NSW Holiday 2007-2008 – Day 14

Level 5 (Monday to Saturday)
Levels 4 and 5 (Sunday)
683-689 George St, Haymarket NSW

On our last day in Sydney we had a yum cha brunch with my sister at Marigold. As I’ve written above, the restaurant operates on Level 5 on Monday to Saturday, and on Sundays, it operates across two levels. Incredibly, it can seat up to 800 people across the two floors.

Staff circulate around the restaurant pushing their trolleys bearing steaming hot goodies, and it’s up to you to choose what you want. Most of time we found them in our face “You want BBQ pork bun? You want steamed chicken feet?” Other times we saw them in the distance and missed out on their wares completely (such was the case with the man carrying the squid tentacles – damn!). But overall, it was no problem getting the attention of staff and ensuring our table was laden with food. At one point I think we were even deliberately eating face into bowls to avoid making eye contact with the pushier trolley people – so we could eat without being interrupted (“You want century egg porridge? You want stuffed beancurd?” )!

We started with a serve of very juicy looking, sticky-saucy pork ribs. These were succulent, meaty and delicious. We had one each. A good start, as I sucked the sauce off my fingers.

Pork ribs round one

A round of steamed seafood and spinach dumplings followed.

Steamed dumplings

I had a hankering for char siu pao (BBQ pork steamed buns).

Char siu pao (BBQ pork steamed buns)

The char siu pao was filled with lots of tender, tasty pork.

Char siu pao (BBQ pork steamed buns) innards

We also tried these steamed gourds stuffed with pork mince. I wasn’t keen on the gourd, but the pork was great (yes, we had a very porky meal!).

Steamed pork stuffed gourd

We just had to have a second round of ribs. Again, one each. (What was I just saying about the meal being porky?!)

Pork ribs round two

I had to try the aubergine yong tau foo – the aubergine pieces were stuffed with fish paste, and when we ordered them, the server ladled hot black bean sauce onto the dish, made a criss-cross cut across each of the square pieces of aubergine, and placed them on the black bean sauce before placing the dish on our table. I always love egg plant, and especially in yong tau foo. These were wonderful.

Yong tau foo aubergine

Another round of steamed dumplings. These were prawn and spinach ones.

Steamed dumplings

These spring rolls with dried shrimp in them were served with a dipping sauce.

Rice flour rolls with dried shrimp and sauce

The sauce was poured into the dish before our eyes to create a ying and yang-ish effect. The lighter sauce is peanut, the dark is soy.

Peanut sauce and soy sauce

The coolest part about these rice flour rolls is that when you ordered them, the lady pushing the trolley would actually “fry” them on the hot plate that was on the top of the trolley, so the rolls were served up freshly browned and hot. At first, I didn’t realise what she was doing, and wondered why she was taking so long to serve us our rice flour rolls. But then I realised the steam and the appetising sizzling noises were coming from her trolley! It really built up my anticipation! She arranged the rice flour rolls expertly (swiftly) like a pile of logs and sprinkled sesame seeds on the top. I think in the end I ate three of those rolls.

Rice flour rolls with dried shrimp

And we of course had to have a round of siew mai (steamed pork dumplings)! They were… yep, you guessed it – very porky!

Siew mai (steamed pork dumplings)

For dessert, Jac had mango sago pudding – one of her favourite sweets. This pudding wasn’t just mango-flavoured, it had actual pieces of mango in it. This was Jac’s favourite part of the entire meal, I think, which says a lot, as those pork ribs were unbelievable! The pudding was served out of bucket sitting on the trolley, and next to it was a bucket from which tau foo fa (hot sweet soy bean custard – kind of like a cross between soft tofu and custard (but it’s all soy!) served in a warm sugar syrup) was served.

Mango sago pudding

Whenever I have yum cha I MUST have an egg tart to end the meal. Sometimes I happen to be the only one at the table who wants egg tart, and so if there are two in a serve I’ll actually eat them both! This was such an occasion. Hey, I was on holiday, and there’s no better time for indulgence and treats than when you’re on holiday!

Egg tarts

My sister took us walking around Sydney. We checked out Paddy’s Markets, Haymarket, Paddington, Oxford Street, and Surrey Hills. We walked past Bill Granger’s and Kylie Kwong’s restaurants in Surrey Hills. As we went past Kylie Kwong’s restaurant (called “billy kwong”) we saw someone sitting inside, her back to the window, talking to a bloke. The woman looked very like Kylie Kwong. We didn’t particularly want to burst in while the restaurant was closed, just to see if it was Kylie herself, as whoever she was looked quite busy! Anyway, from my walks through Sydney both at the beginning and end of this holiday, I reckon I’d have a great time on a future holiday, just exploring (and eating my way through) Sydney.

After returning to my sister’s place for a drink (a big bottle of German beer for Jac, a cup of tea for me) and relaxing for a while it was time to make our way to the airport. We said goodbye and made our way to catch the train to the airport.

Snacking at Sydney Airport

We checked in our baggage first of all and then feeling happily encumbered, walked around the airport quite leisurely, checking out the shops. A little while later Jac decided she wanted a snack, and went to line up at Hungry Jack’s while I watched the cricket on one of the overhead televisions. She got herself one of those kids meals, with a Cheeseburger, drink and fries.

Hungry Jack's Cheeseburger

Hungry Jack's Fries

When she’d finished her HJ’s, Jac then wandered off to the Krispy Kreme stand to get a doughnut for dessert. I stayed and kept watching the cricket. :) She’d been hoping for the strawberry creme-filled one again but they’d run out at the time and she didn’t think to ask if they had more out the back (which, as we discovered when we walked past KK later, they had). She got one of their jam-filled doughnuts instead.

Krispy Creme jam-filled

Mmmm, jammy.

Krispy Creme jam-filled - innards

I was a little peckish myself but still didn’t want to take too many risks with my tummy although I’d taken my medication, so I didn’t have any HJ’s or doughnut.

Aeroplane food

Having kept myself snackless at the airport, the time they began serving the meal on the plane, I was getting quite hungry. Luckily, I didn’t feel sick at all!

Once again, we chose one each of what was on offer. Jac’s meal:

Jac's plane meal

My meal:

My plane meal

Jac had red wine with her meal.

Jac's red wine

Jac had the baked pasta with gruyere sauce. Shame, like the gnocchi on the flight over to Sydney, this was a touch too bland.

Baked pasta with gruyere sauce

I had the braised beef with horseradish potato mash. This reminded me of tinned braised steak and onions. It was pretty good. This time I polished off my entire meal, including the bread roll, cheese and crackers. I even helped Jac eat some of her pasta.

Braised beef with horseradish potato mash

A little while after we’d had some time to digest, the hosties started coming round to offer us “Creamy Choc Ice Cream.

Creamy Choc Ice Cream in wrapper

It was a thick chunk of creamy chocolate ice cream. We wondered how they managed to keep them so cold, presumably to minimise the mess from drips. It’s been a while since I’ve eaten chocolate ice cream, and I really enjoyed this. Oh dear – braised beef, cheese, crackers, pasta, bread and ice cream? Was I being too ambitious and overly confident?

Creamy Choc Ice Cream

Noooo. I think I’ve gotten over my airsickness with the help of my medication. Though I’m sure if we were to hit particularly bad turbulence I’d be one of the passengers more prone to being sick as a result! But I reckon on uneventful, relatively smooth flights, I’ll be fine from now on.

More views from the plane window

I took a bunch of photos from my plane window.

Such fluffy clouds

View from plane window

View from plane window

This was the last of the holiday posts! Thank you so much to our friends and family for their generous hospitality and for bringing their appetites out to play with ours! Thanks Jon, Uncle F and Auntie S, L and D, cousin Jodie and her partner L, E and my sister and her hubby! Oh, and a special thanks to everyone who waited patiently while I took my food photos (especially Jac and my sister at yum cha. The urge to dig in must have been unbearable!)

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