Tag Archives: China Town

East Ocean Yum Cha, Haymarket

East Ocean took the brave step a while ago of dispensing with the trolleys and giving you the option of ticking what you want on a form, though there are some wait staff carrying around other dishes on trays.  It makes for a much more sedate yum cha experience, and takes away the bustling and some of the fun.  Its not quite the same if you can’t wave away a pushy trolly dolly, or peer eagerly into the steaming baskets to unearth the contents.

Overall it was a bit hit and miss – some dishes worked well others didn’t – it seems to be about knowing what to order here. I doubt I’ll be back –  I’ll stick to my old favourites, Marigold and Palace.

On the menu:

Yum cha isn’t yum cha without a bit of salt and pepper. We started with salt and pepper calamari, the stalwart, and some salt and pepper whitebait.  The first was as it should be – bit of punch and tender calamari.  The whitebait was cold and we had to send it back, but even the replacement was lukewarm –  it was very average and could have been fabulous if cooked well (and served hot!).

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Next was the beans with mince pork.  Dish of the day. I’ve had the Din Tai Fung version (excellent), the Mr Wong version, and the Lynn Shanghai Cuisine version (both a bit bland).  This was flavoursome and with a nice hit of chilli.

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The dumplings overall where a little ho hum – we had a scallop and seafood, the snow pea and seafood and the Shanghai style pork dumplings.

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The fried rice also average, but the soy marinated chicken and bbq pork combo was tender and well flavoured. The bbq pork puffs had nice flaky pastry but needed more filling.

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It is however a great Cheap Eat, you can do it for under $20 a person – but there are other better choices.

East Ocean, 421 – 429 Sussex St, Haymarket Ph (02) 9212 4918

East Ocean Restaurant on Urbanspoon

N2 Extreme Gelato, Chinatown

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Its not just all about the artistry here. N2 is the creation of the affable Min, who I figured had some kind of background in chemistry. But no, he was a bored accountant who wanted to do something different. It took many months to perfect the techniques first of developing unusual flavours, and second using liquid nitrogen to make ‘instant gelato’. In a couple of words, its uber cool, no pun intended.

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The list of flavours is relatively small compared to your standard gelateria (however of course this is nowhere near standard), but they change every Thursday, and most you will not have seen before elsewhere. On the menu that day were: Truffled Popcorn, Sour Cream Chocolate, Salt & Pepper and calamari (really), Chocolate Nibbles, Mango Sorbet, Earl Grey Caramel, Ice Lemon Puerh, and Blackberry Cheesecake.  The flavours sit in liquid form lined up in giant beakers, and once you choose what you want the white coated staff spring into action.

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The Kitchen Aids whir, the smoke billows, and presto! Its gelato!

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The result is beautifully smooth gelato. The Earl Grey Caramel was just gorgeous and I couldn’t stop eating it. The mango tasted like real mango. The Sour Cream Chocolate was oh so creamy. We weren’t brave enough to try the salt and pepper icecream with the dehydrated sprinkle of calamari (optional!) but Min assured us it was more about the tang of the white pepper and not fishy, maybe next time. At $6 a scoop its not cheap, but they are very generous scoops and given the quality I’m happy to pay for it again, especially on a cracking Sydney Summer day like today.

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There is a ‘flavour archive’ board at the back. Get a load of some of these! I’d love to try the Me So Happy which is a Miso Caramel Combo.  Min mentioned that funnily enough the best seller was plain old Cookies and Cream – we need to get more adventurous peeps!

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N2 Extreme Gelato, 43/1 Dixon Street, Sydney

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N2 Extreme Gelato on Urbanspoon