East Ocean

421-429 Sussex Street, Chinatown, Sydney, Australia

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  • +61 2 9212 4198
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The entrance to East Ocean from the street may not look like much, but inside is a cavernous dining area in two sections that can seat hundreds of diners. The room itself had a low ceiling, red and yellow patterned carpet and walls that were a mix of wood panelled and plain white. There were linen tablecloths but paper napkins.

The menu is illustrated with little photos of the dishes and there is a somewhat confusing ordering system, in which you tick off the dishes that you want to try on an order form. To add to the complications, as you try and match the pictures to the dishes, assorted waitresses bowl up and try to sell you various other dishes that they are carrying.

When the order is placed, dishes arrive in no particular sequence. Har gau had nicely cooked prawns though dumplings that could have been lighter (between 2./10 and 13/20). Char sui pork buns were far from the light and fluffy ideal (11/20) while pork and seafood fried dumplings, though better, had a certain chewiness about them (12/20). The best dish was Chinese broccoli in oyster sauce, the vegetables lightly steamed and tender (14/20). This was much better than pork in lotus leaf rice, the clumps of rice in the lotus leaf dense and almost chalky in texture, the pork inside overcooked (10/20).

The bill came to AUD 41 (£27) with just jasmine tea to drink, though portions were large and there was more food than I wished to finish. Service was brisk and efficient. Overall this was decent enough dim sum, but not somewhere to which I would rush back.

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