G/F, Eton Tower
8 Hysan Avenue
I am not quite sure about why the Sportful Garden chain of (nine) restaurants goes by this name, but English name aside, I was staying in the Causeway Bay area, feeling like some yum cha, and was there on a family recommendation.
Situated in a large comfortable second level space, this restaurant is a mid-range Yum Cha option. With friendly and professional staff, the menu is in both Chinese and English, but on this occasion, it was very much a local crowd dining there.
Spring rolls. Pan fried turnip cake.
Pan fried turnip cake is a dim sum favourite of mine, and this one, presented in a more thought-out manner than most places, was hot, slightly crispy on the top and bottom (one of my pet peeves being turnip cake that has not been pan fried for long enough and has no crispiness), and with a nice balance of the turnip cake and the sausage that forms part of it.
The spring rolls, not normally something I would order, had a wonderfully light crunchy exterior, the filling generous but not too heavy. I would order these again.
They say that the true test of a restaurant's dim sum is the quailty of their Har Gau. These are chosen as a benchmark because of the difficulty in handling the wheat starch dough, which needs to be kept warm whilst it is worked, and each one should have a minimum of seven (and preferably over ten) pleats at its top.
Regretfully, I forgot to count the pleats, but the translucent skin and the quality of the filling were good. The prawns were juicy and tender, and not of that almost over-processed texture that can sometimes appear.
Pan fried cheong fun with XO Sauce
This was a smaller serving than I had anticipated, but it was sufficient, the XO sauce having a nice kick and depth to it, and not too chilli.
Some Gai Lan to balance out the meal. Fresh, cooked to a point of it still being a bit crunchy, and with the vegetable's shoots not too thick and old, a not uncommon problem in Sydney, I've found.
Goon Tong Gao
Lastly, another difficult dish to make, as the very large dumpling also contains soup within its thin skin, as the distension indicates. The soup cannot play second fiddle in this dish, and the simple but rich broth was soothing and perfect with the dumpling, its skin so thin that to break it into portions, for sharing, required little work.
Overall, a very enjoyable yum cha. Whether the other branches differ to any large degree, I don't know, but I would be happy to return to the Causeway Bay one.