Update February 2018: since our original blog, we have returned to Chapas on a number of occasions bringing more friends to this establishment. Our love affair with this place continues, just like the enthusiasm of the owners continues. They continue to develop new dishes to entice, not to mention most recently their new dessert additions. I could not post the delectable death by chocolate dessert of deconstructed bubble tea which you can see on our instagram page. if you are a fan of great food, consistently done well with insatiable passion, you will love the vibes on your palate and tummies. Not only are the owners Hugh and Karen ever so passionate each time you see them, the staff are knowledgable, friendly and more than willing to assist in an incredible evening for your no matter how many times you visit. How many places can you say this about?
So we like dim sum and we like tapas. It takes two very clever Architects to come up with Chapas….Chinese Tapas, why didn’t anyone think of this earlier???
This place was recommended by a friend and so we went for a quick eat and run after work. The decor was modern, funky, with Asian flavours to remind us the main inspiration for their food. The welcome was warm and you immediately feel at ease and at home with the cool (as in dude…) yet warm service.
It was just the two of us and as usual our eyes were much bigger than our stomachs. We were highly intrigued with the menu offerings as some items were same same but different. On this occasion I could not go past the steamed seafood dumpling platter. Four plump artistically created dumplings made with lobster, prawns, coriander, scallops and cuttlefish. The steamed mushroom dumplings were deliciously filled with enoki, king oyster, shitake and truffle oil, just morish. The pan fried Mama Mui’s dumplings were crispy on the outside and yummy on the inside. No wonder we did not feel gluggy and thick in the stomach after devouring all these dumplings, they were all made fresh on the premise, using the freshest, highest quality meats, seafood and vegetables. All colours are natural dyes from food and most dumpling skins were gluten free. Definitely no sight of mass-produced frozen and re-heated dumplings here!
On this occasion, we also could not resist the bao of the week, which was filled with flavorsome brisket, their crispy squid tentacles were perfectly fried and the mother of all hot and numbing crispy chicken was true to it’s reputation. We left there far too happy to share our amazing experience with friends, so a few weeks later, we bought troops….well a couple of friends anyways.
This time, we enjoyed all the dumplings we’d ordered on our previous visit as well as Chinese style BBQ pork, which was tender and moist (gives the ones hanging in the window a run for their money), the fried tofu married really well with the fried crushed salted garlic and chilli, no one can go pass a crispy pork belly dish and this dish did not disappoint with it’s pairing of pumpkin puree, and the Chapalicious fried rice with just the right amount of all ingredients to bind all this mouthwatering food together.
Believe it or not even though we were so chocka block, the owners convinced us to share their specialty dessert, the spicy semifreddo. The multi-taste explosion in your mouth is highly recommended.
So, one morning when hunting for something other than bacon and eggs on toast for breakfast we remembered the owners telling us they are open for dim sum and brunch. Our tummies and taste buds left extremely chuffed after enjoying bacon and mozzarella (incredible idea!) wontons, my husband reckons the Xiao long baos were the best he has every eaten, crispy pork belly, salt and pepper boneless chicken and of course more dumplings.
I needed to find another excuse to spread my discovery of this wonderful food, so a celebratory family brunch was booked for nine of us. This gave me a license to really go nuts. Besides all other items we’d previously enjoyed, we had the porridge with shredded Chinese spiced duck & slow cooked egg (real Asian comfort food), lamb & fennel dumplings, coriander & prawn dumplings, prawn & scallop dumplings, glutinous sticky rice, steamed greens (the gai lan was so fresh) and lava egg yolk custard buns.
Our table could not rave enough about the food they’d just enjoyed. According to the coffee drinkers, to top it off, the Chai latte was awesome and their coffees were excellent too!
Did I mention this place is a definite must try??