Restaurant and food reviews from Perth, Australia

Friday, March 1, 2013

Emma's Dim Sum - Cafe Delight, Northbridge

I really enjoy the Cantonese cuisine that is Dim Sum.  Being able to sample small portions of a large variety of dishes - be it dumplings, buns, squid tentacles or rice flour rolls - keeps things exciting for me.  However, whilst Dim Sum restaurants are probably quite well-known to cater for lunch, there is a growing number of restaurants that also serve it for dinner.

Emma's Dim Sum - Cafe Delight in Northbridge is one of these.

So whether it's open at lunch time or night time, Emma's will serve Dim Sum a la carte.  However, if you decide you don't want Dim Sum at night after all - or even a mix, Emma's also serves more 'normal' Chinese dinner menu dishes too.

Like virtually all Dim Sum restaurants, the prices for the dishes are worked out according to a size legend they can change over time.  The prices at the time I went were as follows:
  • S = $4
  • M = $4.50
  • L = $4.90
  • XL = $5.90
  • XXL - $8
You can order whatever dishes you want, and they will tally up all the costs in the bill to work out your total cost.

I also should make a quick mention of the service.  We went on a quiet night, where there were only a couple of other tables and there were two waitstaff present.  Despite the ratio which would make you think you should have very quick and efficient service, the waitstaff were not attentive and at times seemed to prefer to amuse each other more than see if customers needed anything.  Saying that, the staff were quite friendly when they did attend to you - it's just that you may have to waive them down a lot if you experience the same as what we did.

Deep fried salt & pepper squid tentacles - XXL

These deep fried squid tentacles were fried tender on the inside, and in some parts crispy on the outside.  The squid was seasoned with chilli, pepper and an amount of salt that made this dish (for me) salty.

This was a reasonable take on this popular dish, but at a reasonably high price.

Steamed siu mai & fish roe - L

These siu mai dumplings came out looking like the normal porked based wrapped in wonton pastry dumplings they are meant to be, but they did look a little pale inside.

Although flavoured quite moderately (i.e. not bland nor too salty) with a noticeable amount of sesame oil, the dumplings seemed quite fatty with a very soft clumpy texture inside as opposed to a chunkier and meatier blend with noticeable chunks of meat and even prawns.  I wasn't very impressed with these dumplings due to that fact but otherwise it was flavoured ok.

Steamed prawn dumplings - L

These steamed prawn dumplings were the normal chopped prawn filling, wrapped in a rice flour pastry.  The prawn mix inside was moderately seasoned (again not bland nor too salty) and again with noticeable sesame oil.  Compared to other places I've been to, the dumplings were on the medium to smaller size.

Overall they weren't too bad but there wasn't anything special about these dumplings.

Deep fried prawn dumplings with mayonnaise - XL

These dumplings looked OK from the outset.  To start with, biting into these dumplings was met with a nice crunchy exterior - a good start if you ask me.

Going in further, revealed a bit of a different story (at least for me) as the filling was like a fat mixed-in prawn mince seasoned moderately and with sesame oil - the mince seemingly really smooth and as opposed to containing big chunks of nice prawns that I prefer.

Pan fried Beijing pork dumplings - L

This dumpling was pan-fried, giving it a nice grill-like taste.  The pastry used was a more floury type of pastry and the thickness at a couple of millimetres thick was enough to give it a slightly doughy taste.

Inside the dumpling was minced pork mixed with a bit of crunchy water chestnuts as well as chives (with the latter two ingredients adding good texture and to break up the meaty dumpling filling).  The dumpling seemed to be lightly seasoned, by itself it seemed a bit bland in terms of seasoning (including light levels of salt).  However, the dumpling is served with Chinese vinegar - the sour taste going really well with the dumpling and making it overall enjoyable.

Pan fried radish cake - L (comes with three slabs, two pictured)

This pan fried radish cake was a pretty standard starchy (rice flour) cake, with mild flavours of chinese radish, and salty and sweet preserved sausage. The radish cake was pan fried with oil giving a very light crispy exterior and a nice pan-fried flavour.  The overall radish cake wasn't overly oily or salty though which was a big plus for me.  Overall, I was quite satisfied with this dish.

We liked: You can have dim sum pretty much any time of the day including for dinner; seasoning in good moderation

We didn't like: Quite a few dishes didn't seem up to scratch; the service is not attentive

Other things to note: There is a dim sum menu as well as a 'main course dish' menu; you may want to check ahead as to what their opening hours are - they may have changed

Emma's Dim Sum Cafe Delight
168 Newcastle Street
(08) 9328 9388

Emma's Dim Sum - Cafe Delight on Urbanspoon