So imagine my glee when bankevair took us down to Melbourne's little Little Chinatown to a well-recommended yumcha joint.
It might take awhile to find the entrance to Crystal Jade Restaurant, since it's not obviously along a busy main road and customers have to pass through glass doors to climb stairs to their dining room. But if you love your traditional push-carts of dim sums that are freshly made and served in traditional bamboo steamers, you'll love these guys.
And I am such a sucker for well-made chicken feet with chilli. These are the closest thing I can come to the real deal back home and I just about died and gone to heaven, sucking the skin off the bones and cartilage.
But for those who prefer the more 'PG' fare, the rest is just as good. And yes, they have fresh har gao and siew mai!
The bowl they served the congee in is a bit shallow,
so you don't get a lot in one serve,
but that's the point and there's lots of tiny chopped century egg.
The other yummy difference is they have pork lard in it too.
Not very healthy, but so flavourful.
Succulent prawns wrapped in a sheet of rice flour and water,
steamed over a cloth and served in a dressing of light soy sauce and oil
Dessert is the only disappointment.
The dessert cart apparently went missing and there wasn't a dessert menu,
so we were told to just ask for what we wanted and they'd bring it out from the kitchen.
We asked for mango pudding and we got the strangest tasting pudding.
It didn't taste much of mango
and was more orange than the usual yellow kind we're more familiar with.
Nonetheless, it was a great lunch and I certainly wouldn't hesitate to visit Crystal Jade Restaurant again.
Crystal Jade Restaurant
154 Little Bourke St
Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Tel: +61 3 9639 2633
Daily 6am-9am, 11am-2pm, 5pm-10pm