Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yum cha at Gold Leaf Sunshine


In the eastern vs western suburbs friendly rivalry, we might score a goal in the injera stakes, but they lord it over us with yum cha.  At least we have at least one great example in Gold Leaf Sunshine.


This is our favourite local place for the yummy stuff.  My earlier post about Gold Leaf Sunshine was kind of lukewarm, but we've been many, many times since and always love it.  It reminds me of a temple from the outside, reclining peacefully under the gum trees.


This day we wandered in to a full lion dance ceremony celebrating Chinese New Year, complete with handsome young men banging drums, firecrackers popping crazily and children being terrified, made even more awesome by the fact it was Australia Day.


One reason I love Gold Leaf is their unusual and unique yum cha items.  These soft "spring rolls" were fantastic, pliable flat rice noodles curled around a fresh prawn, dried mushroom and tender bamboo shoot filling.


Bouncy butterflied prawns with a tingling umami hit of XO sauce, rich with dried seafood and Chinese air-dried ham.


Sweet pucks of prawny mince on tender silken tofu discs in a very light thickened stock.


These were deep-fried har gow-like prawn-stuffed dumplings, but with a different wrapper that was pleasantly thick, crispy on the outside but fluffy on the inside.  They were fantastic!


Getting back to the classic hits rotation now - big, porky siu mai with lots of juice for contented dribbling.


Yes, I know it is bogan but we call these football dumplings...and yes, you do get three here - the plate got tackled the minute it was set down.  Rightly so too as they were pretty unreal.  They are properly called ham sui gok and are made with a sticky dough enclosing a pork mince and mushroom filling.


The yellow dumplings' above more virtuous cousin - har gow, steamed prawn dumplings with a little bamboo shoot.  These were quite good.


Another favourite, totally flaky pastry that melts on your fingertips, filled with warm chopped BBQ pork.  Master Restaurant in central Footscray do these incredibly well too, as well as blind taste test-winning BBQ pork buns.


Cheong fun are thickish, wide rice noodle sheets gently flopped around a filling such as prawns, long Chinese donut or BBQ pork.  These prawn ones are my favourite - they're so slippery and delicate with a thin, sweet sauce that's just divine.  Gold Leaf's were just slighly on the mushy side but still delish.


Enter the evil twin!  While these also contain prawns, they're made with beancurd skin instaed of rice noodles and are lusciously deep fried for instant crack-tification.


The only speed hump in the meal was this rather bland sticky rice.


Just perfect fried squid legs with tender thighs snaking down to snappy little ends, dusted all over with coarse salty crystals.


Personally I love the stacked jellies with fruit and coconut layers, but this quivering bowl of rainbow iridescence is a childlike pleasure.


I wasn't a fan of this coffee jelly - it tasted suspiciously like instant.


I know these as banh bao chi.  You can buy them from To's in Little Saigon in white and green hues, but these ones were the best I've had.  They are soft glutinous rice dough with a filling of chopped peanut, coconut and granulated sugar.  These skins were so fresh, they almost melted on your teeth, collapsing and inducing much undignified stuffing of bao into mouths.


Gold Leaf is busy and colourful, innovative and progressive yet still stays true to its roots - a bit like the western suburbs, I guess.

Gold Leaf Sunshine
491 Ballarat Road, Sunshine
Phone:  9311 1863
Yum cha daily - prices $5.30 - $11.00 per plate.

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  1. Great find - I love the sound of deep fried har gow. And those jellies are hilarious.

    1. They were so, so good! Aren't they gorgeous - when I was little they used to have flags in them, as in flags of different countries on toothpicks. So random.

  2. Oh, thanks for the review. The photos are just scrumdiddlyumcious. You sell your experience well! We will consider it as an option.

    We sometimes visit Gold Leaf Preston: nice big wide aisles for prams. We eat at Yummies in Footscray more often now, and take home their frozen dim sum for comfortable eats

    1. I hear Preston is good! I also like the Docklands branch as does a good yum cha-savvy friend but we are in the minority it seems. I really love the KB brand prawn gyoza from Costco and also Conway for easy microwaving at home - really yummy and no fillers or gunk.

  3. I love Gold Leaf, its a family favourite. We always go there on sunday for Yum cha :)

  4. Its been awhile ... I think its time for another visit!

    1. Yes!! Yummy!! I could eat yum cha every week but somehow we rack up such gigantic bills, it's only an occasional pleasure.

  5. It's been ages for me too. We should catch up over yum cha here soon!

  6. oh man you had me at deep fried har gow :)


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