I was born in South Africa, which not only makes me proudly African, but also made me sad that we lost at the rugby on Saturday. Especially after Frank’s brother Dazza made me sing the national anthem on my own in front of 4 loyal Wallabies fans. Well, at least I can sing the whole thing, which not a lot of South Africans my age and older can proudly boast. 🙂
When I grew up there weren’t many different cuisines available to the general public. We had pizza and pasta, and wonderful Indian curries, but no-one had really heard of pesto or gnocchi until I was into university. Chinese food was very basic, and the first time I encountered dumplings or dim sum was when I had been living in London for over a year. I’m heart-broken to know that I missed out on so many years of dim sum, so my mission is to make up for it as fast as possible!
It was Ferret’s birthday on Sunday. Being a purveyor of delicious food, she and Pistol once again picked a fantastic place for lunch. For 24 people. The Annandale Hotel is well-known for being the pub in which many famous bands had their gigs before they became signed. Attached to the back of it is a little food area that produces Thai during the week, and yum cha on weekends. Appropriately named ‘Pub cha’, the restaurant allows patrons to place their order at the counter and pay the same way.
Having had some delicious dumplings at Shanghai Nights and Greenwood Chinese Restaurant lately (thanks to NQN’s great reviews), Frank and I didn’t have breakfast in anticipation. Arriving late, the staff managed to squeeze us in to the already-heaving table. We were handed check-lists with the dishes and prices, and we marked down all the dishes we wanted to try. Only 15 minutes after handing the list to the bar our delicious dishes started coming out of the kitchen, and despite being on a table of 24 people they gave us the correct dishes we ordered.
Now I’ve had quite a few dumplings since I’ve moved to Sydney, and these were the best I’ve had! The steamed dumplings were delicate, the pork buns were fluffy, and the money bags had the tiniest hint of chilli. The calamari was melt-in-the-mouth, and the veggie spring rolls were packed with goodness! Frank and I put the food away in no time. Having only tried soft-shelled crab for the first time on Frank’s birthday, we ordered a plate with hesitation. It was so delicious that it is now our new favorite dish! Who would have thought little spidery legs would taste so good!
If you like yum-cha but are put off by the pushy trolley ladies, the Annandale Hotel is the place to go. It is one of the only places you can get a schooner and a spring roll, and has a wonderfully social atmosphere. I give it 9/10 lollcakes, and Frank and I can’t wait to get back there!
Our table of 5 had 12 dishes and edamame beans to share, at a cost of $25 per person.
Pub cha @ the Annandale Hotel
17 Parramatta Road