Royal Gourmet Frozen Cheong Fun

An excited YES comes out of my mouth when I saw that Mr Stingy found frozen cheong fun (flat rice noodles with fillings) were available in the bigger Chinese supermarkets – basically not in China Town but have yet to go there to see if there’s any.
My trip to Hoo Hing was worth it just to find these. They are expensive. More expensive than eating these at a restaurant. Sigh. The prawn cheong fun is £3.99 and the beef cheong fun is £3.30, whereas restaurants would sell them for less than £3.

Well, it’s worth a try since this is the first brand I have come across to make this available in frozen format. A packet of sweet soy sauce is available, which I suggest you should defrost using a bowl of warm water (just don’t open the packet).

Instead of using a pan, I used another way of steaming… a big massive rice cooker. The easiest style of steaming. ^_^

Post steaming of around 20 minutes (just to make sure everything is cooked) this is what it turned out to look like, 

You add the soy sauce on top and voila!

Unfortunately, this happened when taking it out,,, they split easily. It always happens especially in restaurants. So don’t worry, it does happen to us Chinese peeps too!
The taste was ok, just the prawns weren’t extremely the freshest type. The soy sauce on the other hand is the bit I like the most about this dim sum. ^_^

Next, I tried the beef one, did exactly the same as the prawn one above.

This has some crunchy water chestnut inside and some sort of peppery spice probably to get rid of any bad tastes and smells. I like this one! Surprisingly there were loads of the beef one in the freezer. The prawn ones were almost gone and the char siu cheong fun was completely gone!!

Well the pork one is the only one I have to try… if you like these, hope you can them!!

ALL DAY DIM SUM @ Chuen Cheng Ku 泉章居 Dim Sum Palace- London China Town – NOW CLOSED

Update 26/10/2013
Afraid this place is closed… I have a feeling it’s being renovated! I was very lucky to have gone before it closed… Fingers crossed it reopens!! ….

Update 15-02-14
Still closed!!! Permanently closed? Don’t know. Might find out in a few months to see what happens to this place. 😦

Aaaaaaah! I never realised with all the times I go to China Town that there’s actually a restaurant that serves DIM SUM ALL DAY !! Both my brother and mother said to me I used to go there when I was a baby and as a child… Really?!! I don’t recall such moments. It also used to be my dad’s regular dim sum restaurant when he was out and about… Didn’t even know that too!! Childhood stories start flooding in when you grow older… ¬,¬””

It was Mr Stingy’s (my brother) birthday earlier in the week (last week), and I said we’ll go and find a place to eat dim sum, so we chose this place as I also wanted to find a place that serves dim sum until late anyway (a mission I felt I needed to complete as a reader who left a comment asked about where to find a restaurant that served dim sum after normal serving time)!!

Outside Dim Sum Palace a.k.a Chuen Cheng Ku

Their menu outside

Dim sum is served until 11.30 pm

Dim sum all day!!!

Well this place has been around for so long that I walk pass it, and never think about going in there. Arrogance? No. Idiot? Yes. I think it’s undergone some renovation on the outside, but it’s very minor. And with its hard to read Chinese characters at the front, which looked like a few scribbles to me, Chuen Cheng Ku 泉章居 a.k.a Dim Sum Palace (Canto: chyun jeung gu; Mando: quan2 zhang1 ju1) doesn’t have any real meaning to it. But when you split the characters up… 泉 = Spring (water spring); 章 = Chapter; 居 = Residence (home)… I actually don’t know what it means. Could be the person’s name who owned the restaurant back in 1970-something…

Inside the restaurant

Chandelier… I know…

More of the inside

This was the place to go!! 😀 We were greeted by a nice lady who knew we wanted to eat dim sum. I think everyone who goes there wants to eat dim sum! This is similar to New World where they serve dim sum on a trolley – Cantonese style! My brother and I ate 12 dishes / baskets all together and it cost £37.40 including a 10% service charge. Bummer. Service charge again… Average cost per dish excluding the service charge on this occasion was £2.83. Not bad!! Unfortunately I lost all those pictures whilst reformatting my phone and Kies software decided to delete my back up pictures. ¬,¬ So I went again the next day, but this time with my mum…

Picture menu

The other side

On the second occasion, the lady at the front was missing and the waiter asked us to wait outside. Realised there should be a sign outside to say wait for someone to serve you… Oh well. Lost a few marks there.

So we were seated and the trolleys started rolling. We had these first…
Tofu Skin Roll (not vegetarian) – these are actually my favourite dim sum of ALL TIME!

Beef ball dumplings

Deep fried meat dumpling (ham sui gok) – love these!!

Yam Croquette – not as good as the one in Elephant and Castle as my mum pointed out
The food

The trolleys then stopped rolling… I wanted one more dish!! The prawn rice rolls. But when the trolley finally came, there was none left. 😦 So sad. The waiter said he would come back when they would be ready… But nah, so I had the bbq pork one instead. Don’t eat this one very often, and this was so-so…

BBQ pork cheung fun
This time the total cost came to £21. Actual cost was £19.10, but not sure if the tea was free or not. Tea or no tea, the average cost per dish was £3.82 on this occasion… Hmmm, how comes?! It should be cheap, not expensive… I looked at my pictures later and realised the service charge can be omitted if you disagree with it! Nice! Should’ve noticed that earlier…
The bill!

My mother said to me the food was so-so. It’s not as good as it used to be. The chef has changed. The food was kind of bland and not as good as the one in Elephant and Castle… Hahahah! I actually agree!!

CCK Buffet is upstairs from Wardour Street Entrance

My geeky rating: 4/5

Good points:
– Nice spacious restaurant
– Cantonese serving style
– Cheapish, not overly expensive
– Some friendly staff… mainly the ones serving food as I spoke in Mandarin 🙂
– Non-compulsory service charge
Bad points:
– Trolleys need to come around more regularly
– Keep the food hot… it was a bit warm for me
– Some of the food was a bit bland according to my mum
Address: 17 Wardour Street, London W1D 6PJ; 20 Rupert Street London W1D 6DF (There’s two entrances by the way…)
Telephone: 02074371398 and 02077343281

Opening times: Mon – Sat 11.00 – 23.45; Sun 11.00 – 23.15
Dim sum is served all day until 11.30 pm (and I think 11 pm on a Sunday since they close early)!! ^_^

Bank Holiday Yumcha at Dragon Castle 金龍堡 – London Elephant and Castle

Has it been a while since I went out to yumcha? Yep it has been a while. 
This time I went out with my mum again. And this time we dined locally at Dragon Castle which is by Elephant and Castle… Chinese name is 金龍堡 (canto: gam lung bou; mando: jin long bao) literally meaning “Golden-Dragon-Castle/Fort”. You can see in the picture below that you have to read it from right to left, as it is in traditional Chinese script writing for door signs. Don’t worry I get confused too sometimes… When it first opened I only went there once and bought a crispy noodle dish as a take away. It was good, but very expensive, and I never went back since then! But this time I went there to yumcha, eat dim sum and enjoy my Bank Holiday Monday! 
I can’t believe I haven’t dined here before! I have been telling myself to go to this place for years, and on Bank Holiday Monday I finally went!! Yipee!! I think I would have dined by myself if no one came with me…
The entrances are on either side of this red door and the two stone lions

A stone lion

The dimsum menu outside the restaurant

It is a very grand place, and it hasn’t changed much in appearance since it has opened – both the interior and exterior… although a paint job of a different colour that wouldn’t match the rest of the building would be preferable… A light blue building looks dull for a Chinese restaurant that serves good food (already praising the food! Dear Me!!). 
Don’t like the blue exterior – needs a paint job for the restaurant section
They have a small indoor fountain / pond

So many goldfish!

Apart from the ugly paint work outside, its interior is extremely beautiful! There is a tall ceiling and there are large chandeliers hanging. There’s a large bar area, I bet the owner wanted a big bar to serve many different drinks! I didn’t get to see the large tables at the back as there are dividers blocking that area, but you can see them when you’re on the bus. The dining tables are equally spread out but you can still see what other people are eating… We had a couple of women sitting next to us, and one of them was quite irritating and a bit rude. Not sure why. I think they enjoyed the food but didn’t like the service.

Inside the dining area

Don’t ask me why I always take pictures of the lights! They are so grand!

The windows are so big… cleaning must take forever!!

Ordering dimsum is quite easy, it’s a bit like Ping Pong, but there are no set menus and the food is traditional stuff! Just write down the number inside the brackets of how many of the dish / basket you want. Unfortunately the menu is in Simplified Chinese, no Traditional Chinese and there’s no English on the ordering paper, but there is a menu book with the pictures and English inside, which also includes the main menu (rice, noodles and other dishes)… So if you get stuck refer to the pictures or otherwise learn Chinese or dine with someone who’s Chinese (like me! Invite me!! ¬,¬) or ask the staff… The manager speaks Cantonese, and the waiters / waitresses speak Cantonese and / or Mandarin. I spoke mainly Cantonese and English, and said thank you in Mandarin quite a few times…

The dimsum menu in Simplified Chinese

The dimsum menu in pictures

The dimsum menu in pictures continued

The dimsum menu in pictures… final page!

Our food came! My mother didn’t want to each much, but I ate quite a bit. Heheh… I did all the food ticking (ordering) by the way, I never usually do… 

This picture doesn’t feature the taro croquettes… ate those before the other dishes came…

Ate the taro croquettes first. These are very good. I felt like I’ve never tasted these before! They were smallish, but it felt like it melted in your mouth…

蜂巢荔芋角 (Mando: feng chao li yu jiao; Canto: fung caau lai wu gok) “Honeycomb/Beehive Nest” Taro Croquette – £2.90

This, as usual, is the shrimp rice roll. I love this stuff. I wish they sold the frozen version in China Town and other Asian stores so I can steam these at home. I know they sell them frozen worldwide, but not in the UK… 😦

Simp: 鲜虾肠粉 (Mando: xian xia chang fen); Trad: 鮮蝦腸粉 (Canto: sin haa cheung fan) Fresh Shrimp (or Prawn) Rice Roll (cheung fan) – £4.00

If you don’t mind eating the insides an animal, then you might like this. This is black pepper tripe. Tripe is part of an animal’s stomach. And this is seasoned very well and it’s a little spicy… Not sure which animal it’s from though…

Simp: 黑椒金钱肚 (Mando: hei jiao jin qian du); Trad: 黑椒金錢肚 (Canto: haak jiu gam cin tou) Black Pepper Tripe – I love this!! – £2.90

This is one of my favourite dimsum’s of all time! Shrimp dumplings. This has a thick, translucent wrap. The dumpling is a bit big. And I could eat these everyday if I could or whenever I can. My mum said not to order these, BUT I LOVE THESE!! You can buy these frozen in Asian supermarkets.

Simp: 笋尖鲜虾饺 (Mando: sun jian xian xia jiao); Trad: 筍尖鮮蝦餃 (Canto: seon jim sin haa gaau) Haa Gaau – Shrimp Dumplings – £3.00

Everyone likes Char Siu Bao (BBQ Pork buns), but I eat it all the time! So I went for these chicken buns, chicken and mushroom buns to be exact! It’s not sweet and tastes very good. Different to the ones you buy in Asian supermarkets. There are big pieces of fresh chicken inside.

Simp: 香菇鸡包子 (Mando: xiang gu ji bao zi); Trad: 香菇雞包子 (Canto: heung gu gai baau jai) Chicken and Mushroom Buns – £2.90

Inside the bun, very fresh ingredients!

My mum wanted these mini glutinous rice parcels, well she wanted the bigger version, but they don’t sell those. These look in-house made. Definitely not frozen bought. There was a big fresh prawn in there, and usually the frozen ones have a dried shrimp in them.

Simp: 迷你珍珠鸡 (Mando: mi ni zhen zhu zi); Trad: 迷你珍珠雞 (Canto: mai nei zan zyu gai) Mini Glutinous Rice Parcels – £3.90

Inside the parcels

I think all the dimsum is made in the restaurant. All of it tasted very fresh and very different to the ones in China Town. The most expensive item on the menu is a fish congee (rice porridge) costing at £5.50.

The waiters / waitresses are always there looking at you, and they will fill your tea cup even if you didn’t ask for it! A very different dining experience for me. I’m sure in China Town they don’t help you fill your tea cup for you! One was a little impatient with my mum but was quite nice when he got our bill… And, woah. I think they were all eyeing me taking pictures… I can’t help it, I take food pictures all the time!

Total bill came to £24.90 which includes the drinks and a 10% compulsory service charge. Without the drinks and service charge, it would have been £19.60, and that averages out to £3.27 per dish / basket!! Mega cheap!! ^_^ I like this place!! I would definitely come back again!!

Our receipt

So South Londoners, if you don’t think China Town is for you, or you can’t be bothered to travel out to a restaurant that serves dim sum, I would definitely recommend you go to Dragon Castle.

My geeky rating: 4.9 (loses a 0.1 mark for service charge)

Good points:
– Nice, spacious restaurant
– Good service (they try their best)
– Food is nice and cheap, I like it

Bad points:
– Waiters / Waitresses are constantly eyeing you, I feel like I don’t know where to look…
– There’s a 10% service charge!! 😦 No point giving tips if there’s a service charge!! (I hate service charge with a passion… see all my other reviews with service charges!)

Address: 100 Walworth Rd London SE17 1JL
Telephone: 020 7277 3388

Dimsum serving times: Mon-Sat 12pm – 4.45pm; Sun 11.30am – 4.45pm


Morrisons Chicken Dim Sum (迷你雞包仔)

Wooo. I have never seen frozen dim sum in an English supermarket before! I was quite surprised when I saw these, and was contemplating in whether to try them out or not.
Morrisons Chicken dim sum

Well, as you can see I bought them out of curiosity, and to see what Morrisons has to offer! They are called Chicken dim sum! There’s no Chinese name for it, so I’m calling them 迷你雞包仔 mai nei gai baau jai (meaning: mini chicken buns, which is what they are). In Chinese supermarkets / restaurants they are called chicken buns 雞包仔 gai baau jai.  But those are  far bigger and take a little longer to steam! …

Chicken dim sum with the packet of soy sauce

So firstly since I don’t own a microwave (which is suggested on the package that you should use) I went ahead and steamed them for about 10 minutes in an old frying pan. On the package it says 2 minutes or 2 and a half minutes in the microwave… Wow! Super fast!

Before steaming

Once steamed, I had a look and tasted one. They look and taste the same as the bigger versions (I bet they took tips from a Chinese dim sum chef!!!). 

After steaming

Inside the bun

And dipping them in the soy sauce made it tasty too!! (The soy sauce was warmed and defrosted in a bowl of warm water before pouring it into a bowl). It is sweet, not too salty and has a few sesame seeds in it. Nice!

The sweet soy sauce and sesame seeds

The only disappointment were the paper bases, as these tore off the bottom of the mini bun quite easily.

Paper tore off the bottom easily!

Would I recommend these to anyone? Yes. Definitely. Especially if they were holding a party!! 

I wonder if they will produce different dim sum in the future… 

Where to buy: Morrisons
Cost: £3

p.s. It’s almost Chinese New Year (February 10th), so these are ideal for a Chinese home party ^_^

Home Steamed Dim Sum Part Deux

In my previous post on dim sum, I never really showed you peeps out there how simple Chinese people like me actually steam dim sum (and food in general) without having to use a steamer or bamboo baskets. It’s not needed. My parents taught me the simple way, and here’s how you do it. You can do this with all types of dim sum (except for the ones that need frying… well that’s quite obvious, duh! ¬_¬”)…

1. Buy a packet of some frozen dim sum of your choice from any Chinese or Asian store / supermarket.
Dim Sum Mix of prawn dumplings, siu maai, beef siu maai and  xiao long bao! ^^

2. Add oil into a plate which has raised edges, and spread the oil around the plate with kitchen towel. If you have baking paper you can put this on top of the plate to make it easy for you to remove the dim sum, as they usually stick to the plate. Then add the dim sum into the plate. Spread them out evenly.
Frozen dim sum
3. Take an old frying pan and add some cold water half-way. Put on a low heat (gas mark 4… medium setting for electrical cookers, I guess) and place the pan of cold water on top of the cooker. Then put the plate of dim sum on top. Cover the pan, and leave for 15-20 minutes for the dim sum to steam.
Add the plate of dim sum into the pan of water
4. After 15 mins, check the dim sum has thoroughly defrosted and cooked. The easiest way if you are steaming ha gaau (the prawn one in white wrapping) , the wrapping should go semi-clear, so you will actually be able to see the prawns… Then carefully take out the plate and cool for one minute. 
Cooked dim sum!! Yummy!!

Enjoy ^^
I enjoy dining out but now I have shown you that you can Yum Cha in your own home 😀 … I expect a pot of Chinese tea (oolong tea or jasmine tea would be great) when I come ’round and visit!! ^^

My previous post on steaming your own dim sum:

Super Star Restaurant 鴻星海鮮酒家 – London China Town

After a long afternoon at the museums, Miss Pinky, Master H and I decided to go to China Town to eat. We thought anywhere would do, so we ended up in a restaurant I have never been in before – Super Star 鴻星海鮮酒家 (literally means ‘Superstar Seafood Restaurant’). Why did we go in there? There was dim sum! And apparently they serve it until late – not like in some traditional dim sum restaurants where they only serve it from early morning ’til 5pm.

I finally remembered how to focus my viewfinder ^^

I think I was the indecisive person amongst the three of us, but we ended up getting the following dishes…

Starters – a selection of 5 pieces of dim sum for 2 people each, unfortunately although they all tasted good, the steamed dim sum were cold and the fried ones were hot.

A selection of dim sum

Miss Pinky had the scallops. There seems to be a lot of vermicelli and spring onions on top. I couldn’t see the scallop!


Mains – The little brother had chicken chow mein. This wasn’t hot, only lukewarm, but he did enjoy it.

Chicken Chow Mein

This was my main – again it was lukewarm, and the prawn dumplings weren’t flavoured enough…

Prawn Dumplings and noodles in soup

Miss Pinky’s main – hers was also lukewarm, but she did enjoy the duck!

Roast duck and noodles in soup

At the end we got our free oranges – nice and sweet, no seeds!

Total cost came up to over £53.40… Not sure if it was entirely worth it…

My geeky rating:
 3.5 – although efficient service, they lose marks for the food being lukewarm

Good Points:

Loads of space between tables and don’t have to share
Dining upstairs is available
Efficient service and free oranges for dessert
Waiters spoke in Cantonese, English and Mandarin

Bad Points:
Food not hot enough with dim sum and main dishes


Super Star Restaurant, 17 Lisle Street, London WC2H 7BE
Tel: 0207 287 3822

Home Steamed Dim Sum

Char siu bao (bbq pork bun) is also dim sum!

There’s nothing like steaming your own dim sum 點心 in your own home. It’s just like being in a restaurant but without the bamboo baskets and steaming trolleys that pass by for you to pick on the foods that you want to try and eat. Dim sum means “little heart” and is originated from Southern China. It is is a Cantonese cuisine and is mainly eaten from breakfast time to around 5 o’clock in the afternoon. Dim sum can range from small buns to fried dough with fillings to Chinese style “cakes” to glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaves to little “meatballs”. There’s a wide range of it and I could go on for a very long time, but I seriously do not want to bore you!

In London China Town there are still a couple of restaurants that use trolleys to serve their dim sum. Unfortunately all of this restaurant business can be a bit pricey for a Chinese Londoner like me. So the obvious option is to buy ready made frozen or refrigerated dim sum – you’re paying less for more! If you go into any Chinese supermarket you will always find a frozen section.

Inside a char siu bao

You will see either small or large packs of siu maai 燒賣 (pork and prawn meatball wrapped in a wonton wrapper), which can range in price and ingredients. I advise that you should carefully look at the ingredients before buying. There are other frozen options like ha gaau 蝦餃 (a prawn mixture covered in a wrap made of tapioca starch), lo mai gai 糯米雞 (small parcels of glutinous rice with chicken filling wrapped in lotus leaves), buns of all kinds and many more…

Siu mai – pork and prawn dumplings in a wanton wrapper

Instructions to steaming dim sum at home…
Then what do you do with these? 

First, you start off with a large pan that has a lid, place some water into it (about halfway), take a large plate where the edges curve upwards (similar to a bowl, but the middle is flat). Depending on what you’ve got i.e. siu maai or ha gaau, place a little oil into the plate and spread all over so that the dim sum doesn’t stick too much to the plate. 

If you have buns or lo mai gai, you do not need to put any oil into the plate. Place the plate into the pan, cover with a lid and steam for about 15 minutes (or whatever it says on the package).

Yummy siu mai!

The best thing to do if you are not sure about what dim sum is, is to try them in a restaurant. 

Here’s a news article to show you where you should go in London, check out these dim sum restaurants

From personal experience (when I used to go) I recommend New World 新世界 – although expensive, it is one of the biggest Chinese restaurants in London China Town.

Update 28/12/2012
Check out my second post…