I first visited Marigold for dim sum over three years ago. When we returned to Sydney last November, it was on my “must visit” list.
We’re joined by Craig and Caroline, and Jac’s brother J. My theory is that dim sum is a meal best enjoyed with with more people – you get to maximise your tasting choices!
We pounce on a dish of suckling pig. It’s ribboned with delicious delicious fat, tender morsels of meat, and topped with crunchy strips of crackling skin.
Fried prawn dumplings aren’t usually my favourite, but I really enjoyed these.
They’re golden and crunchy, thanks to the wonton wrappers, and filled with tender and bursty prawns with only the barest hint of binder, such as corn or potato flour, making them light and pleasant to eat.
Pet hate: overzealous use of binder in any dumpling, dim sum or otherwise. It makes me cringe, because it never tastes as good as it looks.
My preferred style of prawn dumplings, har gao arrive shortly after. They’re steamed prawn dumplings, wrapped in a sticky glutinous rice flour wrapper.
The best wrappers are thin yet robust, and don’t tear as soon as you try to wrestle them away from the steamer basket. They should be slightly al dente, a sign of the perfect glutinous rice flour dough.
The prawn filling sometimes features coriander, chives, spring onions or bamboo shoots sliced finely, but these are au naturel, just the way I like them!
The chive lovers at the table (not me!) enjoy the chive and prawn dumplings too.
A crowd favourite is definitely the salt and pepper squid, which arrives straight out of the deep fryer and tongue-searingly hot.
When the lady cooking gai lan wheels her cart next to us, Jac and I both respond ‘yes!’ simultaneously.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit, this is probably the only vegetable dish I ever order at dim sum, but it’s one I love nonetheless. The stems are crunchy and the leaves are tender and fragrant.
You can’t help but feel a little more saint-like after eating something as healthy as this. Well, maybe only a tiny bit, given the meat-to-veggie ratio of the rest of the meal!
These sui gao are boiled dumplings which I’ve not eaten for years. They’re wheat flour wrapped dumplings filled with minced prawns and served drizzled with sesame oil and a little soy sauce.
I find myself marvelling at the perfectly circular shape of these scallop dumplings. They’re deceptively light, with only a thin layer of batter surrounding a sweet, plump scallop.
One of my favourite varieties of rice flour rolls also make an appearance, jam packed with pieces of tender char siu.
And while we’re on the topic of char siu … the perennial crowd pleaser, char siu pau, was another dish we couldn’t miss.
It’s just not dim sum without these pillowy soft steamed buns.
Speaking of delicious char siu … check out this beautiful dish of Marigold’s char siu!
The dessert cart taunted us as we waited for the savoury options to arrive. But we made sure they stopped at our table once we’d enjoyed our fill of savoury foods!
Everyone loved the mango pancakes so much we had to order seconds. And thirds.
These sugary doughnuts and mango pudding are a less successful. We bite into the doughnuts expecting gloriously spongy soft insides, only to find that they’re mostly hollow, and bland.
Jac’s not thrilled with the mango pudding on this visit, it’s also a little bland, and lacking the stand out flavour of fresh mango.
TFP and I can’t go past the egg tarts. The flaky lard-based pastry makes for delciously messy eating, and the creamy egg custard is silky with just the right amount of wobble. They’re the perfect mix of sweetness and salt, as the pastry is not sweet at all.
I’ve never seen these peanut and coconut dumplings before. They’re wrapped with the same glutinous rice flour dough as some of the savoury dumplings, and steamed in a piece of banana leaf. They sounded like they’d be right up my alley, but ended up being a bit of a fail.
Too greasy from the oil used on their leafy wrappers, and lacking sugar, I found these bland despite their satisfying texture.
The durian fans at the table (TFP and I) cheered when we were offered these golden puffs. Wrapped in a buttery dough and stuffed generously with fruit straight from the spiky shells, these puffs are highly aromatic, and absolute bliss for durian fans.
Our friends and family smile politely, and Craig is even game enough to give one a nibble. But in the end, I’d say this is definitely one for fans only. Not the best way to initiate yourself into the stink-fruit club!
And somehow, I also managed to find the stomach space for a bowl of steaming sweet bean curd. Served with a sweet, lightly gingery syrup, the bean curd is lovely and soft. It’s actually a rather refreshing palate cleanser after the rich food that went before.
Dim Sum is served at Marigold from 10.00am – 3.00pm on level 5 of the Citymark building in Haymarket.
Dinner starts at 5.30pm and is served until late.