It's almost criminal that it has taken me this long to experience the delights of Yum Cha but there it is. Perhaps it has something to do with the pre-frozen packs in supermarkets tainting my vision of what yum-cha actually is (i.e. deep-fried, frozen mini spring rolls), but it wasn't until I stumbled in to T-Chow in Chinatown that I experienced a fantastic yum cha.
Almost as soon as we sat down the teapot was delivered to our table and mere seconds later we were presented with a selection of dishes from the waiters. My only regret is that we slowed down a bit as we didn't turn down any of the first 6 or so mini-dishes we were offered, which meant that when some really interesting dishes came along later we were both WAY too full to accept them.
The stand outs for me was a lovely braised Tripe dish, almost nauseating to look at but don't judge a book by it's cover. It had a lovely anise flavour to the braising gravy and suprisingly tender (I've been put off by some tough tripe in the past). Also, the chicken feet, whilst they sound pretty awful were fantastic. I had attempted to make these myself in the past, but took them way beyond cooked to the 'falling apart' stage (not good when there are so many tiny bones involved). The soft, padded, collagen-y bottom of the foot where the toes meet providing the tastiest meat.
Of course it wasn't all offal, (I just can't turn these down) many of the dishes fell into the more conservative area that would appeal to wider tastes. The only dish I wasn't a fan of was the scallop 'dumpling', though my husband quite liked these. Each to their own.
Anyway, next time I go I will be bringing a much larger group so we can have many more dishes without having to undo the pants. We left with a very reasonable bill of $45 for roughly 7-8 dishes and tea and literally were unable to fit another bite in, though I really did give it a college try!