29 August 2013
The first time I planned to catch up with my mate at New Moon, I totally forgot and stood him up. Second time lucky, we sat down for a long lunch on Tuesday in the early afternoon. My friend is quite new to the dim sum game, so I took charge and asked for my favourite Chinese tea (bolay cha) and chilli oil.
We watched the trays and trolleys of food circling around the restaurant. Dim sum is great because you share food with your friends and get to taste a bit of everything!
Deep-fried prawn rissoles
A tray of freshly cooked deep-fried dishes was the first food to reach us, so I chose the prawn dumplings with mayonnaise. While my favourite dim sum items are usually steamed, these crunchy delights are an exception to the rule. Golden brown, piping hot on the inside, and dunked generously in mayo for some sweetness.
Prawn and chives dumplings
These rice-paper dumplings are not something that I usually choose, but I wanted my friend to try a range of different dishes. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed these dumplings because the wrappers were lovely and soft, and the filling was packed with flavour. My mate really seemed to enjoy this one!
Prawn and pork dumplings
Shu mai dumplings are a staple item for dim sum. The ones at New Moon were a bit of a let-down because they tasted too porky and the wrappers seemed a little soggy. It also helps when the dumplings are well-presented with a bright piece of orange fish roe, rather than the pale garnish on these ones. Perhaps these dumplings were resting in the steam trolley for too long.
Black bean pork spare ribs
Spare ribs are sometimes hit-and-miss at other dim sum restaurants. In some places, you find that you’re paying for a dish full of bones. Fortunately, New Moon served tender and meaty ribs in a light oily sauce. Good one!
BBQ pork buns
It surprised me to see only 2 BBQ pork buns, rather than the standard 3 bun serving. It was only me and my friend at lunch, so no fighting over the food haha. Good serving of tasty BBQ pork inside. The bun itself was soft and fluffy, yum.
My warnings about the hot soupy contents of these dumplings were unnecessary in this case. I love shamelessly slurping and munching on xiaolongbao, otherwise known as Shanghai dumplings or “little dragon buns”. While the dumplings were warm and moist inside (heh), they were missing the lovely broth inside. The waitress provided Chinese vinegar dipping sauce, but I also wanted Chinese spoons to slurp the dumplings from. Perhaps New Moon could make these dumplings to order, like my favourite ones from Xintiandi restaurant.
Deep fried squid tentacles
Boy I was glad that I squeezed this dish in before we finished lunch. The squid tentacles were delicious, some of the best that I’ve tried! Golden, crunchy, tender on the inside, and a seriously tasty batter. Beware the little red chillis which made my mate splutter and carry on for a few minutes (lol). However, it was such a joy to gently dunk these in chilli oil and stuff them in my mouth, one or two tentacles at a time.
Tripe with ginger and shallots
Most restaurants serve tripe with ginger and shallots, even though my personal favourite is tripe in black bean sauce. The tripe was tender and well-cooked, but the sauce was missing the big punch of ginger that I crave.
What’s dim sum without some random Asian sweet? These fried sesame covered balls are actually quite savoury. The rice-flour outside was a little too chewy and the inside wasn’t as sweet as I hoped for. Personally I prefer sesame balls with red bean rather than yellow bean filling.
Our meal for two came to roughly $50 including Chinese tea. The staff were attentive, friendly, and on-the-ball. Service was well above the usual standards that I’ve learnt to expect from dim sum restaurants! The restaurant is cheap, clean, and served consistently fresh food even on a weekday. New Moon is impressive enough that I’ll risk my mum’s judgement and bring her for lunch sometime.
Random fact: New Moon serves dim sum in the evenings on Friday and Saturday! The manager guy assured me that the food is prepared fresh for dinner (which is more than I can say for Yum Cha House).
Likes: great service, fresh and high quality food
Dislikes: missing out on the complete xiaolongbao dumpling experience
Value for money: average dim sum prices
Overall: would return so my family can try a new dim sum restaurant
63 James St
(08) 9328 8720