We love food!… You know you’re getting old when you find yourself saying “kids these days”. Anyway, I only mention that because yours truly turned 29 last month. Like with all my previous birthdays, I really only celebrate it with my immediate family, however I do plan a big one for my 30th :)
I’ve been wanting to have yum cha for such a long time and only planned to have it a week leading up to my birthday. We headed to Rhodes Phoenix for my birthday on a busy Saturday lunch time. Even though we only live 10 minutes drive from this place, this was still my first time here. Yum Cha starts and is served between 11am and 1pm and again at 1pm to 3pm. You can choose which time suits you best but if you’re planning to dine on a Saturday, I strongly suggest you make a booking otherwise, you will have to wait until other diners have finished. I must mention that they do have strict dining times though. If you book at 11am, you must be out by 1pm.
Everyone’s favourite – Spring Rolls!
My first impression when we arrived was this place is huge! There’s the intricate ceiling lamps, the huge window overlooking the food court, a giant screen and the mixture of red, gold and black wall panels. I would say, this is probably one of the prettier yum cha joints I’ve been to in a long time. I always get excited when I see all the ladies pushing along their trolleys of different dishes. I never quite know what they are but if they look interesting and yummy, I’d take them.
Siu Mai – Steamed Pork Dumplings. Bite size pieces that are nice and juicy.
I’ve read and heard mixed reviews about this place but since I love chinese cuisine, I really didn’t have any qualms about dining here. I was here for lunch, to enjoy and have fun with my family. We got here and the food was ready. There was no waiting apart from the drinks of course. Service was fast even with the amount of diners at lunch time, however, the only down side I would say is perhaps the service could be a little friendlier? Maybe. I could just be nit-picking.
I knew I’d be blogging about this but when there’s so much food in front of you and you are at the peak of hunger, sometimes you just forget the name of that dish you’re eating. Especially if you’re a food blogger – shoot first, eat later. Which is what happened in this instance even though I was so hungry. I took photos of all the different yum cha dishes but in the back of my mind, remembering the names or even asking what each dish is didn’t even register. Oh well.
Lucky for me, my colleague at work also loves yum cha and knows the name of some of the dishes. Sweet! With a little help from her, I could name each dish in their chinese pronunciation. Pardon me if the spelling is a little off but we tried our best.
Ngau Tuo – Tripe. Normally I love tripe and I would eat it with no problems, but I could not enjoy this little delicacy because of my pregnancy. You might need an acquired taste to eat it and if you have texture issues, you may not enjoy it. My hubby said this one had a sweet, black peppery taste.
Jia Woo Gok – Meat wrapped in yam and deep-fried. Yummy.
Haum Shui Gok – Savoury Fried Dumplings. This is my favourite. You get the nice savoury minced pork inside and an almost sweet, chewy and sticky texture of the casing. Mmmmm….
Ha Gao – Steamed Prawn Dumplings. Another one in my favourites basket. Dipped in soy sauce and I could eat this all day! Yum-O!
Deep Fried Squid. Not to be confused with deep-fried salt and pepper squid – still good though. Light in flavour and the meat is tender and not tough at all. Enjoy with soy sauce.
Deep Fried Ha Gao – Deep Fried Prawn Dumplings. Oh goodness, another deep-fried dish. Lucky we had some steamed dishes to balance out the fat we were consuming :p I found this one rather too crispy. The filling was nice though.
Chicken Feet. Okay, I’ve never been a fan of this and I must admit it’s not for everyone’s palate. I actually didn’t eat this one and I’ve heard it’s quite boney but my family likes this dish and it brings about nostalgia growing up in the Philippines. We have something similar but we call it “Adidas”. Can you guess why?
Cha Siu Cang Bao – Baked BBQ Pork Bun – Just like the steamed bbq pork bun however, this one is encased in a sweet dough and baked rather than steamed.
Century Egg Congee – One of hubby’s favourite. So simple, can be bland at times but very filling. I like how the egg can have that jelly like texture. Another one that brings nostalgia to the table. We have something similar which we call “lugaw”. Made of rice/sticky rice, meat, slices of tofu and shallots. Perhaps why hubby likes it so much.
Overall, I had a pretty good experience at Rhodes Phoenix. It’s conveniently situated inside a shopping centre but tucked away from all the busy crowd. There were other dishes I was really looking forward to eating again, like the rice flour rolls with prawns and the bean curd rolls with vegetables. Sadly, I didn’t see them on the day. Perhaps, they were there but I was too slow or maybe pre-occupied with what was already on our table. Well, there’s always a next time.
Rhodes Phoenix is part of the Phoenix Group franchise – other Phenix restaurants are also located at Manly, Sydney and Castle Hill.
Rhodes Shopping Centre
1 Rider Blvd
(Off Homebush Bay Drive)
Rhodes NSW 2138
Phone: (02) 8754 1111