Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Eating myself silly on Easter Monday. Yum Cha, Top Ryde & PJ Gallaghers.

        I love the Easter long weekend (extra long for me I get 5 days off!). For once my weekend was not full of cooking (apart from the hot cross buns and sticky date pudding) and I had a very lazy lazy weekend. I still managed to eat double or triple the amount of calories I would usually consume in a week in just these past few days. Seriously need to go back to the gym this week.

        Anyway, showed up at Ryan's place an hour earlier than I was expected and dragged Ryan out of bed. Randomly I chimed out "Yum Cha for lunch?" and was suprised to get a response of "Sure why not, where?". Yay I was going to get a good dose of dumplings and all things nice. We ended up at Crystal Seafood Restaurant at Strathfield, the other options were Rhodes Pheonix (traffic would have been crazy) or Burwood (can't remember the name but pain in the ass to get parking). It's probably not the best out of the 3 (they're alot better) but it's not the worst place for yum cha and we've been there a few times before.

        I was a bit weary about all the people waiting outside but when we approached the podium and said table for 2 we were ushered straight in. It was pretty awesome not having to wait, people tend to go to yum cha in groups and it takes longer to turn over tables whereas there were a few 2 seater tables readily available. The only downside is that we don't get to have as many dishes as we want because most things come with serves of 4 and after a few dishes it gets quite filling. We had the usual dumplings and rice rolls etc but are 4 things we always get. Fried rice cake with peanut sauce, the fried sticky dumplings with filling (the football shaped ones), the fried taro dumplings and mango pudding. We had to miss out on the taro dumplings though as we were quite full already from what we ate. I was a very happy camper with a very full belly walking out of there. (Sorry I didn't take any pics, I'm sure most of you know what dumplings look like).

        After Yum Cha we visited Ryan's grandmother at Concord Hospital. We also had to go pick up his mum and uncle from the Easter show. We dropped them off at the hospital and Ryan suggested we go and check out the new Top Ryde shopping centre. We were impressed even though it wasn't 100% completed yet. There's 3 stories in total, 2 underground and 1 ground/street level mall where all the top label stores are, there are only a few open and a fair bit of construction to be finished. The bottom two levels are filled with retail stores and a lot of FOOD stores. Apart from Woolworths and Franklins there were a vast variety of food stores like 2 butchers, a poultry place, a fruiterer/combined deli/juice bar, a really cool looking deli, nut kiosk, a fair few coffee places/cafes, and a gorgeous pattiserie! Pattison's is located on the B1 level and sits right outside Woolworths. The looooong glass display shows off a huge range of cakes and pastries and they also do all sorts of fancy breads too. I had to stop by and grab a couple of things to take home.

        Strawberry tart, I couldn't make up my mind, I should have known that Ryan would pick this. He's a sucker for strawberries. It was yummio! Sweet strawberries on a very smooth creamy filling of creme patissiere all in a nice crusty base, crisp but smooth and not grainy. It was pretty good.

        We also grabbed a plain brioche, this one was rich and full of buttery goodness. We're growing quite fond of brioche. (I saved both of these two have later on in the night).

        I've been meaning to buy Luke Nguyen's Vietnam dvd for a while now so thought I might as well while we were browsing around in JB Hi-Fi. I also saw Sean Connoly's My Family Feast and this other foodie type dvd so bought them too.

        Later in the evening I went with Ryan to PJ Gallaghers at Parramatta for Theology on Tap which is a monthly event run by the Catholic youth. We got there early so that we could sit down for a bit of dinner (I was still feeling slightly bloated from Yum Cha but still managed to eat dinner). We decided to eat downstairs in the bistro instead of ordering from the bar. It was so dimly lit where we were sitting I had to squint to read the menu. I liked the bar menu more (it's cheaper!) but the bistro means you get table service and angus steaks. (Excuse the poor photos from my little compact camera - blame the lighting).

        I had the Home Made Beef & Guinness Pie served with Irish Mash and Pea Puree. It was delicious! The crispy pastry top was a nice golden brown and when I dug my fork in the smell of gravy just wafted up. Upon pulling off the pastry there were tender chunks of beef sitting in a rich gravy, went perfectly well with the mash and the pastry. I wanted something light but I managed to eat most of my pie and had Ryan finishing off the bits of pastry which I couldn't finish.

         Ryan had the Ginger and Soy Wagyu Sausages served on creamy mash with eschallots and king brown mushrooms. He enjoyed it thorougly. The ginger and soy cut through the richness of the sausages and the mash was so smooth and creamy. The one and only mouthful which I had was awesome. After we got home from Parramatta we both somehow still had room to completely demolish the tart and brioch roll. Crazy!

Pj Gallagher's Parramatta on Urbanspoon


chocolatesuze said...

ehehe PJ Gallaghers lol you were in my hood! yum cha in parra is decent too theres one called prince and another in parra rsl called tingha. ryde shops is looking massive but the escalators makes me angry haha

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

hehe yum cha is one place that I find it hard to take photos at-there are so many dishes and everyone is so hungry sometimes I don't bother! :P

Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said...

Suze: Ohh you're a Parra chick ay? =p We don't tend to travel far for food, especially when hungry and it's our first meal of the day. One day we'll try ;). Are you referring to the escalator that's broken? I guess with the place being so new they are still going through "teething" problems =D

Lorraine: Ryan always grunts when I say "photo" when our food comes out. He was pretty hungry so I didn't want to fuel the fire =D And yeah, always so much food at yum cha and usually starving by the time the food comes, it's more about the stomach than the photo =)