Having a baby meant that dining out, movies or shopping have reduced tremendously. Don’t me wrong, I’m not whinging, because I know this is part of parenthood, and I’m enjoying it as it comes. There are times though, that parenthood could do with a little motivational boost. For me, it is that occasional treat in a restaurant when the baby is behaving well, or the extra hour or two nap in the afternoon. That aside, caring for a baby means having back pain from the countless of times we change nappies at the changing table per day and headaches from the lack of sleep. Speaking of which, yesterday little J decided to wake up more frequent than usual at night, once at 1.15am (which he fussed until 2.10am) and another at 3.30am (just when I managed to doze into deep sleep!). He usually gives me a 3-hour window in between, so I’m not sure what got into him yesterday.
Yes, headaches are unavoidable, so I need to make sure I am prepared for it. There are herbal tea sachets in my medicine cupboard, vitamin C and my last resort, the aspirin. Thankfully, I did not have the need to resort to drugs yet, but it gives me a peace of mind to know that I have something to turn to should the need arise. As a breastfeeding mother, not all drugs are suitable for me, so I made sure I read up the internet for more information. Of course, the best medicine is sleep! I’m not sure if it works, but I keep telling my boy every night to sleep longer hours just before he goes to bed. I hope sooner or later, he gets the message. LOL!
Char Siew Pau
Getting back to that occasional motivational boost, Saucer brought us to the local Chinese restaurant the other day for yum cha. It was our first time at Winston Gardens, and we were glad that the place was child-friendly. There were many other tables with a pram or a high seat next to them, so we felt totally at ease. As with all the yum cha places, we always stuck to our standard orders of Har Gau (prawn dumpling) and Siew Mai (pork dumpling). The Har Gau here was generously sized, but I thought the skin was a tad too thick and slightly soggy. In fact, 3 out of the 4 pieces broke their skin when we lifted them out with chopsticks.
Har Gau / Prawn dumplings
The Siew Mai fared better in terms of its taste and texture. Even though it’s generally a pork dumpling, there were pieces of shrimp within, giving them a nice succulent crunch in the midst of the meaty pork.
Siew Mai / Pork dumpling
Sauce always yearned for Lor Mai Kai in Sydney, but there doesn’t seem to be any shop serving those. The closest we can get here is Hor Yip Fan or Lotus Leaf Rice, which is essentially glutinous/sticky rice flavored with chicken and pork, then wrapped with lotus leaf. The drawback with this dish is that each serving comes with 3 pieces. Since they are made from glutinous rice, each piece is really quite filling. Having to eat 3 of them between the 2 of us filled up most of our tummy space! The good thing though, was that Winston Gardens’ version seemed to have a lot more fillings inside – with pork ribs, egg yolk and lap cheong (Chinese sausage) as well!
Hor Yip Fan / Lotus Leaf Sticky Rice
Generous amount of filling inside
Another mainstay in our yum cha orders is the Char Siew Pao, or BBQ Pork Bun. What differentiates the Char Siew Pao in Sydney to the ones in Malaysia is the filling. I noticed that more often than not, the pork used in Sydney is lean, with minimal traces of fat, whereas the ones we had in Malaysia usually had a mixture of lean and fatty pork meat, which I actually prefer.
Char Siew Pao / BBQ Pork Bun
After savory dishes, we chose some sweet ones to end our meal. I was happy to find that they had Po Lo Pau here! The first time I had Po Lo Pau was in Hong Kong, and I could not forget how good it tasted. I had never been able to find anything similar in Malaysia then, but the one here was not bad. It’s still far from my favorite at Kam Wah Cafe, but it’s good enough to satisfy that occasional craving. The crust was crumbly and buttery, while the bun was soft and fluffy. The inside was filled with custard instead of the butter version from Hong Kong, so it’s slightly sweet in the middle. I wouldn’t mind going back for these!
Po Lo Pau with Custard filling
Last but not least, I had to order the Egg Tarts when I saw them piping hot on the tray. The pastry was flaky and light, and the custard smooth and wobbly. I liked that they came in mini sizes so we could still chomp them down on a full tummy.
One thing with dining with a baby is that we now do things that much faster. We shop for groceries in a jiffy, we walk faster and we also eat faster – all to be done before the baby wakes up. So even though we had a speedy brunch, it was thankfully a good and filling one. And we managed to have a peaceful one without much fuss. The meal cost us about AUD$40 including Chinese tea.
Winston Gardens Yum Cha
Winston Gardens Chinese Restaurant
Shop 1 Winston Hills Mall,
180 Caroline Chisholm Drive,
Winston Hills 2153
Tel No.: (02) 9624 6425
Opening Hours: Daily (11am – 3pm) , Sunday – Thursday (5pm – 10pm) , Friday & Saturday (5pm -11pm)