Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sky Phoenix, Castlereagh St, Sydney

Sky Phoenix, Castlereagh St, Sydney
Sunday 8 October, 2006

If I had to sum up this experience I'd say 'yum cha with a smile'. This has to be friendliest, warmest yum cha experience you can have in Sydney.

Their website explains the methodology,

"Like the phoenix from Chinese mythology rising up out of the ashes, Sky Phoenix Chinese Restaurant is the jewel in the crown of the re-developed Skygarden complex on Castlereagh Street, Sydney.

Sisters Anita Fung and Alice Lee, who are the restaurant owners, main priority in establishing Sky Phoenix was to create a welcoming venue in a stylish and contemporary surrounding."

Sky Phoenix is located on Level 3 of Sky Garden (entry via Pitt St Mall). It's not your typical yum cha space - the decor is slick, modern and comfortable. We caught the huge escalators from Pitt St Mall and were greeted warmly by the young staff member on the front desk. You walk past an impressive wine display, view the hanging ducks and master chefs carefully slicing them up before arriving in the main dining area.

At 11am the restaurant was near empty, however, by 12.30pm there were hardly any vacant tables. Each staff member wore a name badge and offered a smile or 'hello' as we walked to our table. There were a few trolleys cruising the restaurant and we ordered Chinese tea to start.

The food looked tempting and we eased in with spring rolls, steamed pork buns and vegetarian dumplings. There was already chilli and soy sauce on the table - my favourite is the chilli - I could lather this on everything! The steamed pork buns were the best - fluffy outer shell with a decent amount of pork in the centre.

Next up BBQ pork, steamed Chinese vegetables, flat dumplings filled with pork and scallops. The BBQ pork was delicious, very tender with a slightly crisp edge.

Of course, my eyes were bigger than my belly, so when I spotted the dessert trolley doing the rounds, I just had to ask whether they had my favourites - mango pancakes and egg custard tarts. Yes!

After a short break, we succumbed and ordered mango pancakes and egg custard tarts. Both were fabulous. The mango pancakes were quite large and packed full of cream and mango, so much so that one bite caused most of the cream to ooze out. The egg custard tarts were lovely with light flaky pastry as a base and a sweet egg custard filling.

The food was good and for $25 pp we enjoyed a feast. The bonus afterwards is that you can enjoy the Pitt St Mall shops without the weekday crowds.

Sky Phoenix - Level 3, Sky Garden, 77 Castlereagh St, Sydney - T: 9223 8822


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