When TheHusband and I started dating I was living in a digs in “Little Mowbray”. I wasn’t really a student at the time but my friends were and well I was tired of living at home. My relationship with my parents was strained from moving out of home and smoking and (not really) working for my dad.
In walking distance from our house we had some great food options. Some for the begining of the month (Greek and Chai Yo), one for mid month and special (read: reasons to get drunk) occasions (Fat Cactus) and one for just before the end of the month (when you know you really shouldn’t but you really don’t want to eat at home) and that was a “chinese” buffet place. I forget the name, it changed so often as did the clientèle. They are no longer there, I believe their fatal mistake was adding a sushi bar (which was not all you can eat like their buffet)
TheHusband and I often went there as it was normally quiet in the week and they didn’t seem to care that we sat there talking till midnight while they packed up around us. Some of my deepest and darkest secrets were shared with J in the dimmed and slightly steamed (a result of many chaffing dishes) restaurant and I remember the place with much warmth and love.
They had firm favourites on offer. Chicken sweetcorn soup, prawn chips, spring rolls, kung pow chicken, steamed rice, egg fried ice, bbq ribs and sweet and sour chicken or pork. Those little deep fried dumplings were my weakness. I would always try something else but those little balls always featured.
The only other place I know that makes them are Tong Lok and well, I didn’t much feel like going out to get some. Somehow making them myself seemed like a lot less work. I was wrong but it was completely worth it in the end. Tasted so much better home made and fresh out the wok.
Buffet Style Sweet and Sour Dumplings
You will need:
3 boneless chicken breasts
Enough peanut or sunflower oil for deep frying
For the batter:
1 cup flour
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup water
What to do:
Cut the breast into about 2cm chunks. Whisk together the dry ingredients and in a seperate bowl whisk together the egg and milk until well combined then add in the water. Slowly add the liquids into the dry ingredients until it forms a batter and all the ingredients are combined well. Put the chicken pieces into the batter and mix well till they are all well coated. DO NOT REMOVE from the batter. Heat the oil to a high heat and then bring the plate to medium. Drop the pieces directly from the batter into the oil (I used chopsticks to do this). Be careful not to over crowd your pieces. Constantly turn them (I found that if I let them brown one side first they got bottom heavy and refused to turn over) until golden brown all over. Place them on paper towels to drain and cool a little. Serve with a sweet and sour sauce or some sweet chilli sauce and steamed or egg fried rice.