It feels like I haven't food blogged in ages! Getting ready for this baby has taken over my life, all the childbirth education classes and the reading up on baby things and the check ups and appointments, etc. Life is also busy as always, and when you're busy AND pregnant the last thing you want to do is spend hours cooking something blogworthy in the kitchen.
So that's exactly why when the opportunity presented itself today and I was heading off to a local Yum Cha restaurant close to home to catch up with an old friend, I thought why not take my camera along!
Golden Orient is the closest, REAL Chinese Restaurant in my area. I live literally 5 minutes away from this restaurant. Yet, I don't know why I've only been here twice - once for a Chinese New Year dinner (which I actually thought was GREAT!) and another time for dinner with friends. Technically, there is nothing wrong with this restaurant!! They actually make really decent Chinese food, and quite authentic - especially compared to all the other "Chinese" takeaway restaurants in the Berwick / Narre Warren area that are nowhere near authentic. Not if you count Lemon Chicken and Combination Noodles authentic... no no, I love Lemon Chicken but I would never consider it an authentic Chinese dish UNLESS I am eating in a Chinese Restaurant in Malaysia where Lemon Chicken is actually cooked quite differently and tastes absolutely amazing! But that's an entirely different story...
I think the main reasons why I don't eat here very often is because the restaurant is hardly ever buzzing with customers! It always seems so lonely, and at night, for some reason the lights are not very bright (are they trying to cut down on electricity costs??!!) therefore not very welcoming...
This needs to change. People need to come here more often. Perhaps it is purely because of the low Asian population numbers in the area. Not enough Asian diners - too much other competition from really good Aussie restaurants in the area that non-Asians prefer to dine at.
I need to get my Chinese food fix from here more often. Perhaps I will from now on, as I begin my maternity leave in November I will be fully local and will no longer have easy access to restaurants near work (South Melbourne) and the surroundings. I will be staying local, and this place is conveniently close. I have rambled too much, onto the food!
We started off with the Fried Wontons - sorry, there WERE 3 in each serving, but I have become a "rusty" food blogger and believe it or not, have FORGOTTEN to take photos until I was halfway eating and realised that I have forgotten. These fried wontons were really good. The filling was generous (unlike some Yum Cha places who serve really "skinny" fried wontons) and the wonton was fried crisp to perfection.
Then there was the Fried Prawn Roll, which was also quite generous in terms of size of the roll itself as well as the prawn filling. You know how some rolls just taste starchy and you hardly ever get enough prawns in them? This was packed with prawns and full of prawn flavour. Very satisfying.
Of course I had to try the Chicken Feet. This was just as good as any other Chicken Feet from any other Yum Cha places in the city - see?? Who needs to go all the way into the city or areas such as Glen Waverley or Box Hill or Springvale to have decent Yum Cha and Chicken Feet?! I was very pleased to know now (finally!) that if I ever get a Yum Cha craving ever again, I just need to drive 5 minutes down the road and hopefully someone to have Yum Cha with me locally!!
The Pork Dim Sim was fairly standard. Again, I am impressed by the size of the dim sim themselves. It is a standard portion, but for some reason everything seemed nice and big and generous. I really like!
This Pork Filling Pastry thing is one of my favorites at Yum Cha restaurants. I normally go for the Yam Puffs, but the Pork Puffs are equally as good. I just love the soft, crispy deep fried pastry... I know it's probably really bad and fatty, but it is so delicious! And these were absolutely delicious. I am salivating just at the thought of these and I've just had lunch there!
My friend is a huge fan of Steamed Pork Buns so we ordered some. Unfortunately I didn't get a taste - and I mostly didn't feel I needed to anyway because I was so busy tucking into the other food that were on the table that I felt I wanted to keep eating more than the standard pork buns!
We've decided to try the Sugarcane Prawn dumplings because none of us have ever tried these before - but really they were just fried prawn dumplings with a bit of sugarcane sticking out of it. It didn't really taste very sugarcaney but it was okay.
Finally, of course we had to finish off with the ever popular dessert - Mango Pudding! Again, just as good as any other Mango Pudding at Yum Cha places in the city or anywhere else that serve decent Yum Cha in Melbourne. It was so satisfying to be able to walk into a quiet Chinese Restaurant in NARRE WARREN on a Friday afternoon, and whilst we were there thankfully some other people did rock up, but you know what.. they probably only had approx. 20 customers that whole lunch period and it's a Friday afternoon. That's NOT a lot of customers! Come on people, we need to keep supporting this restaurant so it doesn't shut down. They really do serve DECENT Chinese food, and I would hate to see this restaurant which is so close and conveniently located in my local area to disappear... I don't want to have to drive at least 25 minutes to get to Glen Waverley the next time I have a craving!!!
So if you're reading this and you're wondering if Golden Orient is any good because you have driven past a few times and live in the Casey area... give it a go! It is as good as ANY city restaurant just sadly hasn't had much word of mouth and possibly not enough regular customers in the local area to keep supporting it. I am doing my bit now. GIVE IT A GO!!
Oh, and I also ordered some Sesame Balls for takeaway.. and just had a bite.. DIVINE!! The pastry is soooo soft and light and fluffy and the red bean paste inside... absolute heaven. I need more. Maybe I'll go back tomorrow... heheee.