Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Golden Crown, South Australia by Big Fil

Golden Crown, a newish yum cha place in the inner western suburbs of Adelaide, was recommended by Hungry Pete as worth trying. Open on Boxing Day, it was the first place we visited on my recent trip to Adelaide.

Most of the customers on the day we visited were Asian. This kind of surprised me. It's been a while since I lived in Adelaide but I don't remember Mile End as having a big Chinese community. Given that the food was similar in standard to many more popular places around Gouger Street in the city I would have expected more locals to be there.

Service is the usual trolley service, so if the dishes are unfamiliar you can at least view them before trying. Most of the usual favouritesare available, including the prawn, prawns with chives and scallop dumplings. While the skin on these was marginally thicker than I like, these were all quite good with a nicely meaty rather than doughy texture.

One of the absolute classic dim sum dishes is the char sui bao - steamed pork bun. Hungry Pete liked the Golden Crown version but I thought it was a bit too doughy and sweet. Still, hardly the worst I've had. Another favourite of many people is the chee cheung fun, steamed rice noodles with prawns. These come as long, fat rice noodles enclosing two or three prawns and half the attraction is the slippery texture. Similar to the pork buns I found the skin a bit thick and the sauce a little sweet.

There are also a variety of less common dishes available for sampling. One of Hungry Pete's favourites is the chicken's feet. Not very popular with most westerners, these are quite bony with little meat but when done properly the tendon and skin combine to give a really interestingly textured dish. Spitting the bones out afterwards is a bit of a skill though.

Possibly the dish of the day was the cold tripe. This looked good and was delicately textured and flavoured, with a small amount of sesame sauce (I think) adding a little zing.

The only dish which didn't really cut the mustard was the salt and pepper squid. One of my favourite dishes normally, it looked like it had been on the trolley for a while and I probably shouldn't have ordered it. Dry, a little tough and lacking in much squid flavour it was quite disappointing.

And of course we had to finish off our meal with a serve of the egg tarts. While the pastry was slightly thick and dry the filling was very good, quite 'eggy' just how I like them.

Taking yum cha to the people of Mile End I think this place deserves to be a success. While not Hong Kong fine dining the dim sum are perfectlyacceptable and the prices reasonable. In fact, when combined with some other places I've tried (Parwana and The Abyssinian) Mile End is becoming quite a good and cosmopolitan eating strip these days. The only thing which ticked me off about Golden Crown was being charged for a second pot of tea when we asked for a refill.

Food - 7
Service - 7
Ambience - 7
Price - 6.5

173 Henley Beach Road
Mile End 5031
Tel: (08) 8354 2887

Golden Crown Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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