Long time no post, especially recipe-wise and I apologise. To be honest, I haven’t been baking much, just eating out alot, like A LOT that I feel quite ashamed because it’s really not doing any good to the piling kilos. Once a week will be my eating out plan from now, I’ll stick to it I promise. Though I can’t guarantee about desserts and fro yo, that has to stay limitless…
So today I caught up with a friend who just came back from overseas and coincidentally, I was just getting into the whole online offer voucher thing that’s been quite a trend these past few years. I saw there was an appealling offer on Ouffer for a ‘banquet’ for two at Ho Mei in Surry Hills and knowing my friend’s LOVE of chinese food, I knew it’d be perfect. The banquet for two covered 5 tapas dishes and a bowl of steamed rice each, which costed a super reasonable $39 for the lot.
Watermelon Ice Tea, $6.5
We were greeted and seated very promptly as we made a compulsory booking beforehand at the front two seats next to the front window which I was eyeing (yes! good lighting!). For drinks, I got the watermelon ice tea and the friend got the berry-green tea. The ice tea was refreshing and not sickening sweet, although the apple pieces were very soggy and no one likes soggy, waterlog-textured apples. We ordered our five tapas dishes and waited a while as we chatted about the happenings of the past month. We had to wait quite a bit before our first dish came and there was always around 15 minutes wait before the next dish appeared. We were in no rush so it was great, taking it slow and for once not eating a meal like a hungry caveman was a good change but maybe if you are, you could notify the waiter beforehand. The prices listed below for the tapas will be the normal dining price without the voucher.
Mixed spice dusted calamari with garlic aioli, $16
Flavourful, light, moreish, deep fried battered calamari rings just with ma fave sauce in the world. This was good, though the calamari was a little harder to chew than other places, but I loved how mini each ring was. Perfect to stuff 3 in your mouth, not that I’d ever do that, but just in case you’re into it. haha
Steamed Prawn and Pork Dumpling, $12
Chewy, thick dumpling skins encasing juicy pork and prawns. It should be a model for all dumplings. The X.O sauce was an interesting and definitely a welcomed addition. Yummm
Duck Pancakes, $24
Two generous slices of duck and a bunch of shallots and cucumbers in steamed pancakes, served with hoi sin sauce. This sounds traditional but I love how it’s very meaty and doesn’t just come with the skin like the usual Peking duck pancakes. Aaaand the shallots are actually not in one humongous, thick, unbiteable bunch- which I usually haaate, so thank goodness Ho Mei got it right. And being the sauce person that I am, I must say their hoi sin sauce was nice too!
Ho Mei Fried Rice, $14
The companion felt like good old fried rice and I love them too so no one was complaning. It might look average in appearance but there’s lots of eggy bits (I LOVE!) and crisp pork (?) cubes and tiny anchovies that made it delish. Not very oily either so that’s a plus, but it lacks a little salt or soy sauce, which was no biggie because there was the all-handy hoi sin sauce just a reach away.
Tempura Soft Shell Crab with grapefruit coconut salad, $18
Perfectly crisp, though it comes with a price- in oil currency that is ahaha. We didn’t touch much of the salad except nibble on the grapefruit and carrots but it was alright, nothing too special.
Matcha, Black Sesame Cheesecake, $12
And then there was dessert. Oooooooo my goodness, this cheesecake was good. I know this is a horrible picture with the whole direct sunlight and all and I even made it small so it wouldn’t be much of an eyesore but I had to show you how dense it is. It’s like pure cream cheese here! Creamy, rich cheesecake with the most amazing, buttery base.
I’d definitely come back to visit again. Although pricey compared to your typical yum cha place, the food is fresh, creative, vibrant with thoughtful presentation. The place was cosy, calming (for lunch at least!) and unpretentious. Their service was also flawless and the wait staff and I presume owner seemed to be genuinely enjoying what he does and this bounces back to us diners and we left the place happy and satisfied!