Service at this stalwart Cantonese restaurant starts at midday and keeps up a frenzied turnover until 4am. Tank-to-wok dining is the specialty here, but no single dish has a bigger fan base than the XO Sauce Pippies, which has been on the menu since day one. The dish combines fresh, sweet pippies – carefully removed from the heat just as they open – pungent house-made chilli XO sauce and a scattering of spring onions.

The tip from the kitchens of Golden Century is to make sure you don’t overcook the tiny pippies, two to three minutes in the boiling water should be just long enough. Also, store-bought XO sauce is a great addition to the pantry and works really well for any stir-fry.

Golden Century's XO Sauce Pippies
Serves four


4 tablespoons of peanut or vegetable oil
150g dried vermicelli noodles, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, then drained
1 teaspoon cornflour
1kg pippies
2 tablespoons XO sauce
100ml chicken stock
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 bunch of spring onions, green and white parts, sliced


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Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan. Lay the vermicelli evenly over the pan and fry until lightly browned. Flip and do the same for the other side. Remove to a large serving plate and keep warm.

Mix the cornflour with 2 tablespoons of water until smooth.

Heat a wok over high heat. Add 1 litre of water and the pippies, cover and bring to the boil. Remove the pippies as they open and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a wok over high heat, add the XO sauce and stir through quickly. Add the stock, sugar, salt and soy sauce and simmer for 1 minute. Add the pippies and cook for 1-2 minutes until the shells are fully open. Add the cornflour mixture and the spring onions and toss to combine.

Serve the pippies on top of the pan-fried vermicelli.