Yum Cha at Hinchinbrook? Who would have thought! Upstairs (and I say stairs as the lift wasn't working this night) in a brand new half way shopping centre along Hoxton Park Road is the inconspicuous New Flower Drum H Chinese Restaurant.
Inconspicuous as the banner at the front has partly collapsed and we didn't know where the restaurant was located.
Oh well, we know it's here somewhere and we manage to climb the stairs to find the entrance of this large open plan restaurant.
This place is not a traditional type Yum Cha with a cart zipping from table to table. This is a-la-carte Yum Cha. There is also a very standard looking Chinese menu and two pages of what is seemingly Taiwanese specialties.
Seconds after we sit down we are asked if we are ready to order. This must be a record. We plead for a few more seconds and in the meantime we are served water and Jasmine tea.
Our table peruses the menu and the four us concentrate on the Yum Cha options and a Taiwanese dish.
All the Yum Cha dish's come in threes which makes sharing amongst four a challenge! We order a steamed spinach dumpling and a prawn dumpling ($7.30) and a steamed BBQ Pork Bun ($6.30). We also order chicken with sweet corn sauce which sounds non-conventional and did not appear on all the menus.
The service is not particularly friendly and feels more like an industrial workshop. It's very perfunctory and impersonal. The waiter takes the orders, they deliver the dishes.
No one comes around asking if everything is OK. Which it's not. The fried calamari with spicy salt ($8.30) is hard and chewy and it's not calamari but squid tentacles. It's rejected by everyone at the table and eventually, to their credit, after someone is eventually flagged down, the dish is taken away and we are not charged.
The Yum Cha dishes are all just OK. They are all stock standard simple fares and unspectacular. The fish with sweet corn ($16.80) is something else altogether. The sweet corn is well, very sweet cornish, not something I would normally associate with Chinese cooking. I can't have too much of it.
The live entertainment this Saturday evening is quite annoying. It's just too loud to carry on a proper conversation across a large table.
We finish off with some mango pancake which is quite satisfactory after several somewhat unsatisfactory dishes.
It's a little too early to wipe off the New Flower Drum H restaurant altogether. I'll give them one more chance. It won't be a Friday or Saturday night however and by then they should have had the lift repaired.