Posted by: mikeydude | June 9, 2009

Happy Gathering Cardiff Restaurant: Dim Sum Review (6/10)

The wife loves Dim Sum (essentially a chinese tapas) … a LOT. So pretty much every Sunday we have it for lunch. In Cardiff there are 2 options: Happy Gathering and Riverside Cantonese restaurants. We go to both quite regularly, but today we went to the former with a friend.

Happy Gathering (commonly known as Happy G) is located in the rather appropriately named Canton area of Cardiff. Easy to find and plenty of parking space at the back. Please note that this place is very popular with the local chinese and so getting a seat on a Sunday lunchtime is rather tricky at times! Tables are close together and service is usually manic, but staff are generally polite and unobtrusive.

I would ALWAYS recommend newbies to Dim Sum to try it at Happy G, as their Dim Sum menu is printed in picture form as well as written menus, which is brilliant also for people who can’t read chinese very well like me (pictured).

menu 2menu 1

Anyway onto the food…. eventually once the girls were done deciding we ordered 5 small dishes and 1 large dish. I’ll describe them one by one. BTW, for those who are new to Dim Sum, they all come out one by one in quick succession so it’s not course by course as such.

char siu pastry

This roast pork pastry (aka char siu so) is a classic chinese pastry. The pastry was a bit too doughy for me, but still very tasty and worthy start to lunch.

steamed veal ribs

This is one of my favourites at this place. Tender veal ribs steamed in chilli and black bean garlic. Can’t really go wrong with this combination. Yummy.

fried prawn and chive dumpling

This dumpling is filled with prawn and chives and shallow fried. It’s quite a greasy dish, but the chives and prawn go well together. Well executed in my opinion. Quite a generous size as well…

pork and prawn dumpling

The wife decided to give this one a try as a change from the classic Siu Mai pork dumpling. This one has prawns and other various veg inside. The texture was nice enough – tasted fresh and recently made, but nahh.. i think I prefer the traditional siu mai dumpling. Nice idea though.

hokkien fried rice

Ahhh… hokkien fried rice, or what the Cantonese called “Fook Kin Fried Rice” much to my amusement 😀
I must say that over the past 9 years of me coming to this place, this dish just never lost its appeal. Even my In-Laws from Singapore order it when they’re over here! It looks fantastic; consisting of simple egg fried rice topped with this lush meat (prawns, duck, roast pork) and veg (mushrooms, peas, carrots) in a thick sauce. Absolutely delicious. However on this occasion it disappointed as there were no prawns in it, and my goodness does that make a difference! The credit crunch is hitting hard it seems….

coconut pudding

The last dish is a cold dessert, and chosen because of the warm weather. It was much better than I expected since I’m not really a dessert fan. It’s like a coconut milk jelly… but then its consistency is something between a jelly and a mousse. I thought it was delicious. I recommend all your dim sum people should try it.

Well then all that for £20 which fed 3 people and included chinese tea. I needed a takeaway box to take home a good one persons portion of hokkien fried rice! Can’t really fault it for value for money. Nevertheless I need to compare it to standards as well as my own preferences. Dim Sum can only ever reach a certain level in my opinion no matter how well done. For the pinnacle of Dim Sum head to London and try Pearl Liang or Yuatacha. It is for that reason that I have scored it a 6. I will still be visiting this place on a regular basis I’m sure…

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Responses

  1. yup….im sure we still need to visit Happy G on a regular basis :P…..thx for WY….

  2. I love the mooli cakes! They are really quite perfect. Them and the prawn and chive dumplings are really stellar!

    • Hey Gwen,

      Thanks for the comment. Sorry for the late reply… I’ve just returned from New York! My sis loves fried mooli cakes too. At Happy G they seem to offer 2 types; the standard square type fried and the more oily version of cubes sitting in a basket of chillis and peppers. I prefer the former to be honest! As for the dumplings, I still order those every time I go 😀


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