Friday, January 27, 2012

Thanh Tam Restaurant, Cabramatta

I'm so thankful for all the friends I've made during my travels over the years. When I first went to Hong Kong 12 years ago I became close to a couple of Australian 'girls' as we bonded over smelly-boy stories. Having kept in close contact as we 'grew up', despite boys, babies, and distance we're still great friends and whenever the distance isn't too great we enjoy meeting up for an in-depth catch up. About five years ago we decided to go to yum cha for lunch on Australia Day. Who needs ferry races and fireworks when you have dumpling goodness? The once off yum cha event has now become a yearly tradition, so far always taking place in Cabramatta. The restaurant that used to be our regular (Golden Star Palace) moved a year or so ago, and rather than find it we just started going to the new one that popped up in its place - Thanh Tam Restaurant.
BBQ Pork buns (Char siu bao)

After fighting with Cabramatta traffic in the pouring rain, and then waiting for the rest of our enormous group as they did the same, it was heaven to sit down at the table and then within 2-3 minutes have these fluffy goodies (BBQ pork buns) arrive and be ready for me to scoff them down. Char siu bao perfection.

The beef balls were another option that were quickly on our table, and they started making inroads into my growling tummy. While tasty, I missed a bit of extra crunch that I was expecting from water chestnuts. I think there were some in the balls, just not as many (or in as large pieces) as I expected.

Another staple at our Australia day lunches is chickens' feet, and while I have managed to go many years without them (while I like the taste, I'm too lazy to enjoy coping with all the bones), I sat amazed as Mr Cool Dude (younger brother of Little Miss Bounce) hoed into a foot. This was the same Mr Cool Dude who hardly ate anything the last time I went with him to Yum Cha, since it was all a bit too new and different for him.

Of the rest of the usual Yum Cha offerings, the siu mai (pork dumplings with the yellow wrapper) were probably my favourite at this restaurant. Tasty and all that they should be, they quickly disappeared (as you can see from the photo!). The salt and pepper whitebait was also a good choice, with crisp and crunch and salt and chilli goodness. Mmmmm.

Unfortunately for Thanh Tam, boy and I had just got back from Hong Kong, and so fresh in our mind was the copious amounts of high quality dim sum that we had consumed there. Perhaps not a fair comparison, but we found some of the dumpling wrappers and noodles at Thanh Tam a little too cumbersome. The prawn dumpling (har gao) wrapper was a little too thick, while the long noodle with beef (cheong fun - last photo) didn't quite hit the mark either.

Having said that, the experience was highly enjoyable, the food was tasty and we ordered insane amounts of food for $21 a head - leading to a food coma and the necessity of an afternoon nap.

Another Australia Day done - what did you do to celebrate? Do you have a yearly tradition?

In other news, my one year blogiversary has been and gone without me noticing, so I thought I'd take a moment to mark the occasion. Hurrah for one year!

Thanh Tam Restaurant
1st Floor, 24-32 Hughes Street

Thanh Tam Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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1 comment:

Hotly Spiced said...

Congratulations on your anniversary. Well done. What a great achievement. Dumplings are such a treat for me as they're not something I cook for myself. They are so delicious and I always look forward to them when I eat out. Glad you had a wonderful Australia Day!