Tim Ho Wan, the international yum cha franchise, which landed its first Australian venue in Sydney in 2015, will open in Melbourne, at the eastern edge of Chinatown, on March 18.
It won’t take bookings, so as with its rival, dumpling behemoth Din Tai Fung, at the nearby Emporium, punters can expect lengthy queues.
Founding chef Mak Kwai Pui will be in town for the launch, but the day-to-day responsibility for the signature sugar-dusted barbecue pork buns, vermicelli rice paper rolls, pan-fried turnip cakes and siu mai will be in the hands of head chef Yong Qiang Wei, who previously headed the kitchen at Crown Cantonese restaurant, Lucky Chan.
Billed as the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant – the tiny hole-in-the-wall Hong Kong original won the étoile in 2010, only a year after opening – it has now grown to encompass more than 20 outlets across Asia and Australia.
Just saw this cool video of some of Melbourne CBD’s interesting coffee and food haunts. The video walks you though the smaller lanes that take you from Flinders Street station to the Bourke Street mall.
Along the way you see quirky shops, grafitti to photograph as well as a pit stop @ Sensory Lab a small coffee nook at the back of David Jones Men’s.
If you were interested in following along the walk I’ve marked up a map below so you know where you’ve been.
I urge you to explore more than just the streets of this video. Melbourne has such a vibrant coffee and food culture. Dive on in, enjoy, share!
If you have a hankering for Malaysian home style cooking I think you’ll find PappaRich in the QV Building in Melbourne’s CBD will get those happy memories going.
Kind of like a sophisticated foodhall style menu they have a massive choice that you take the code down and then write onto a order sheet that you pass to your waiter.
The service is “requested” by the ring of a bell so don’t get upset if you feel ignored when you have not found the button.
Normally I have difficulty with Malay food due to allergies to peanuts and prawns. With language being a barrier sometimes I was *very* impressed to see they had a special allergy menu.
Allergen’s covered include dairy, gluten, nuts and egg. They also list vegetarian and vegan options. Sadly despite a high percentage of people living with seafood allergies these were not listed… I found out the hard way <grrrr>
Lots of different drinks but I was thrilled to see hongkong style “stocking tea” as one of the drinks.
Wonderfully strong tea served piping hot with condensed milk… Seriously awesome.
For my mains I decided to go for the chicken and rice with sambal eggplant…
The chicken was great, soft and juicy… Rice was ricey and sadly the sambal eggplant was rich with prawns… My #1 allergy… Grrr… Please PappaRich, add all allergens to the allergy menu.
Thankfully I medications on me to deal with my allergic reactions.
Overall the food is good. Think good quality food court style food.
Service was pretty average. Food delivered to different tables, short snappy answers with questions and you should have seen the waiter’s face when we complained that another person’s bill had been added to ours.
Given the turn over in this place I don’t think they are carting to western expectations or palates…
I have often walked past China Spice on Little Lonsdale st in Melbourne’s CBD. There was generally people in there however there was just something about it that said, “you could do better”.
At the encouragement of a friend and a hankering for dumplings tonight was going to be the night to check this restaurant out.
Couple of things about this place had me kinda thinking hmmm. Now perhaps I seem picky but I don’t think it’s too much to ask for the tables to not be sticky… Yes I get that Chinese food can be messy but isn’t that why Buddha invented Spray and Wipe? If the table was not cleaned I can’t help but wonder what the kitchen looks like.
The menu is interesting in that there appears to be a reasonably priced section and then there is a super expensive section in the back… The price jump is quite remarkable given they are asking for $25-35 for a main when 1 block over in Chinatown the prices are way more reasonable…
Tonight we stuck with the dumplings and some spring rolls to get us rolling.
The spring rolls were exactly as expected. Tasty, crisp. No complaints really.
Next up was pan fried chicken dumplings and steamed pork dumplings.
Both were quite tasty however when it came to service they were unceremoniously dumped on the table and the waitress had no idea which was which… Thankfully they kinda tasted similar so it wasn’t that big a deal. Main differences were pan fried were crunchy and the steamed were squishy.
The dumplings were ok and given the bill came to $25 I can hardly complain.
Overall the impression was kinda meh… It was ok but really on a Saturday there are probably better dumplings around. (Ie the place on Little Bourke st that always has a line out the door: review to come soon)…
Verdict? Good for a quick lunch. I would not bring a date, your boss or anyone you want to really ‘WOW’ in a hurry… Mother inlaw? Well depends how soon you want her heading back home.
BTW Surely I am not being too picky wondering why they still had Christmas decorations up? Doesn’t little baby jesus turn into a pumpkin or something if they are left out?
So this week I was heading through town looking for a quick Asian meal for dinner before heading home. I’d often passed Sam Sam so thought, what the hell, it’s 8:04 (it will become important later), let’s see what it’s like.
So the key selling points of Sam Sam appears to be fried chicken and beer, two things I am not a huge fan of. That said checking out the menu it there was lots of other more traditional Korean meals available so I decided to check out the pork belly on rice.
Little did I know that this was part of a “specials menu” only available up to 8pm… By now time was clearly ticking, it was 8:07… So I went to order only to be rebuffed by the server for being too late…
I did mention that it was only 7 minutes past and surely it wasn’t that big a deal… Her reply was to look over her shoulder at the chef and then say no…
I asked her to ask the chef. She just looked around again then said no,again.
Again I repeated for her to *actually ask the chef* and she did the same freaking Marcel Marceau action… I responded with “really?” and a look that said I was not going anywhere.
This time she actually asked the chef and he smiled and nodded with affirmation… Hmmm not sure why service lady didn’t bother the first time round? Ho hum…
So rude service aside I was able to get pork belly delivered to a table!
I was really happy with the meal. It was tasty, not overly spicy but it did have a nice tingle. The vege’s were nice and crisp and it was good serve size.
The pork belly had a nice flavour and was cooked to perfection .
I enjoyed the meal though at some stage I will have to return to try their fried chicken… This is best done with group however as the platters are coming out around $30 so it’s not a solo adventure without taking some home.
Overall I like the food however the poor attitude of the person that served me left a meh impression… I’ll try it another day to see if her attitude changes…
Sadly this week I have had to say goodbye to the Christmas / NYE break and head back to work. Clearly my regular coffee haunt is still celebrating so I had the chance to check out a new coffee place, Little Wish Cafe.
Little Wish is a cute little coffee house tucked away behind Bourke St between King and William St.
Not much bigger than a walk in robe this great little coffee shop serves cake, sandwiches and a great coffee with a smile. The male and female team were welcoming and clearly enthusiastic about their coffee.
I found my Latte was really smooth and silky. No bitterness and served with a big ass smile, quite a wonderful thing in days of super busy businesses.
Manchester Press is an interesting coffee haunt I had heard about however never found… Today I discovered why.
Hidden away in Rankins Lane off Little Bourke St it’s one coffee place that is easily missed. That said it’s obviously not that hidden as the place was packed when we stopped by at about 2pm on a Sunday.
Getting a table wasn’t too hard an affair however it’s important to note: don’t hang around the front door for someone to take your name. Today there was a clipboard hung on the brickwork and you just add your name to the list. I noticed there were many people kinda waiting for help that didn’t come.
Today we weren’t in a “sit down” mood so opted to get takeaway coffee’s. One of my mates is a self confessed “coffee snob” so it was great to get his thoughts on the coffee.
Both of us ordered latte’s, mine skinny, his the real deal.
I found my coffee to be well balanced. Not too acidic, no bitterness. A good quality cup.
Mark reported his coffee was average. Not bad, not OMG this is amazing. Basically a milk coffee that was pleasant.
The Manchester Press house blend is noted to be a mix of beans from Indonesia, Brazil, Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea. Their board describes it as, and I quote from their letter board
Rich balanced milk choc & $ubtle sümmer früits
I’m not sure if this is hipster spelling or just a poor set of letters however there was one gent in the corner with a mustache that had to match what I could only imagine was a penny farthing bike parked outside.
So yes, the coffee was nice but I’m not sure it’s lived up to it’s vibrant description.
Sweet options looked pretty good. Unfortunately I was not able to get a look at the food menu as the staff seemed quite busy and dealing with a large crowd.
Overall impression is slightly wanky coffee however I’m willing to get it a try again when they are not quite so flat strapped.