Very cheap eats: July 2009

This is one of the most memorable and best value dishes I ate while briefly in Sydney – the $6.80 Tofu with pork floss and 1,000 year old eggs – at Din Tai Fung at World Square. I think it was even better than the Shao-long bao, which has become so fashionable at Yum Cha nowadays.

I was eating with Shelley from SBS Food who was far more adept at eating these punchy little bags of flavour, using a technique that ensures that they didn’t burst down her front. Having only been introduced to these fashionable little soup-filled scrotums this year, I use the extreme and risky eating technique of shoving them in my gob. I just hope that one day I will learnt that this is a fast track to stained cloths and a burnt tongue.

Shelly, however wasn’t into the tofu dish. And I can see why. The floss looks like the result of shaving a brown jumper with a Remington Fuzz-Away. But I fell for the wobbly cold smooth tofu, the temperature itself providing a contrast to the woolly pork-flavoured floss and the black eggs.

The shame was the nut-like testical of pork that rattled inside the above buns.

Nevertheless, the value was terrific – the total cost for lunch for two with tea was $45.80 – and I would return again.