It was my nephew’s birthday a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t realised it until I called and spoke to my mum on the phone. I have to admit that I am not good at remembering people’s birthday except my parents and my significant other half. The others I have to jot down in my Calendar on my iPAD, and using the “Repeat” feature to repeat the event each year indefinitely.
There are too many things to remember that if I don’t jot down, I may miss the important date, especially if I am over occupied on the day or few days prior. Sounds familiar? How many time have you missed someone’s birthday and you went “Oops! I am sorry. Happy belated birthday” or “Let me make it up to you” that sort of things. What about if you forget to pay your bill? Especially, your credit card bill or your monthly mortgage? The bank won’t take this kindly and will slap you with an interest as soon as the bank computer system hits the due period.
I jot down practically everything that I need to remember; such as, future social meetings with friends and/or family, future booked holiday trips and travel plan, due payments for utility bills, credit cards, rental and mortgage, close friends’ birthdays, mum’s allowance and my dog’s 3 monthly all wormer tablet.
I called my nephew after I spoke to my mum on the phone. Offer to take him out on a belated birthday. He suggested yum-cha at Gold Leaf, Dockland. Excellent idea, I told him, for a few reasons – 1. I will jump at the idea of a good yum-cha at any time, 2. I have not been to yum-cha yet since I arrived in Melbourne 5 weeks ago, 3. I have never been to Gold Leaf, and 4. I have never been to Dockland.
We arranged to meet on Saturday at 12noon.
I knew very little about Dockland, which is on the wrong side of Melbourne CBD and Southern Cross Station. There has been a few negative press writeup on the area. Dockland is a new residential, retail and office precinct with “no soul”. It is not a happening place, and extremely quiet outside the working hours.
I took a train at South Yarra Station to the Southern Cross Station. I was not well prepared. Not knowing where is the exact location of the restaurant, I had to use my iPhone to guide me. Clicked on “Google Map” for direction. It was ten minutes to 12 noon. I was not going to make it. It was too far to walk in ten minutes. I walked very fast, and took every opportunity to snap some photos along the way.
It was very, very quiet. I thought the entire area is well layout next to the water and tree lined street. If this is in Penang, it will be buzzing with cars and people! People will be flocking there. So, why is Dockland so “dead”??? I read that it is mostly block after block of high rise residential towers. There is nothing to do. The area needs more restaurants, cafes and shops. The only place that has any people around is where the restaurant is located – Star Circus, Harbour Town, with a handful of factory outlet shops and restaurants. But, that is not enough to draw a big crowd there.
I arrived 15 minutes late at the restaurant. But, my nephew was later than me. He was stuck in the traffic. He arrived 15 minutes later. It is a big restaurant and looked very spacious. I expected to see all the tables taken, but it was not. The back section of the restaurant had a few empty big tables. It has a friendly and relax atmosphere. Not the usual rude and frenetic treatment you get at the more popular Chinatown’s yum-cha places.
Between two of us, we ate eight different small dishes – “Siu Mai”, “Char Siew Sow”, “Tau Far”, Scallops dumpling, Yam cake, Pan Fried Pork Dumpling, Egg Custard and the most unusual which was my nephew’s favourite is a salted egg sweet paste steamed dumpling.
I actually like the place, the food and the service. I even gave a generous tips which I normally wouldn’t at yum-cha because it was rude and fast. But, not at Gold Leaf. We sat there for 2 1/2 hours, taking our time to eat and talk. I couldn’t remember how times our tea pot was refilled! I found the serving size of each of the little dishes were larger than other yum-cha places, with chunkier meat and seafood. All the 8 dishes were superb. It is worth going back again and again. The only problem is the area. It was unexciting and uninteresting. I hope something can be done to uplift the area with a bit more life and “happenings”.
If you are a tourist and visiting Melbourne, you can take the City Circle Tram, which is free. If you live in Melbourne, and love a good yum-cha and like to try a new place, then Gold Leaf is the place. My nephew told me the first hour parking is free, and the next hour is a flat $5 for the whole day.
Gold Leaf Dockland is located on Level 1, Shop 10-11, Star Circus, Harbour Town, Dockland. Phone number: 9670-1128.
There are 4 other Gold Leaf at Burwood, Springvale, Preston and Sunshine.