Tai Tung is one of the restaurants at the Wing Yip centre in Croydon. A Chinese place, it does dim sum (between 11.00 and 16.00) and a range of meat, fish, seafood, rice and noodle dishes. It is really popular at weekends, so we ended up eating upstairs where there were a few more spare seats.
It is quite nicely laid out – they manage to get a lot of people in without it feeling cramped, though it might have felt different downstairs (see featured photo).
I confess I was a little scared by the order slip…clearly they don’t expect many non-Chinese readers to visit. Fortunately there was an English menu (which also let me pretend to fiancée that my attempts to learn Chinese weren’t virtually non-existent). The waiting staff are a mixture of slightly fearsome aunties and young British Chinese, so you should be able to get by.
We went for dim sum, mostly, augmented with a couple of dishes. Fiancée thought the aromatic duck was a little dry but had good flavour. It is shredded at your table so you know you are getting what you paid for.
Yoo tiao cheong fun (crispy savoury dough sticks wrapped in soft steamed rice noodle sheet) were great, managing to be really crispy on the inside, while having a soft but not slimy noodle exterior. The light soy and spring onion worked well with chilli oil and vinegar to make a balanced sauce that the dough soaked up deliciously.
Vegetarian spring rolls had an interesting filling of mushroom and finely sliced babycorn, but I prefer a filo pastry roll to the beancurd skin these had, so they didn’t quite work for me. Fiancée said her fried prawn dumplings were very savoury and had a lot of filling, though the dumpling was a little thick.
Fried doughnuts with egg filling were a disappointment to me, and a welcome surprise for her, as – instead of the runny sweet yolk I was expecting and love, but she dislikes – the filling was a lotus paste style egg confection. Still nice, but I do enjoy the ooze.
Siew mai, little steamed parcels of pork mince with prawns and mushrooms, were described as good because they had chunks of pork in, rather than being a homogenised paste. There were four, but someone really likes them and jumped in before the picture was taken…
While we didn’t think all of the food was great, there don’t seem to be many places in Croydon which do such a range of dim sum, and it is quite a nice setting, so if you fancy a traditional Chinese brunch, it is where you want to go.
Address: 544 Purley Way, Croydon CR04NZ