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origamicrane

Golden Palace, Harrow

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hello

met up with a few fellow egulleteers today for lovely lunch at my favourite dim sum joint Golden Palace in Harrow.

It was lovely meeting all of you :smile:

I hope you liked the food and look forward to meeting up with you again soon. :smile:

But first a little background for those unfamiliar with dim sum.

I think i will turn this thread into a dim sum beginners guide and add more photos as the weeks progress.

Dim sum is a traditional chinese breakast or lunch consisting of small plates of steamed and fried foods, I have heard people describe it as Chinese tapas.

Dim sum literally means "piece of heart" or "piece of love".

To have a balanced dim sum meal, you should have a mix of fried and steamed dishes approximately a 50/50 split.

The reasoning for this split is that the Chinese believe in a natural balance of ying and yang or heating or cooling of the body. Fried dishes heats the body while steamed dishes counter this heating effect. ( thats a very simplified explaination if you like to know more, read up on acupuncture and chinese medicine).

Dim sum menus can contain as many as ~80 dishes. Depending on how hungry you are each person should order 3 or 4 dishes each that are shared.

In cantonese we call this meal "yum cha" which means "drink tea" as such tea is an integral part of this meal, tea also aids digestion and has a cooling effect.

When pouring tea you should pour tea for others before your own and if someone pours tea for you, you should acknowlegdge them by gently tapping the table with your knuckles or fingers.

When the teapot is empty, you should take the lid off or put the lid off at an angle and this will indicate to the waiters that you need a refill.

There are lots of chinese teas but unless you specify otherwise you will usually be serve 'bo lai' or 'jasmine' tea. Personally my favourite are 'Oolong' or 'Iron Buddah'.

Chopstick usage is mandatory :wink: it is seen as rude to pretend to be ringo star with your chopstick, unless you are still in primary school :raz:

Dipping sauces, you will usually find a small dish of chilli oil, chilli sauce and thai fish sauce on the table. Certain dishes also come with their own dipping sauces.

Chinese don't usually use soya sauce as a dipping sauce for dim sum.

GOLDEN PALACE

146-150 Station Road

Harrow

London

HA1 2RH

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Roast pork puffs ( triangular ones) and Yam mixed meat croquettes (oval ones).

Roast pork puffs contain chopped up bits of chinese bbq lean pork (char sui) with a rich sweet red gravy often with onions in and wrapped in puff pastry and baked.

The sign that it is a really good pork puff it that the filling is hot, the gravy is rich and sweet and the pastry is thin, light and flaky yet moist and not too oily.

Yam croquette contain bits of pork and dried shrimps wrapped in a pastry made from taro flour.

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Thai style chilli deboned chicken feet.

This is one of the few dim sum dishes that is served cold.

The chicken feet are blanched in hot water and the outer skin is removed.

Then the bones are removed and they are boiled then allowed to marinade in fish sauce chilli and lemon grass it should have the texture of squid and should have a clean fresh flavour of the marinade and shouldn't be fishy.

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Pan Fried dried shrimp cheung fun with sesame paste and hoi sin sauce.

Cheung fun is sometimes described as chinese callenoni. Cheung fun is made from sheets of gluten used to wrap various fillings such as prawn, scallop, beef , pork of chinese doughnuts. Cheung fun is usually served with a sweet soy sauce poured over it.

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Pan Fried Taro cake. This is made from shredded taro mixed with dried meats and seasoned with five spice. This is steamed and then cut into slices to be pan fried.

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Har Gau - Prawn dumplings. These dumpling are filled with juicy and succulent pieces of prawn and usually a little bamboo shoots. This is one of the staples of dim sum. Dim sum isn't dim sum without har gau. :smile:

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Scallop dumplings.

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Pan fried Prawn and Chive dumplings

notice that in all the dumplings above, the pastry skin is translucent and you can see the filling inside.

The sign of a good skin is that it is translucent, thin but strong enough not to rip when picked up with chopsticks.

It it best to allow the dumplings a minute to cool, this allows the pastry skin to firm up thus reducing the chance that it will rip.

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Glutinous rice with mixed meats wrapped in lotus leaf . This is quite a stodgy dish containing bits of chicken, roast pork, chinese wax sausage, shiitake, and a salted egg yolk in a thick sauce.

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Sui Mai - Pork and prawn dumplings. Another dim sum staple. Contains pork and prawn and somtimes bamboo shoots and shiitake.

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Egg Tarts


Edited by origamicrane (log)

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This is my family's staple meal every Sunday (even tho we are not Chinese)! It seems so bizarre seeing tomorrow's lunch tonight on egullet!

Don't forget the grilled chicken with lemongrass and the sour soup dumplings...awesome stuff, glad you're fans of the place!

I might actually go somewhere else for lunch tomorrow now...i feel like i've eaten there already. Nice post tho...I was in both NYC and San Francisco just about 2 weeks ago and while San Fran has a couple of good dim sum places (R&G Lounge and Yank Sing) NYC IMHO was just hopeless for dim sum...all my friends who have left London to go study in the States agree - we have been totally spoiled by places like Royal China and Golden Palace and the place near Baker Street whose name escapes me at present.

However, another friend recently moved back home to Hong Kong after spending 6 years studying here...she now refuses to go for dim sum when back in London...understandably so, since good tapas is much harder to come by in Hong Kong!

Anyhow, nice post!

Raj

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However, another friend recently moved back home to Hong Kong after spending 6 years studying here...she now refuses to go for dim sum when back in London...understandably so, since good tapas is much harder to come by in Hong Kong!

Anyhow, nice post!

Raj

hi raj thanks :smile:

that a strange comment as i think dim sum in hong kong isn't actually that good :sad: and the good ones are as expensive as london but still not as good.

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I can confirm it was the best dim sum I've ever had. There were six of us and I lost count of how many dishes we ordered...and it still came to the usual £12 a head ! Some surprising highlights were the vegetarian dishes (none of us were vegetarian) and the 'sweet' items which I don't normally go for (aside from natas). The pastry on these and the pork buns was superb.

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With regards to dim sum in Hong Kong...I think my HK Chinese friends admit that we are spoilt with regards to the quality of our ingredients (ducks - Four Seasons - and pork in particular) but with the variety of dim sum available to them (especially if you manage to get away from Nathan Road) then theres no need for her to sample dim sum here.

I was in Hong Kong (and China, incidentally) last year, and my problem was that I relied more on hotel restaurant-type places for eating than local places. The only couple of local places I went to was a fabulous Korean bbq place in Mong Kok (6pounds for more food than I could finish, and the crispy rice with beef was out of this world) and a Vietnamese place also (no idea of the names, or even the buildings they were in...they were both in blocks on the 3rd floor and 2nd floor). There was a good Shanghai cuisine place as well, again in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Marks & Sparks in Hong Kong charge so much for their European style food, and most good European restaurants being as expensive as they are, the HK Chinese group tend to prefer going for tapas and Italian while they are here.

But I agree, Royal China and Golden Palace (and Hakkasan and Yauatcha to be fair) have spoilt our choice for excellent dim sum...certainly makes the trek from Kensington to Pinner every weekend worthwhile anyways!

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gallery_18280_1416_89413.jpg

Pan Fried Taro cake. This is made from shredded taro mixed with dried meats and seasoned with five spice. This is steamed and then cut into slices to be pan fried.

[

nice pics - but is the above Law Pak Goh - known as taro cake? - always thought there should be mention of daikon or mooli in the title

Yin


Edited by YKL (log)

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gallery_18280_1416_89413.jpg

Pan Fried Taro cake. This is made from shredded taro mixed with dried meats and seasoned with five spice. This is steamed and then cut into slices to be pan fried.

[

nice pics - but is the above Law Pak Goh - known as taro cake? - always thought there should be mention of daikon or mooli in the title

Yin

:laugh: good eyes but you are decieved.

Yep it looks like law pak goh (aka - daikon cake/mooli cake/turnip cake/carrot cake)

but its actually "woo tul goh" (taro cake) you can tell as it is grey coloured where are law pak goh is usually white.

Thats the good thing about Golden Palace it has several dim sum dishes not usually available in chinatown (not even in yauatcha or hakkasan! :shock: )

these include the vegetarian mock meat dim sum dishes, the grilled chicken with lemongrass and the sour soup dumplings Raj mentioned amongst others.

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Marks & Sparks in Hong Kong charge so much for their European style food, and most good European restaurants being as expensive as they are, the HK Chinese group tend to prefer going for tapas and Italian while they are here.

But I agree, Royal China and Golden Palace (and Hakkasan and Yauatcha to be fair) have spoilt our choice for excellent dim sum...certainly makes the trek from Kensington to Pinner every weekend worthwhile anyways!

couldn't agree with you more, i make my weekly pilgrimage to Golden Palace too :smile:

And I understand what you mean about the expensive western food in Hong Kong and the locals bias for western food.

Went ( with relatives) to a Pizza Hut in new territories and there was a 45 minnute queue! :shock:

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Quick two questions:

I live about 100m from Royal China on Queensway so they have a home team advantage : is Golden Palace worth the trip? What is the quality difference?

You describe cheung fun as "gluten" ? Is this right? Is the starch washed off or is it just ground rice and water?

Nice pics too.

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Quick two questions:

I live about 100m from Royal China on Queensway so they have a home team advantage : is Golden Palace worth the trip? What is the quality difference?

Golden Palace v Royal China

On quality i think the two are pretty neck and neck

I would be more then happy to eat at either place although GP is my home team :wink:

RC advantages are definitely locations that are easy to get to and decor.

But GP wins on

1. Variety. they have ~20 more dim sum dishes available, seasonal stuff and dishes not available in any other dim sum restaurant.

2. Quantity. GP's dim sum is slightly larger per piece but some may say its not as elegant.

3. Price. I think GP probably a little cheaper per dish.

4. Waiting time. :wink: no 45 minute wait for a table here.

5. Parking. there's a Tesco car park just opposite the restaurant, you get 2 hours free parking.

6. They have great prawn crackers.

So is it worth travelling past RC to get to GP?

Well Raj does it every week :wink:

Disclaimers:

1. I'm talking about the Dim sum only. Royal China's dinner menu is better then Golden Palace.

2. I am biased because they are my local dim sum joint and I do business with them. I supply them with prawn crackers :laugh: hehehe!

You describe cheung fun as "gluten" ? Is this right? Is the starch washed off or is it just ground rice and water?

CLICK CLICK! cheung fun thread in the chiense forum

Nice pics too.

thank you :wink:

its the camera :wink:

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Was at Golden Palace Sat and Royal China (Canary Wharf) Sun.

IMHO Golden Palace slightly better in terms of quality of food. There are also a couple of dishes there that really stand out - deep fried crispy squids is my obvious example. Royal China no longer has any really "stand-out" dishes (although many years ago the Char Siu Puffs used to be sensational).

Golden Palace' secret weapon is also its outstanding veggie "fake meat" dishes - a chinese speciality which you rely see in this country. They make their own gluten in the restaurant - the fake char siu pork is outstanding.

I would also disagree with Sam (never trust a man who puts miso in his sweet and sour sauce! :raz:) and say the Golden Palace evening food is also slightly better than Royal China - the one thing which stands out is the House Soup which is invariably outstanding and changes according to the seasons.

Is it worth it the extra trip out? Probably not on a regular basis but you should make the trip at least once, if only to try the special dishes

cheers

J

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(never trust a man who puts miso in his sweet and sour sauce!  :raz:)

it was a chilli sauce!!!! :raz:

anyway it wasn't even my recipe

it was Packo's

and it was very nice, thank you very much. :raz:

Packo's chilli crab recipe

(in case you wondering what we are blabbering about

my episode of chef V britain was on today)

Don't you think it was silly for them to say that my nickname is sushi sam

yet i'm not making sushi!!!??

jam fools!!

Anyway only lost cause I forgot (most) westerners can't eat crab in the shell.

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more dim sum 101 :smile:

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Prawn dumplings in hot sour soup. (Only available at Golden palace. )

These dumplings contain minced prawn and garlic are wrapped in a thin pastry skin. First deep fried then simmered in a hot and sour soup. This soup is similar to tom yum soup but tastier with a lots of black vinegar and garlic.

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Chiu Chow fun giou dumpling.

This dumpling contains minced pork, dried prawns, shredded daikon, chinese chives and peanuts.

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Prawn seaweed rolls.

Seasoned minced prawn wrapped in a piece of roasted seaweed (nori) deep fried and served with a salad cream.

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Pineapple buns.

These are called pineapple buns because originally they had a criss cross pattern scored all over them that resembled a pineapple, unfortunately most places don't do this no more.

This is a sweet dessert dim sum containing a thick custard.

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more dim sum 101

A little dim sum etiquette

Dim sum is an informal meal usually shared by family and friends.

Its not a formal meal as such there are no real rules

but there are some minor rules of etiquette.

1. Chopsticks are definitely not drumsticks

so please do not play the drums on the cups and bowls as it is very annoying.

2. Picking up food for yourself. Ideally use chopsticks.

If you don't know how, learn! if not, fork off :raz:

if you are still learning and your chop stick technique isn't that good yet you are allowed to stab the dim sum to pick them up. The only problem with this is if it is a siew long bai in which case you will lose all that lovely juice.

3. Picking up food for others. Use the reverse end of the chopstick to pick up food for others.

Often you will see the younger members on the table picking up a dumpling and placing it into the bowl of the elders, this is a sign of respect and affection.

But when you want to do this reverse the chopsticks, so you are using the thick end that has not been in your mouth.

ie: more hygienic.

4. Dipping sauces.

Only dip the dumplings into the sauces if you have nottaken a bite out of it.

If you have taken a bite out of the dumping and want more dipping sauce

pour some onto your spoon/plate/bowl again its just a hygiene thing.

5. In many Chinese restaurants especially in Hong Kong and probably Vancouver/Toronto you may find two sets of chopsticks at every table setting. One pair will be white, the other black.

The black pair is for picking up food from the serving platters and putting into your bowl. While the white pair is used for picking this up from your bowl to you mouth.

This may seem a little obsessive but this is due to the knock on effects of the SARS infection a few yers ago people just started to get hyper paranoid about hygiene.

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Wish I had been there, origamecrane!

Agree with Jon (I wonder why?) that the house soups and veggie "meat" are worth the trek. We seem to have ordered the peking duck for dinner quite a few times in our last few sojourns...

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