Monday, December 15, 2008

Royal Dim Sum at East Imperial

Ok, you may not know this so we're telling you now. Normally, we'd think that the best Dim Sums in the world has to be in Hong Kong right? Well, in many cases, that is correct.
But in the case of Melbourne, it's a slightly different scenario. My classmate Fong from Hong Kong used to tell me that dim sums in Melbourne are generally as good, or even better (can you believe this?) than Hong Kong because all the ingredients are readily available in Melbourne, & to top it off, there's no queue. So knowing that, it was hard for us not to have dim sum in Melbourne before we left.

We wanted to try Terri's Red Emperor, (umm... I mean as recommended by Terri, not owned by Terri!) but Greg just could not seem to fit this it into his super-busy, hard-working, ultra-tight work schedule (just in case his boss is reading this). Either he had a working lunch or he couldn't make it back to the city before 2pm. So we had to abandon the Red Emperor idea until next time. So for now, the great Red Emperor can wait, ... for the two little hungry bloggers from a little place called Kuching.

Instead, Roger took us to this place which was nearer to his apartment. It was called East Imperial at Rathdowne St (corner of Rathdowne and Faraday St). Take any one of the Swanston St trams that stop at Melbourne University, walk to your right on Faraday till you come to Rathdowne, then follow your nose.

I must admit I was a bit skeptical about the place at first. My initial thoughts were "Huh? Yum cha at Rathdowne? Sure this place is not out to cheat angmos?!"

The second thing - I thought the place was too clean too posh to be authentic. The interior decor has the Qin Dynasty theme with the terracotta warriors, hanging beads curtain and solid chinese furnitures. It was definitely very clean and more posh than the usual yum cha outlets. Just look at the teapot and tea cups, and the box for bills.

Food wise, we liked. Roger was right, East Imperial does serve their dim sums in a more refined manner. It seemed like the chefs knew what they were doing, & were doing it in the proper way & being careful about it. Even the waiters and waitresses seemed to be more refined. And so was the bill.

Sorry to shock your socks off with the bill even before you saw the food.

Roger & I arrived at 1.30 pm and ordered one round of dim sums for the two of us while waiting for Greg. He did not show up till around 2.45pm. So the second round of food which we ordered for him around 2.15 pm had gotten slightly cold but he was too hungry, & eating them too fast too furious to even taste anything. And of course you can tell from the pictures that he just could not be bothered with the shots anymore.

Egg tarts ~ very nice and flaky.

Cheong Fun with Prawns ~ Rice rolls. Smooth!

Beancurd rolls ~ pretty common. Not our favourites. In fact I think we did not finish this one.

Guo tie~ pot stickers, This is so good. Nice crispy with
tasty fillings. We had 3 helpings if I remember correctly.

Prawn fritters. The string like rolls outside is actually made out of finely
rolled potatos and twirled around the prawns before deep frying. A must have!

Xiao Long Bao ~ shanghainese dumplings. Very good. The skin was
thin yet firm and the soupy juice aplenty.

Dim Sum must have duos ~ har kow and siew mai. Somehow the har kows were not that excellent. I found them not crunchy enough. Roger agreed too.

Scallops dumplings ~ Fresh and tasty!

Shark fin dumplings ~ pretty good! but I'm sure other places can do as well.


sarawakiana said...


Great photos - and great food too....

Regarding the previous post --also nice photo.

I think Halah is one place I would like to try....Nee - nice looking and strong body language - not disturbing at all....:}

WoMbOk™♂ said...

I loveee dim sum!

Haven't tried the Dim sum in HK before, but my friends brought me to one HK owned and operated dim sum place in chinatown, Melb. long time ago and it was the bombbbbb. So wouldn't be surprised if it was as good if not better than the one in HK.

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