Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dim Sum at The Golden Phoenix

Dim sum (literally meaning "touch the heart") is the name of a Chinese cuisine which involves a wide range of light bites that are served in the mornings until lunch time. These delicious dishes come in small portions, are usually steamed or fried, and may include meat, seafood, and vegetables, as well as desserts. I enjoyed a nice dim sum lunch at Golden Phoenix at the Hotel Equatorial recently.

We arrived there at noon and the place was slowly filling up, and by the time we had placed our order the whole restaurant was packed. This is when I knew I was in for a special treat. I am told that the quality of a dim sum place is often judged by its siew mai and har kau the two staple dishes at any dim sum meal. The siew mai is a minced prawn and pork dumpling topped with fish roe and the har kau is a shrimp dumpling; these are both steamed.
As the various steamer baskets make their way over to our table I greedily dig into the har kau my favourite dim sum dish. The dumpling skin is firm enough to not fall apart as I pick it up with the chopsticks and the prawn is sweet and succulent. From this alone I can tell that the other dishes will be just as good.

Once I’ve tried the har kau I proceed to try out the feast of little bites...
Steamed barbecue pork buns (char siew bao).The char siew bao has just the right amount of savoury sweetness beneath the soft fluffy bun exterior.
Prawns wrapped in fried tofu skin that are crunchy and savoury perfect with the sweet dipping sauce!
Deep fried prawn dumplings filled with cheese which are a first for me. The exterior has a croutonlike feel to it and the inside is filled with melted cheese...it's surprisingly delicious...
and last but not least the pan fried minced pork buns...these are sweet and savoury at the same time...they're good although I must say I am partial to char siew bao.

After the savoury bites I was eager to give the dessert a try. On the table we have the sweet egg tarts and a steamed cake as part of the dim sum menu.
The egg tarts are another dish that can give away how good a dim sum place is...these are best served warm while the pastry is still buttery and flaky and the filling is creamy and sweet...yum!
The steamed cake is not too sweet and it’s very light and bouncy.
Being the gluttons that we are we also add on the durian pancakes and the creamy aloe vera pudding...
I especially enjoy the durian pancakes that are served chilled and are extremely rich and creamy. You'd have to like the taste of durian to enjoy this though...which I adore so for me it was wonderful!
The aloe vera dessert is an interesting one as the aloe cubes are served in a very rich green creamy pudding that tastes like avocado... It is surprisingly light and refreshing despite its creamy consistency.

The Golden Phoenix is having a special Yum Ley Sek promotion where everyone can enjoy quality dim sum that is extremely affordable. For adults it is priced at RM48++ and RM24++ for children. You are able to enjoy any of the dim sum items from the menu at this price. Super affordable huh?


Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

delicious looking goodies Alexandra! I've never seen those prawn dumplings with cheese in them before-they look intriguing!

Alisa@Foodista said...

I love dimsum! These are fantastic photos, got me hankering for some Chinese take out right now. That aloe vera dessert is something else.

carol said...

i just had dim sum for breakfast this morning and all i can say is it did not look like your pictures! restaurant setting perhaps! lol!
... damn! the deep fried prawn dumplings filled with cheese looks sooooo sinful! i want!!!

Alexandra said...

Lorraine - Oh yes I've never had cheese filled prawn dumplings before either...but they're sinful!

Alisa - Me too! Dim sum is wonderful :)

Carol - lol yeah I believe street dim sum is quite different...we should go sometime!! get out of bangsar a little!!

Shara said...

Oh wow...the dim sum looks good. I'm bringing my fiance here when he comes over for a visit..he loves a good char siew bao and egg tarts! Thanks Alexandra, I love your blog!

Alexandra@Chefspiration said...

Shara - I'm sure he'll enjoy it! Another good place is the dim sum place in starhill's feast village...don't have the name with me but it's one of my favourite places! Thanks for supporting the blog :)