Friday, February 6, 2009


It was Thursday.
It was hilarious.
It was three generations of Ho's gathering for yum cha.

The previous week, I ran into my deaf grandfather and he asked me to go for yum cha with him. Unfortuantely, I was busy and spent the whole bus ride yelling to him in Cantonese that I would organise it with my father and sister for the week after.

I think all he heard was "ok."

I am not one for sentimentality, but yum cha always means a sneaky lunch with my father and grandfather. We discuss anything from how conradictory my mother is, how crazy she is, and when it is my sister and I, how there are many things that we are not sure are forgivable, or we spend the whole time mocking things in everyday society.

So, here is the token yum cha post every blogger has on their blog. So, it's going to be a big one...

"Mixed offal stew" otherwise known as tasty awesomeness. Spare parts (tripe, tendon, intestine) stewed together with turnip.

A Prawn and Pork paste wrapped in dry bean curd skin.

Sui Mai

Out of focus chicken's feet. I believe this is because my grandpa really wanted to eat it and didn't understand why I was taking photos of everything. He's like, "I know this isn't her first time at yum embarrassing."

Steamed prawn and chive dumplings in a won ton skin.

Steamed prawn dumplings.
The kid-friendly dumperin'.
The "everyone's favourite" dumperin'.

Prawns wrapped in dry bean curd skin...deep fried. It comes with this wrong-town sweet mayo which I have never liked. My sister is convinced it is miracle whip and should therefore be shat on and abolished.

I agree.

Pork spare ribs steamed with a black bean sauce.

Sticky rice.

Can you tell we're getting full? Unfortunately, not me. I was too busy taking photos.

Oooooh, as with most yum cha places, these are made to order so they don't dry out or overcook in the trolleys.
Prawns wrapped in rice noodle with the usual suspect sweet soy.

There is a little bit of an epic story with this one. You see, my sister ate at a banquet with my aunty-in-law a couple of years ago and this turned up. She loved it.

Cindy- Oh, what is that bun on that trolley?
Dad- What bun?
Cindy- You know, the white bun in the metallic paper thing with the crunchy bit on top and it custard in the middle but it is drippy.
Dad- WHAT?
Cindy- Yeah, Vincent said it was like...what did he call it? Quick sand buns.
Dad- Quick sand?
CIndy- Yeah, quick sand. How do you translate that in Cantonese.
Dad- how the hell should I know, we don't have quick sand in Hong Kong!

So, the lady with the trolley comes past and my sister is like:

Cindy- Hey, what is that bun called?
Lady- What bun? (the trolley is covered in about 6 different buns)
Cindy- um..the baked white one with runny egg custard in the middle.
Lady- Can you describe it more?
Cindy-'s like quick sand?
Lady- (pause)
Cindy- you know...quick sand?
Lady- I think you're trying to say this one. It's called lau sah bao.
Cindy- YES!!!!

Ok, so, the word Lau comes from the same lau when you say stairs. Or, if you directly translate it, a running ladder. Then the next word is sand, followed by bun. So, I am pretty impressed that my sister somehow got Quicksand bun from "running sand bun."

Phew...that was a tiring story.

She is totally happy at it, though she complained that the middle filling wasn't runny enough.

And they're really light, so...

She ate two.

I asked her if it was worth the wait, and she said it was worth knowing what they're called now.

Ok, so this is when my family really got embarrassed and just got up and left to pay the bill.

This is my favourite, my cousin's favourite and my grandpa's favourite thing. It's a deep fried taro dumpling with a ground pork filling. It is the shit!

Anyways, by the stage these guys came out, no one wanted to eat them, and I got food envy. So, I took a photo of the food from the table next to us covered in chinese grandparents that smiled and laughed at me.
They loved it.

Also, to the right of it, is a pan-fried turnip cake. I love the turnip and taro version of this...which we also missed out on. Sigh.


And my grandpa, wonderfully deaf and full.

He laughed after I finally took a photo of him and I said that we will all look like laughing chimpanzees when we age. It's in the Asian gene.

All in all, the food was above average, no, I take that was good, but I wasn't happy that my family restriced my chili oil intake.

Crown Palace Chinese Restaurant
495 Burwood Highway
Vermon South Shopping Centre (or, well, next to)
03 9887 9822


Agnes said...

Mhmmm yum cha. I like the "quick sand bun" story!

tytty said...

hi again!

like this post. after being abroad for so long, you remind me how i do miss the silly simple humour you can only get over a chinese family meal.

doesn't lau in this context mean spill? is that bao the one which filling can burst out when u bite into it

another yum cha place to note down. everyone goes to sharks fin, and i think it's only ok

ah long comment. better end now

steph said...

I am so excited to be making a yum cha post later this week yaaaay.

bunchesmcginty said...

Agnes- oh, we're still laughing about it.

Tytty- Oh yes, strange family humour and we badgered the lady like mad about what it was called. Ahh, well, yeah, I guess you're right, the direct translation is spill. ten points!

Steph- I'll be checking.