Saturday, August 27, 2011

Yum Cha at The Eight, Haymarket

Its amazing how your weekend can be dictated by your dining experiences. You shuffle dinner plans, catch up over breakfast or as often is the case for us - lunch after a big night out to cure some serious hunger pains! What better way to sort this out than with a big Yum Cha lunch at The Eight Chinese Restaurant in Haymarket. By the time Demos and I stumble around and adjust our eyes to the light of day, it was 1:30 pm on a Saturday and being a self proclaimed yum cha veteran - I knew it would be peak hour madness.
After shoulder charging through the crowd to get a precious ticket, we use our smarts and avoid the heaving crowd and wait it out at the adjacent Chatime cafe kiosk. Hydration when its needed the most! I think with any weekend Yum Cha visit - you have to know what you are in for. Let's be honest here - and I'm not speaking just for my immediate friendship group..but Yum Cha is THE BEST HANGOVER FOOD and we were at The Eight for this very reason.
That being said there are aspects of Yum Cha that do not appeal to that particular state of being. The crowds and the never-ending wait can definitely tip anyone over the edge, add to that the Yum Cha boss lady on a power trip with her portable microphone machine.. its survival of the fittest. If that doesn't break you then i'm sure the fluorescent lights will.
But enough about that, once seated - if its food you want, then its food you are going to get! With Yum Cha, I always feel like its luck of the draw. You either get a good table where all the trolley ladies seem to pass, or a pretty average spot in the corner where you get all the boring dishes leftover. This instance, we were seated with a prime positioned table and as long as the wait was - the food came hella quick. See that tidy table pictured above? Its about to get messy!
I practically tackle every lady with bamboo steamers in their trolleys to get to my favorites - Steamed Pork Siu Mai and Steamed Prawn Gow Gee. I was quite impressed by the generous size of these dumplings and both were very very tasty. We were off to a good start with these two dishes.
Before even denting our dumplings, another lady with a tray of Peking Duck Pancakes passes by and I immediately grab her attention. I know from experience that you have to fight for these and that you have to be quick! Again, impressed by the generous chunk of duck in the pancakes - not just a sliver of meat here! The skin is still oh so crispy and both the duck meat and the pancake wrapper are still very warm. The plump meat with the sweet hoisin sauce made me want to hunt that tray down again!

And this is where the fried food comes into play. I know my Yum Cha lunch is never complete without salt and pepper squid. Unfortunately, these were not as warm as the other dishes but still very tasty. Its not spicy at all with a hint of garlic to add to the flavour. I hardly drink softdrinks, or any carbonated drink with no alcohol content (wierd much?) so I only order Coca-Cola at Yum Cha because its a necessity with all that salty food! I was suprised that jugs of softdrink were not offered which is usually the case at other places.
Another fried favourite is the Sesame Prawn Spring Roll, im not a big fan of spring rolls at restaurants as I've never had one that did not taste like it came from a cardboard box. This is a tastier alternative for me, and I have a slight addiction to that sweet and sour sauce that they give out - it goes so well with fried anything!
We eye each trolley that passes us by, offering chicken feet, spare ribs, steamed veggies and other standard Yum Cha fare. The restaurant is so busy and dishes are being grabbed from all directions. The Eight takes up a huge space at the Top Floor of the Market City Complex, formerly occupied for over a decade by Kam Fook restaurant.
The thing with a 2 person Yum Cha session is that you don't get to try as many dishes for fear of exploding. Big group lunches always win in any Yum Cha situation. The Eight is owned by Henry Tsang who also owns Zilver in Haymarket, another popular Yum Cha restaurant (which I haven't been to!). 
Food wise, Demos had his heart set on a Glutinous Pork Dumpling just to compare it to those we've had in Hong Kong, but this was a not so great idea.. some things should not be compared and out of all the dishes we tried this was my least favourite. I found it to be on the very oily side and light on the fillings.

So many choices..So little stomach space! We were searching for our favourite dessert but unfortunately the mango pancakes eluded us.
Remember our pristine table? This is what we were faced with in the end.. HANGOVER CURED! And the bill? It worked out to be $25 per person for everything, average CBD Yum Cha prices.
Was The Eight worth the wait? On a hungry saturday afternoon.. any Yum Cha is. Im a very patient person and the turnover at this place is quite efficient and quick. They do serve Yum Cha favourites and offer a great variety. For me, it's another CBD Yum Cha offering to visit over my local Rhodes Phoenix restaurant.
Although I don't necessarily have a sweet tooth, taste buds take a battering from all the flavour and Demos and I agree that we need a sweet treat.
From one wait to another, I told you I was patient. We get into the long queue behind one small booth outside Emperor's Garden Cake and Bakery in Chinatown. Our prize? Little warm golden balls of pastry filled with sweet custard - Emperor's Puff!
 $1 for 4? What a sweet deal indeed! The line here today moved at a mid-afternoon snails pace, with people ordering container full's. Even during my uni days, there would always be a long wait here - unless you get lucky of course! Getting to the counter with no line is something to celebrate!
 I think its the only way some people spot this unassuming little booth! We only wanted a few of these puffs but of course, you are always stuck behind the person who decides they want to feed a whole army and orders five dozen.

By the end of it, the waistbands are a bit tighter but both Demos and I are much happier. Not a bad way to spend a weekend afternoon!

The Eight Modern Chinese Restaurant
The Eight Modern Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Emperor's Garden Cake & Bakery
Emperor’s Garden Cake & Bakery on Urbanspoon

23 comments:

missklicious said...

Yum cha is definitely the best hangover cure!

sara (Belly Rumbles) said...

What would we do if yum cha didn't exist for that Saturday/Sunday brunch hangover cure!

Those dumplings do look big, and score on the peking duck!

MissPiggy said...

Lordy, Demos looks a bit rough in the first picture (did he get his eyesight back after the IVY?), but the yum cha seems to have worked wonders by the last photo.

I want to try an emperors puff - have always seen the queues here but had no idea what they were lining up for.

Simon Leong said...

With 57% liked on Urbanspoon it looks like The Eight is on the way down in popularity?

Gianna@TheEmptyFridge said...

Hi Karen - it really is! all that fried goodness!

Hi Sara - Yum Cha is a gift to mankind! There always is something for everyone.

Hi Mel - hahaha oh that's the ever rough and tumble some Demos for you! You have to try the puffs, they are such a cheap treat!

Hi Simon - It would be such a crying shame to limit restaurant visits to only the "popular" urbanspoon places

Stephcookie said...

So true, yum cha is the BEST hangover food. The only thing that rivals it is bacon. But they serve enough porky goodness at yum cha to beat it :)

Laura said...

i love the eight, i used to go back in the day when they were called something different & had a different entry. i think it's great value there. sadly i'm closer to the fish markets so i go there instead.

i'm like mel, i've seen the lines but i've nver stopped at emperors puff. now i'm make the effort to stop there seeing as i know what they are lining up for!

Anonymous said...

I'm really enjoying the theme/design of your web site. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility problems? A small number of my blog visitors have complained about my website not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome. Do you have any tips to help fix this problem?
Also visit my web blog - teen porn

Anonymous said...

A person essentially lend a hand to make severely posts I'd state. This is the very first time I frequented your web page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to create this particular submit extraordinary. Wonderful process!
Here is my web site :: Secure

Anonymous said...

Unquestionably believe that which you said.
Your favorite reason seemed to be at the web the simplest factor to consider of.
I say to you, I definitely get annoyed at the same time as other folks consider worries that they plainly do not recognise about.
You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also
outlined out the entire thing with no need side-effects , other folks can take a
signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks
Also see my site: how to become a millionaire

Anonymous said...

Can you tell us more about this? I'd care to find out more details.
Feel free to visit my page ... Financial Advisor

Anonymous said...

Malaysia & Singapore & brunei ultimate on the internet blogshop
for wholesale & supply korean add-ons, accessories, earstuds, choker,
rings, bracelet, bracelet & hair accessories. Offer 35
% wholesale markdown. Ship Worldwide
Here is my blog post ; La Fiesta Sengkang

Anonymous said...


Spot on with this write-up, I actually believe this web site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the advice!

Anonymous said...

Hello! I've been reading your weblog for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from New Caney Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the good work!
Here is my web blog : best wedding insurance

Anonymous said...

I do not know whether it's just me or if everybody else experiencing issues with your website. It looks like some of the written text on your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them as well? This might be a issue with my browser because I've had this happen previously.
Thanks

My blog: waist to hip ratio chart

Anonymous said...

Hey there! I realize this is somewhat off-topic but I
had to ask. Does managing a well-established blog like yours take
a lot of work? I'm completely new to running a blog however I do write in my diary everyday. I'd like to start a blog so I will be able to share my experience and views online.
Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips for new aspiring blog owners.
Appreciate it!

my blog :: what should i weigh for my height

Anonymous said...

I do not know whether it's just me or if perhaps everybody else experiencing issues with your blog. It looks like some of the written text in your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them as well? This could be a issue with my internet browser because I've had
this happen previously. Thanks

Feel free to surf to my web-site ... diets that work

Anonymous said...

First of all I would like to say great blog!
I had a quick question in which I'd like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I've had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out.
I truly do take pleasure in writing however it
just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted simply just trying to figure
out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Cheers!

Review my homepage ... online flight simulator

Anonymous said...

This piece of writing is really a fastidious one it assists new web users, who are
wishing for blogging.

Also visit my web page - http://www.pissingpussies.org

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in truth was once a amusement account it.
Glance advanced to far brought agreeable from you! However, how could we be in contact?


My page :: cuteteenporn.net

Anonymous said...

I read this piece of writing completely about the comparison of most recent and
earlier technologies, it's amazing article.

My blog post - Teen Sex Videos

Anonymous said...

propecia online generic propecia cvs - propecia cost au

Anonymous said...

continuously i used to read smaller articles or reviews which as well clear their motive, and that is also happening with this
piece of writing which I am reading at this place.

Take a look at my web site ... http://xxx-fuck.net

PREVIOUSLY ON THE EMPTY FRIDGE..

Related Posts with Thumbnails