I don't know about you, but when I go to a suburban sports club or RSL, all I expect them to serve me is a roast of the day! I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that a large percentage of the Auburn population were regular diners at Yum Yum Brasserie, a bistro in Auburn Soccer Club. The name might be corny but the food served here is restaurant-quality traditional Chinese... And it is so ridiculously cheap.
Catering to the family market, a few set menus are available. One of the most popular is the $23.50 set menu which includes a choice of 2 meat dishes, 1 vegetable dish, house soup and rice.
The house soup varies from week to week. On this particular visit, it is a fragrant and hearty concoction of lotus roots, carrot, peanuts, pork bone and dates.
The options for the meat and vegetable dishes on the set menus are endless - some to name are the Mongolian Beef, Chinese Broccoli (Gai Larn) with Oyster Sauce, Deep Fried Pork Ribs in Spicy Salt, Honey King Prawns and Pork Chops in Peking Sauce.
The Mongolian Beef is the first dish to arrive. It is rapidly sizzling on a cast-iron plate. The beef is tender and lightly coated in a rich flavoursome sauce. The Chinese Broccoli looks nothing like the neat arrangements I am so used to at yum cha - instead, they are chopped up into bite sized pieces and casually thrown onto a plate and dressed with a slug of oyster sauce.
The Deep-Fried Pork Ribs in Spicy Salt are slightly dry but are revitalised with an aromatic mixture of shallots, garlic, salt and chilli. It sits on a bed of crispy deep-fried vermicelli.
Surprising, the Honey King Prawns are also generous in serving size. The batter is crisp and the glossy sheen of honey coats each morsel perfectly. They're very addictive.
The Pork Chops are also divine in a tangy Peking Sauce.
For those who want something slightly more special, there's the a la carte menu which feature all of my favourite dishes - Deep Fried Duck with Yam ($16.80), Mud Crab ($33.80) and Hainanese Chicken ($12.80).
The Deep-Fried Duck with Yam is boneless duck on one end and creamy yam on the other, topped with a delicate crispy crust of more deep-fried goodness.
Mud Crab has been 'in season' recently and the price for it here is barely marked-up from its market value. You can get a small mud crab for about $29.90 or a large, like we have, for just $33.80. Have it fried in a buttery batter with salted egg yolk or served with e-fu noodles, garlic, ginger, shallots and plenty of sauce. Regardless of the cooking method, it is superb value.
There's a definite lack of ambiance and there's no table service, or any form of service for that matter. Plus don't look around for a pot of complimentary tea. They're at the DIY corner, in plastic jugs, along with the pile of plates, bowls, cutlery and napkins.
You have to set your own table so it is a bit like eating at home minus the cooking and washing. But in terms of a cheap eat, this has to be one of the greatest meal deals.
Yum Yum Brasserie
Auburn Soccer Club
5-7 Northumberland Road, Auburn, NSW
Phone: (02) 9646 3511
P.S. You may have noticed that the photo style in this post has changed. Relax, it's just an one-off thing... I didn't have my camera on me so had to use the trusty iPhone. If you have a few bucks to spare, the Camerabag app is my favourite photography app. It allows you to produce retro style photos with filters such as Colorcross, Instant, Magazine, 1974, Lolo, Plastic, Cinema, Silver, and 1962 - allowing you to achieve whatever you fancy - rich tones, dramatic colouring, hazy chemical colour-swapping or dynamic high-contrast black and white.
In this post, I've used the Helga filter which produces square-format images much like those from the old toy camera, with washed-out highlights and old-school vignetting.
Two bargains in one post. Awesome or what?