Let's be upfront about one thing right from the start: Oriental Yum Cha has garnered its share of bad online reviews since it opened in February 2013.
So when a friend announced she'd scored a great Scoopon deal and was treating me to lunch at this Fortitude Valley restaurant recently, I didn't have high expectations.
Which only made my experience at Oriental Yum Cha on the day that much more surprising and enjoyable. The food was plentiful, the tea abundant, the service efficient and the surroundings sleek, modern and airy.
It's fair to say you won't be blown away by the originality of the offerings - Oriental Yum Cha's menu features all the usual suspects - steamed dumplings (pork, prawn, mixed seafood, vegetarian), mince beef balls, satay squid, chicken feet, barbeque pork buns, spring rolls and custard tarts.
But all are done deliciously well and the trolleys roll past with a great degree of regularity, so you're never left casting around in a bid for the wait staff's attention. Or at least we weren't on this occasion.
Oriental Yum Cha is situated just up the road from the Emporium Hotel, in the HQ Building which used to house Siana Valley. The floor-to-ceiling glass windows create a fresh, open atmosphere, in sharp contrast to the almost claustrophobically-confined spaces typical of more traditional yum cha restaurants.
If yum cha isn't your thing, the good news is that a la carte options are also available.These include char kway tiew ($12.90), Mongolian lamb with rice ($13.90) and combination chow mein ($15.90). Specialties of the house also include whole Peking duck ($59.90), salt and pepper flounder ($26.90) and crispy brown worms (yes, really, for $22.90).
A range of banquet options priced from $33.90 per person to $52.90 per person are available for those with bigger appetites who happen to be visiting in groups of four or more.
Dumplings and spice and all things nice. Oriental Yum Cha image.