Yum cha blow-out

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Gold Leaf, 491 Ballarat Road, Sunshine. Phone: 9311 1863

In the past year or so, CTS has dined yum cha – see here and here.

But as enjoyable as those outings were, in places that run yum cha a la carte and to order and without trolleys, we figured it was time for the real deal.

 

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You know the drill – huge barn of a place, high noise levels, trolleys whizzing everywhere.

 

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So CTS and a bunch of willing pals hit Gold Leaf in Sunshine.

Typically, Bennie and I arrived first and somewhat early.

We were forced to cool our heels with other early arrivers as the staff meal tables were cleared and then – in we went!

 

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Within half an hour, the joint is packed and rocking.

With a group of eight eating madly, I don’t even think about keeping note of individual items and their prices.

Suffice it to say, it really does make a difference – the food here was of a very high standard and the service fine.

 

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We had many of the staples and a few more adventurous things.

 

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Eating the divine roast pork/crackling, for instance, I placed in my bowl some of the attending noodles – only to learn I was eating jellyfish for the first time.

It was lovely!

 

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It was a wonderful experience and the price – a buck or so over $30 per head – equally splendid.

 

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But some things never change …

As we’re wrapping up desserts and wrapping up generally, I notice even more trolleys sallying forth laden with very interesting a delicious-looking items.

No room for them … this time!

 

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Life goes on at Berkshire Road

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Madam Curry, 71 Berkshire Road, Sunshine North.

Ah well, that’s the end of an era in western suburbs food history.

Marco and Maria from Latin Food and Wines (frequently referred to as La Morenita in the many stories we have run about them) have moved from their long-time North Sunshine redoubt for a great new home in Deer Park.

There’ll be more about them and that right here at CTS in due course …

It seems the sleepy Berkshire Road shopping strip that has been such a big part of our lives for so many years will become even more somnolent.

But food things there are still ticking over.

The newest arrival is the roti-producing outfit called Madam Curry, which has moved from Sunshine Plaza into the premises formerly occupied by a failed South American eatery.

 

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My understanding is that for the Madam Curry operation, serving walk-up customers curries, rotis and the like is strictly a second-string affair to the contracts they have to supply rotis across the city.

Thus as I arrive at their new digs for lunch I am wondering who will actually be stepping up for a lunch-time feed in the back streets of North Sunshine.

So I am happily surprised that as I am lunching, two different groups of local workers/businessmen come and go.

Madam Curry’s stock in trade may be supplying rotis to the Melbourne hospitality industry but it seems catering to the lunch trade in a neighbourhood where there is not much food to be had is a smart move.

The eat-in/takeaway menu (see below) covers a tight range of reasonably priced starters, roti canai dishes, wraps and noodles.

 

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Prawn dumplings ($5.50) are nice – plump and flavoursome – without having the oomph to be expected from a top-line yum cha joint.

 

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The prominent appearance of curry leaves is a good sign of home-cooking in my chicken curry with roti cani ($9.90).

The curry IS good, made so far as I can tell from thigh meat and featuring a goodly number of spud bits in a tasty, mild curry sauce.

The roti is OK but does have something of a mass-produced taste/feel to it.

 

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West Welcome Wagon benefit – the wrap

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West Welcome Wagon Fundraiser,
Curry Leaves, 463 Ballarat Road, Sunshine. Phone: 8528 3876.
Hosted by Consider The Sauce, 15/3/16

Yes, a fine time was had by all at the latest West Welcome fundraiser – held at that fine purveyor of Sri Lankan tucker, Curry Leaves in Sunshine.

 

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The final accounting is yet to be done but WWW will in a day or so be about $1400 better off in terms of much-needed cash to continue its amazing work.

 

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That’s thanks to many people …

The many attendees – some familiar faces, many new ones – who bowled up for the biggest event CTS has ever organised.

 

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Thanks most of all to chef Duminda, Bec and Dillon and the rest of the Curry Leaves crew.

 

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The food was wonderful and there was plenty of it!

 

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Thanks, too, to famed Footscray drinking/eating emporium Littlefoot for donating a lovely meal for the auction and for long-time CTS reader and pal Juz for putting up his hand to take it away.

 

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And equal thanks go to another CTS pal Christine, master baker, for creating and donating a superb “black velvet cake” of “red velvet with a black cocoa syrup, frosted in good old cream cheese frosting”.

 

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That classy item was won at auction by Elizabeth – who immediately declared her prize was meant nothing less than immediate consumption.

So the knife was wielded and just everyone in the house had a very tasty slice.

Thanks everyone!

 

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CTS Feast No.13: The Wrap

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CTS Feast No.23: Xuan Banh Cuon, 232 Hampshire Road, Sunshine. Phone: 0422 810 075. Tuesday, December 8, from 7pm.

What a happy pleasure it was holding a CTS event at our favourite Vietnanese restaurant.

Several guests were repeat offenders.

 

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Others were Xuan Banh Cuon regulars who nevertheless were happy to make the effort to join other fans.

 

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Many thanks to Xuan, Carson, Ang and the crew for providing us with such wonderful food.

 

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The biggest hit of the night was the mixed entree platter we each received of pho cuon thit bo (sautee beef wrap in fresh pho noodle), banh goi (Vietnamese puff) and cha mrc hai phong (northern squid cake).

The pho cuon thit bo especially impressed – Carson describes it as a non-soup, summertime version of pho, complete with rare beef slices and all the usual pho goodies.

Wonderful!

 

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CTS has held far fewer events this year than was initially anticipated – this being the third.

But they’ve all been very good!

We hope to see you next year at CTS Feast No.14 and beyond …

 

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Ace burgers in Sunshine

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Found 401, cnr Foundry and Hampshire roads, Sunshine.

It’s been a frustrating Sunday, one involving much driving, blog stories not eventuating and potential meals not eaten.

Worse, upon arriving back in Sunshine, I realise I’ve left my bag at an Indian sweets shop in Deer Park – so back we go.

By the time we return to Sunshine, we’re hungry … for just about anything, and blog be buggered.

But as it turns out – and despite recent proclamations of burger fatigue – we find something really good.

We find it in a rather anonymous looking cafe that’s part of the modest retail set-up in an apartment block at the other end of Hampshire Road than the one we normally frequent.

(Found 401 is about a block from Gold Leaf.)

 

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I’ve been hearing encouraging whispers about this place and its burgers, most notably from our regular provider of westie food tips and opinions, Lauren Sayer.

About this place, she is spot on.

As well as a concise burger line-up, Found 401 provides breakfasts and toasties, coffee and an assortment of other drinks (menu below).

I’d popped myself in on a previous Sunday but on that occasion had found the staff coping with the breakfast rush hour.

This time around we are, at first anyway, the only customers and we find the service and wait times very good.

I go for the BBQ burger ($10.50, top photograph) with beef, cheese, lettuce, bacon, mayo and BBQ sauce; I ask for the caramelised onions to be withheld.

 

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Bennie has the 401 burger ($11.50) with egg and 401 sauce added.

Both our burgers are terrific.

They’re nothing fancy – just good, solid all-round winners made with good ingredients and put together nicely.

The beef patties have a nicely solid meatiness about them.

 

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The chips ($4), too, are on the money and good value for the price.

They’re all crisp and unoily.

And no chicken salt or the like here – just a winning combo of salt and a dash of rosemary.

Bravo for the Found 401 crew for delivering burger goodies that are right up there with the best going around.

 

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We depart happy, hoping CTS readers Lorraine and Derek enjoy their meals as much as we did ours!

 

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Diwali with Suneeti

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Consider The Sauce never takes for granted the heart-and-soul situations that open up for us because we do what we do.

 

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A year or so ago, for instance, I spent an entire day with our wonderful friend and fellow blogger the Urban Ma and her family, preparing and then eating a fabulous Pinoy feast.

 

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This one is a bit like that …

 

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I met Suneeti when she and some pals were guests at the CTS Feast held at Curry Leaves, the fabbo Sri Lankan eatery in Sunshine.

 

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We sat at the same table, got talking and soon discovered that when it comes to sub-conintental eats – and what’s hot and what’s not so much in the western suburbs – we are very much on the same page.

 

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All of which led to the question: Would Bennie and I like to be guests at her family’s regular Diwali bash in their Sunshine home?

 

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Yes!

 

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And what a fine time we had!

 

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We enjoyed meeting a varied bunch of lovely folks.

 

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This was not you hardcore devout Hindu Diwali party – the assembled guests and family were from all over; there was meat and alcohol, though not a lot of either.

 

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The food?

 

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OMG – sensational!

 

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Mildly spiced, as befits a gathering at which there are numerous young children, but still just so very fine.

 

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Thanks, Suneeti!

 

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And, yep, we’d really like to return next year!

This story and these photos are published with Suneeti’s happy approval – she was too busy to take pics so is looking forward to this post as a memento!

 

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A Taste of Poland in Sunshine

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A Taste of Poland, 3/1B Bell Street, Sunshine West.

By Erika Jonsson

I’m a compulsive list-maker.

When I was in year 12 someone stole my study diary and wrote, “breathe in, breathe out” on every page, clearly amused by the idea I might not do it unless it was written on a list.

They weren’t far off the mark, really.

Most days I find myself creating a new list, from birthday present ideas a year out to playgrounds and cafes I’d like to visit.

Travel and lists go hand in hand for me – I have lists of places I’ve visited, countries I’d like to visit, cities I might otherwise forget to consider next time we are planning a holiday.

Travel and food also go well together in the western suburbs, where it’s possible to circumnavigate the globe without venturing far from home.

My family loves trying foods from previously unexplored cuisines, ticking off countries at every opportunity.

We’re racking up a pretty good tally – and we haven’t even made it to the Jamaican place in Yarraville yet.

So when my husband told me he was adding a new country to the list I was intrigued.

When he turned off Glengala Road in Sunshine West I was beyond curious.

 

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Consider The Sauce has already documented my love of dumplings, so when we pulled up outside A Taste of Poland it’s fair to say I was thrilled.

It’s an unassuming café attached to a small Polish grocery stocking everything from large jars of dried porcini mushrooms and pickled vegetables to chocolates and sweets.

The menu is small and exceptionally well priced – the most expensive meal on the board is $13.

We ordered a plate of potato and cheese dumplings (which I felt certain would be a winner with my two sons), pork with salad and chips and Polish sausages with cabbage and bread.

The lovely lady at the helm asked me which salads I wanted from the array of jars – I chose red cabbage salad and also ended up with a mix of cabbage, carrot and capsicum.

 

 

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The pork was tender and tasty, though nothing I couldn’t make at home.

The preserved salads were delicious and I added the cost of a couple of jars to our bill so I could enjoy them at home, too.

Five-year-old Joe and my husband both enjoyed the sausages, but the hands-down dish of the day was the dumplings.

No surprises there.

 

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One-year-old Hugh especially loved the creamy, smooth filling.

The dough was easy to eat and not the slightest bit tough.

 

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The dumplings are made fresh then frozen – you can buy them to take away from the freezer along with items such as croquettes and white borscht.

My coffee afterwards was quite satisfactory and my boys loved their jelly-centred chocolates as a treat.

Our three dishes plus a coffee, a juice and a soft drink came to about $35 and I also grabbed my jars of salad, pasta and dark chocolate to take home.

There is nothing fancy about A Taste of Poland but there doesn’t need to be, especially when you can feed four for less than $10 each.

I’ll certainly be returning for another dumpling fix soon.