Dim Sum at Wang’s Treasure House in Morley

The last day of the year crept up all too fast. The ending of another circle around the sun completed, with the universe’s blessing and indifference.

Its human counterparts declared that the occasion necessitated celebration. It necessitated dim sum. 

We arrived at Wang’s Treasure House at a quarter past twelve. The place was reasonably packed. We were seated in five minutes. 

As an aside, the more you read the name of this restaurant, I swear, the funnier it gets. Ah, the weird and wacky names Chinese restauranteurs come up with. 

I’m not sure why, but on the day we dined, our table seemed to have a faulty invisibility cloak: no exaggeration when I say that certain trolley pushers kept missing this table. Given all trolley pushers tend to be speaking frantic Chinese while  they seemingly look after a million things, the observation was more odd than anything.

Consistency is one thing that Morley dim sum does well. When the dishes did finally arrive, the quality and standard was there. 

Of the dishes I tried, favourites today were the su mai and the deep fried crab. Hot su mai dipped in a chilli-soy sauce concoction was delicious. The deep fried balls of crab, an unconventional dim sum offering, came with a thick brown sauce that tasted like a mix of barbeque-oyster sauces and sugar. The crab and sauce was a clever delivery of salty and sweet. The coconut bun was another dim sum offering new to my palate. A sweet pastry with a coconut custard filling, it was a typical light Asian pastry. The baked egg yolk buns had the runny, salted egg centre locked within a crisp white bun. The filling wasn’t hot; the opportunity for a lava-like centre to make this dish amazing, missed unfortunately. Dragon Palace in Cockburn, when last I was there, did a wowser of an egg-yolk bun; it’s yet to be topped. Morley’s version is adequate though.

A few dim sum staples, such as chicken feet, chee cheong fun and fried squid weren’t spotted on the trolleys today. 

Tea at dim sum is essential for cleansing the throat after each dish. Tea adds to the conviviality of a dim sum experience, perhaps in ways only tea-drinkers might appreciate. More tea means more good times, and at dim sum, a flow of good hot tea is never amiss. Heck, yum cha literally means drink tea. Today’s variant of tea was plain, very mild, not a steaming jasmine nor a strong variant. Frankly, it was hot water with leaves. The tea could have been better.

Pictured: Taro dumplings, baked egg yolk buns, yam cake, coconut bun, deep fried crab balls, su mai, bean curd roll, char siu bao, har gow, unknown dumpling.

Taste verdict For the last day of the year brunch, this was good quality dim sum. Enjoyable.


A January Summer

I’ve always had an affinity for the season of summer. Something about a long, dry summer brings comfort, hope, and feelings of peace and joy. I like to imagine it is because I am one of the summer-born. One who awakened to summer, whose first impression of a complex world was that of a first summer, whose first breath was of the hot, summer air. One for whom, summer is home.

As a child, the summers seemed never-ending. As the summer approached, there was anticipation like no other. Summer was life. Summer meant freedom. The magical feeling of wondrous, endless freedom is forever imprinted in my mind. 

There’s a bittersweetness thinking about those days and knowing those days are gone. How have they become small fragments, memories with the passing of time? How did the magic of summer disappear? The summers never changed. The summers were here every year. They were my constant: the time of year I looked forward to all bright eyed and bushy tailed.

It hurts to know one day I changed. I must’ve changed. One of those days. One of those years. I never realised. But suddenly, it was another summer, but different. Suddenly, innocent wonder was displaced by knowledge and nonsense.

It was the coming of age of my summers. A season of change that arrived like a willy-willy, and left a trail of memories. 

Summer is still my season these days. Summer will always be back. 

I only hope the magic will return.


A January Summer

31st December 2017 is upon our souls. 

Pope Gregory XIII, I need not proclamation from the calendar of your name to tell me the year is at an end.

For I know a January summer is here. 

I know because the warmth of our brightest star crisps the leaves and steals the moisture from the air. 

Bold blue dominates the skies as frightened clouds hide. 

The Fremantle Doctor and the balminess of the night take a stroll in view of a smiling moon and a million tiny torches. 

The Doctor’s gentle hand plays the windchimes. 

Chirping crickets are skilled percussionist​s. 

Intermissions in the music punctuate the improvised melody.

I know because the fan runs twenty-four seven.

The scorching sun peels the paint on the white picket fence.

The once-green lawn turns to hues of yellow.

The redbrick wall holds on to the summer heat.

The songs of the summer-born are heard in the early-hours of the morning.

The voice of restless youth escapes into the stillness of the night.

For a January Summer is here.


Suddenly inspired A short written as I reminisced. 

The Merrywell Burger (Aussie Style) at The Merrywell at Crown

Getting the interest of me and the rest of the hoi polloi who consider themselves believers in luck and dreams, four leaf clovers and dreamcatchers, isn’t hard.

Try free food. That’s enough to get most people’s attention. Anything that keeps the dream alive is fine too. Words that in the minds of dreamers are kryptonite to logic and reason. Jackpot. Chance.

Two $25 dining vouchers I received from Crown to redeem at eateries inside the Casino sealed the deal for a visit. The vouchers came with no min spend and no catch – well, apart from the implied ‘throw down your cash’ clause. As a self-confessed non-gambler who spends at max $5 when I’m at the casino (which is rarely), and $50 each week giving luck a chance, what an offer.

Going with the brother to redeem the second voucher, we tossed up between the Merrywell or Junction Grill. I felt like something heavier: beef, and ideally a beef burger. We were both leaning towards the Junction.

We scanned the Junction’s menu. There were beef steaks and a chicken burger. Bizarrely, no beef burger. Disappointment set in like a kid whose ice-cream hit the pavement before the first lick. I wanted the burger at this place. I admit that I can be something of a mad cow when things don’t turn out my way. In the spirit of Christmas Eve, I decided not to have a beef with them. 

We arrived at the Merrywell expecting it to be busy. Our expectations were dashed. The place was dead. Probably explains all the flies buzzing around the place. Horribly large ones they were too.

Thinking I was clever, I ordered the burger this joint was proud enough to put its name to: the Merrywell Burger. I upgraded this to ‘Aussie Style’, which meant additions of beetroot and pineapple, for a total of $29.

The burger arrived, looking rather promising with a thick patty, a splash of sauce, and a basket load of chips. The first bite began an unstoppable fall from grace for the Merrywell Burger. 

The bun was desert dry. Terribly stale. With some disbelief and for want of being mistaken, I isolated a piece of the bun for dissection. The bread’s texture was that of a neglected sponge. It was like the bits you’d throw to a paddling of eager, hungry ducks, secretly placing bets on the lucky duck who’ll come out tops in the game of snatch. 

The patty was so overdone for the medium I’d ordered that the juices had achieved an evaporated state. The sauce and the addons were nothing special. The chips were poorly executed: overfried and greasy. Nothing could save this burger. 

Buzzing around us as we sat were four unrelenting flies. Paying for a pricey meal indoors, and having to swat flies away from the food was a real turn off. Then there was the child. He was about ten years, and his family, out of all the possible empty tables in the room, decided that they would sit a metre from us at the adjacent table. From the moment he arrived, the boy made it his duty to slap his legs loudly. Over and over again. The parents chatted between themselves, turning a blind eye and a deaf ear. The flies and the bratty boy marred what little there was left of the dining experience.

I left there very unimpressed. For a burger the namesake of this place, it was a real shame. When last I was at the Merrywell a few months ago now, things were different. Whatever it was that happened in the kitchen today made for a truly terrible dining experience.

Now this was a meal I have unfinished beef with. 

Taste verdict Expensive. A terrible burger and holy cow the flies!

Lunch at Insan’s Cafe on Murray Street

I’ll keep this one short and sharp. 

It really wasn’t worth the $10 per person.

The food wasn’t hot. Or tasty. Or even trying to be.

To their credit, service was average and the waitress was friendly-enough. The venue was also well ventilated. The airiness was welcome on this hot Saturday.

verdict Not to be harsh but in honesty Woolies $8 chicken please.