Gold Leaf Docklands

Lvl 1, Shop 10-11 Star Circus, Harbour Town, Docklands 3008
Visited: 17th Dec 2011

Yum Cha literally means "drink tea."  It usually revolves around carts of small food items collectively referred to as "dim sum" and can be savoury or sweet, fried or steamed.  The food orders are marked on a card on the table which you bring to the cashier once you've finished your meal.  

Gold Leaf Docklands has the best yum cha around.  Ever since our aunt introduced us to this restaurant, we have been coming back ever since.  We have to make sure to make a booking every time, because it's always packed.  There are hordes of people waiting at the entrance staring glumly at the king crabs in the aquarium and hoping the rest of us would hurry up and leave so that they can get a table LOL.

White crab 1: You're next.
White crab 2: Nuh uh... you're next!

Today, MerlinFan, Scimitar, my aunt and I brought my parents here.  There were six of us, so the more the merrier, as far as I'm concerned when yum-chaing!  The atmosphere here is great - it is always packed and full of enthusiastic chatter, and it's always nice to see big gatherings of family and friends and also marvel at what kind of weird and wonderful dishes little kiddies shovel down :P

Wall of "flaming" lanterns
We usually have jasmine/ oolong tea.  It comes steaming hot - just inhale the fragrant fumes and clasp the ceramic cup in your hands - perfect during freezing winter days when it's especially cold and windy in Docklands!

Oolong tea
Then the fun begins.  

Siu Mai
Everyone has a favourite dish that they're looking forward to during yum cha - mine is the Siu Mai (pork dumplings).  They do them so well at Gold Leaf - the ground pork is juicy, tender and absolutely perfect.  Siu maiiiiii!!!!

Siu Mai
Seaweed Wrapped Tofu
This is one of the dishes I especially look forward to every time I come here (unfortunately I don't know the formal name).  This dish consists of three silky soft tofu fried on the outside, topped with minced prawn and something "special" on top, wrapped together with tofu.  Sometimes they three different toppings like scallops, mushroom or prawn on each of the three tofus, but today it was prawn.   I just love how the tofu soaks up the flavour of the wet seaweed that is practically falling apart (I love seaweed).  Sorry for the un-detectable lone prawn tofu pic - with six people at the table it was hard to remember to take photos before someone "accidentally" pinched it off the dish!

Prawn and tofu wrapped in seaweed
Egg Tarts
Everybody loves egg tarts.  The ones at Gold Leaf are amazing - the crusts are really flaky, light and crispy, and the custard is so smooth, sweet and overall gorgeous.  A must have every time we come here.

Egg tart
Another must have dish here is the Dou Hua or Doufuhua which is very soft tofu in warm, sweet syrup infused with ginger.  It is just beautifully done, really silky smooth and melt in your mouth.  Perfection.  The portion is huge too, as you can see the bowl is filled absolutely to the brim.
Prawn Balls with Sugarcane
We tried a new dish today, prawn balls (sounds so wrong doesn't it :P) wrapped around sugar cane sticks.  Interesting.  The prawn balls were nicely seasoned and went really well with the creamy mayonnaise sauce it was served with, and had a slight hint of sugarcane from the sticks that you could suck/ bite on in the end.  I might have this dish again next time I'm here.

Prawn balls wrapped around sugar cane sticks
Yam Puffs
The Yam/ Taro puffs here are really good, especially with the sweet chilli sauce.  The yam is perfectly flaky and crispy on the outside, and soft and moist on the inside.  Now I never realised this earlier, but there are two different types of taro puffs served here.  At first we were served the long, egg-shaped ones (forgot to take a photo before they were swiped by MerlinFan, Scimitar and Dad LOL) which were the last on the trolley.  Those ones were filled with minced pork only.  Later on during the session, out came these taller taro puffs, and to our surprise, these ones had meat and scallops in them.  Both are as good as the other.

Taro/ yam puffs
Char Siew Bao 
What yumcha is complete without the barbecued pork buns?  These little steamed buns are really soft and fluffy, filled with slightly sweet, juicy char siew (roast pork).  

Char Siew Bao

Lotus Seed Paste & Salted Egg Yolk Bun
MerlinFan's favourite!  This time we actually waited almost 20 minutes for the lotus seed bun - didn't see it circulating around and when we asked the waiter, he said they were short of baos (buns) because one large table of ten ordered four dishes of them!  Troublemakers.  LOL.  These buns had the same soft, fluffy skin and are filled with warm, silky, sweet lotus paste.  Mmmm!!!  And right in the middle you get a pleasant surprise - a chunk of salted egg yolk.  Love.

Lotus seed & salted egg bun

Steamed Beef Ball
We also decided to try something different - we tried the steamed meatballs today (I'm pretty sure it was beef).  One bite and I didn't like it at once because it had coriander (Chinese parsley) inside and I really do not like the taste of parsley at all.  Shudder. 

Mango Pudding
Gold Leaf's dessert cart is every kid's fantasy.  A see-through glass enclosure with all sorts of goodies from carved fruit balls and jellies to doughnuts, puddings, puffs and everything sweet and nice... We usually have the mango pudding, which is absolutely divine.  Sometimes it can be a bit firm, sometimes very soft.  I like both.

Mango pudding
Most of the dishes I've posted here are on our "Must Have" list of dishes we have to have and will patiently wait for every time we visit Gold Leaf.  Other dishes that are quite nice that we have tried but are not essential XP are the spring rolls, chicken pie, rice paper prawns and fried carrot cake.  Pork spare ribs (pai quat) are also all right.  Mum also likes the congee with century egg, which she does have occasionally.  

Oh yes, and also the "rare" ice cream snowball - I say it's rare because I've only seen it twice in the number of times I've been here.  Unfortunately it did not make an appearance today, for I would have loved to snap a shot of it.  We tried it before as it looked so interestingly cute like a white snowball mochii covered in coconut flakes.  I'm not a big fan of mochii, even though there was ice cream inside.  I don't like the thick, gooey skin, and that was what this mochii was - thick and gooey, especially when it was cold.  I'm hence biased; but a true mochii fan might love it.

Other not so standout dishes for me would be the chee cheong fun (steamed roll rice) only because it had coriander in it which I don't like at all.  I didn't particularly like the glutinous rice or mango sago pudding either - just didn't appeal to my palate.

Overall, the staff at Gold Leaf are always super efficient.  We always make a booking, and are always seated as soon as we arrive.  They are occasionally a bit hardcore - we have had occasions where we have only been shown to the table, and haven't even been seated before the waiter asks for our drink order.  And have you seen how the waiters make a table?  It is really funny!  MerlinFan and I once watched with amazement and much amusement as they practically threw together a table (that's right - tossed the tablecloth and dishes madly into place in seconds like a magic show).

Love this place and will always come back for more.
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