the wang’s treasure house
Dumplings galore! And handmade dumplings at that. Salted egg yolk custard buns, Shanghai dumplings and prawn dumplings.
I know, it has a weird name but set that aside for a moment. I think this place is currently serving Perth’s best dim sum. And I hope it stays that way. I’m not sure what led us to walking in the non descript entrance on a random Saturday, but it was one of the best things to happen in 2013. Yes, I love dim sum that much to say that.
We’re quickly seated, tea’s poured and before we know it, a trolley winds its way around to us. It’s organised chaos as baskets are delivered, steam rising, from the kitchen – a good sign. Made on the premises, each dumpling is a bit unique in its own way. They lack the machine made conformity too often seen in Perth’s restaurants. This is true Hong Kong style dim sum that’s light, balanced and extremely fresh, where the flavour is locked in through fast cooking. Everything is piping hot and good turnover means extremely tender, hot and silky dumplings. And these, eaten pretty much on the spot are for me, brunch perfection.
The goodness that awaits inside every ideal salted custard egg yolk bun.
Chickens’ feet, steamed black bean pork spare ribs and in the distance, prawn and pork dumplings (siu mai).
First up are the salted egg yolks buns (lau sar pau – ‘leaking sand’ bun, it’s a cute name!), Good ones are rather hard to find in Perth because they need to be made fresh in house to get that liquid custard centre (frozen ones don’t quite steam that way). They’re really a litmus test of a good dim sum chef. Tinted a peachy hue, these on the small side but the sunshine yellow filling is divinely thick with salted egg yolk. It’s luscious, not too sweet and the bun is impossibly soft, fresh from the steamer.
Another standout are the black pepper beef ribs. Thin flaps of beef attached to bone are braised with slivers of onion and lots of black pepper for quite some time, until the unctuous fat between the ribs melt in the mouth. If you love pork ribs, you will love this beef variation – it’s tender with all the chewy fatty bits that give it bite. The pork ribs (pai kwat) are also equally tasty. Big chunks of pork are steamed with black beans to give a clear broth that coats each morsel, keeping it succulent and unusually clean tasting.
Salted egg yolk custard buns are especially delicious here. Lovely black bean tripe and towards the back, fantastic steamed black pepper beef ribs.
Chive and prawn dumplings.
Prawn and spinach dumplings. Delicious and beautifully pleated.
From the run of the mill pork and prawn (siu mai) that’s pleasantly more prawn than pork, to the full gamut of prawn dumplings in spinach, coriander and chive incarnations, it is dumplings galore here. Supple skins just slide on the palate, breaking open to reveal just cooked prawns. I especially like the spinach prawn dumplings, pleated in a peach fashion (so adorable!) so when bitten into, it’s bursting with fresh spinach.
Now I know I’ve been harping on like everything here is to die for. Well that’s not true because the yam puffs are truly just that. The exterior is properly overblown, fluffy and flakes away at the merest touch. Inside, shielded by a thin layer of mashed yam is mushroom, pork, delicious gravy and crunchy bits of water chestnut. The water chestnut sets it apart, giving texture to what is usually a starchy football.
How yam puffs (wu kok) should look like – not soggy oil laden footballs.
Just enough yam mash to cover the stuffing of pork, water chestnut and mushrooms. Yum.
Radish pastry. Be still my heart.
However the masterpiece of the kitchen is the radish pastry. If you see it make sure you grab it! Because it gets snapped up quickly by those in the know. This is a dim sum dish that is rare even overseas. Interleaved between pork lard that has long melted away are filo-thin layers of pastry that slide together, forming a concertina of layers that absolutely fall apart in the mouth. Inside, white radish that’s been seasoned and cooked down provides a pale, almost bland contrast to the luxurious pastry.
Lacy pumpkin crepes.
As for sweets, there’s an interesting pumpkin crepe that occasionally does the rounds on the trolley. The crepe is basically shatteringly crispy, edible lace. The filling is a sickly sweet pureed pumpkin. It’s definitely something for the dim sum enthusiast.
Another one for the sweet tooths are the sesame balls. I couldn’t quite get an inside shot (too busy eating you see), but they were full to bursting with black sesame paste! The salty sesame seeds, glutinous elastic shell and coarse sesame paste make a crunchy, sweet and salty combination that for me, conjured up feelings of nostalgia.
Of what nostalgia, I’m not sure. Maybe that’s a sure sign I am a glutton for dim sum.
Sesame balls filled with thick sesame paste.
With three dim sum restaurants within a block of each other, Morley’s undergoing a dim sum revolution of sorts. I haven’t tried the other two and have heard good reviews for both, but to be honest I can’t see myself trying them because its just so damn good here. Plus parking, hidden around the back, is easy to come by.
From the looks of the Sunday morning queue, word’s already gotten out, so run, don’t walk. I’ve been here three times in three weeks and had to stop myself from making the northbound drive on the fourth week…
The Wang’s Treasure House
4 Wellington Road Morley WA
T: 08 9275 4020
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