, last Friday I persuaded Yue to rush out during our lunch break, cross the river to Bao Now on Hardware Street, for Melbournians it’s just right opposite Hardware Societe to make it easier for you guys to find it ~ It was a relatively warm day and rather quiet at Bao Now, which was nice because that gave me the chance to take my time in deciding what to order and take some photos ~

I really like the simple decor of Bao Now with a huge map on the wall describing the baos. They don’t have many seats inside the store, but have  a few more tables outside. Looking at their menu they currently have 3 types of baos – steamed bao (savoury or sweet) and lettuce baos (san choy baos), for those who aren’t fond of baos they also have rice bowls ~

It was a little hard for me to take photos of the actual baos as they were in the glass cabinet and there was a lot of steam :( so I’m sorry for this blurry picture ~ I thought the Bao deal to be very reasonable for $9 you get 3 baos and a drink  (ice tea, soft drink or water), uh oh dilemma do I get 2 sweet baos and 1 savoury or be good and get 2 savoury and 1 sweet?

I think the waitress saw how distressed I was and offered to give me a free Nutella bao if I got another savoury bao as she said the Nutella baos were a little smaller than they should be :) *HAPPY* So I ended up with a cheeseburger bao, buffalo wing bao, vanilla custard bao and a NUTELLA Bao!

Savoury baos

Starting with the savoury, I thought the cheeseburger flavour was really unique! It tasted very much like spaghetti bolognaise but in a Chinese steamed bao hehe I bought one takeaway for Mr Bao to try (I know how ironic Mr Bao eating Bao LOL) and he really liked it, basically had it one go and said he could have a couple more of these! Only complaint was the size being a little small hahaha. Sorry I don’t have a decent photo of the cheeseburger bao :P so decided not to upload hehe

Buffalo Chicken Bao $3 AUD

Now to the buffolo chicken wing bao it was soft chicken meat in a Tabasco sauce, both Yue and I really enjoyed it, but I would have preferred it even more if it was spicier, while he thought it just needed to be a little less sweet.

Thai chicken and Buffalo chicken Lettuce Bao $6.8 AUD for 2

Yue also got the 3 bao deal but instead he got 2 lettuce baos and a mexican pork bao. He was super kind to let me try all of his baos hehe we both really liked the thai chicken bao as had a green curry taste which went really well with the lettuce :) The buffalo chicken filling was similar to the one in the steam bao but flavours were pronounce here as the lettuce had a rather light and bland taste :) I really like the idea of lettuce baos though because sometimes you just want something like and lower on carbs that’ll be perfect ~

Mexican Pork Bao $3AUD

He then got the Mexican pork which reminded me of the typical chai siu bao, but obviously tasted nothing like it as it was Mexican hehe :) However, I found it quite bland and the ‘bao’ to really overtake the flavours from the filling.

While I was taking a million photos, suddenly a man came up and said “I’m sorry but would you be Daisy from Never Too Sweet?”, I was immediately shocked that someone recognised me! That turned out to be one of the owners of Bao Now, Ricky ~ he said he recognised me from my Twitter display picture hahaha note to self…remove all photos of myself from all social media platforms. Ricky was very nice and asked us for feedback and suggestions. I told him honestly that I thought the buffalo chicken wing bao could have been a little bit spicier to make it tastier, while Yue suggested a Korean inspired lettuce bao as he just returned from a holiday in Seoul :P Ricky then told us that they were still experimenting with the filling and found that the bao itself had a strong over powering taste, I would describe it as the ‘yeasty’ taste hehe and because of this the filling had to have strong flavours to cut through the bao.

Vanilla Custard $2.8AUD

Back to baos ~ Now please excuse my ugly fingers in these photos, lol I wasn’t sure how to take a good photo of the filling in a timely fashion so Yue didn’t have to wait so long to eat, he doesn’t hang out much with food bloggers, so I felt bad if I made him wait for ages lol anyhow time for the sweet baos, starting with the vanilla custard bao, I immediately thought of the ‘lai (nai) wong bao’ you also get at yum cha which is a bao filled with egg custard :) it’s one of my favourites. But this Vanilla custard bao was nothing like the traditional lai wong bao, instead the filling reminded me of the filling you get in between vanilla slices, that kind of vanilla custard ~ I quite enjoyed it but think I prefer the traditional egg custard more.

Hazelnut Chocolate Ganache Bao $2.8AUD

This was their slightly smaller than normal Nutella bao ~ I was so excited about trying this bao because I’m addicted to Nutella, Yue and I shared it but found that it doesn’t really taste like Nutella, it was more like chocolate filling with some crunchy pieces. Ricky then tells us that this bao actually has a chocolate ganache and hazelnut praline filling ~so not exactly Nutella but still yum!

Chocolate Mousse Bao $2.8AUD

I actually didn’t order the chocolate mousse bao but Ricky was so generous and said he would like to give us one to try because he would really like our feedback and I think because he knows I’m a dessert-freak :P It turned out to be the highlight of this lunch ~ it was my absolute favourite, the bao was obviously soft and fluffy in texture and then the chocolate mousse would ever so gently ooze out. It wasn’t overly sweet, it had a rich chocolate flavour but still had the lightness of chocolate mousse! I’m definitely coming back for more! Thank you Ricky!

Iced Barley Green Tea $1.5AUD

Oh wait how could I forget about the ice tea that came with the bao meal ~ there was a choice between XXX we both really enjoyed the tea and found it to be very refreshing and definitely quenched our thirsts :) I’m really getting into iced teas lately with the warm weather coming ~

That’s not it with the baos, I actually went back a couple of days later with Kirk because he literally lives 1 minute away and I really didn’t like some of the photos from last time I so being the responsible food blogger I went back :D And to my surprise they had the brand new butter chicken and BBQ pork!

Butter Chicken Bao $3AUD

BBQ Pork Bao $3AUD

I found the butter chicken filling to be on the sweet side which counteract with the bao quite well and the BBQ pork was nothing like what I expected it to be, because it was not the traditional char siu bao , the BBQ was more the American/Westernised Barbeque sauce taste, it was definitely different and even though it was nice, I think I still prefer to the buffalo chicken bao the most!

How Bao Now got their idea ~

Overall, I really enjoyed Bao Now and it’s unconventional twist on the very traditional Chinese baos ~ I appreciate their effort and creativity for stepping outside the box and introduce something new to the Melbourne food scene ~ it was a little sad to see quite a few Caucasian customers (Sorry not trying to discriminate)  walk in, have a look and then walk out. I think the concept of eating bao’s is still quite new but I’m sure once you try these baos you will want to come back for more!

Daisy, Yue and Kirk @ Never Too Sweet paid for all food and drinks except for the chocolate mousse bao and Nutella bao :)

Bao Now on Urbanspoon

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