On a Friday you may have to wait 20 minutes if you arrive in the midst of the lunch rush, but usually it's only a five minute wait at any other time.
Once inside, we are quickly seated towards the back of the restaurant and offered drinks. The food trolleys quickly follow. First up is the popular steamed dumpling trolley and our table is instantly laden with dim sim, prawn and garlic dumplings and pork buns.
The dim sim is sweet, fresh and hot. The wonton wrapper that coats it, is very thin and delicate. These are great dim sim.
The prawn and garlic dumplings are dining companion, Rhys', favourite. We ordered two servings of these today; one at the beginning of lunch and one at the end. The dumplings were steamed fresh and were very moist. The first serving was only lightly garlicky but the second lot were substantially stronger.
At Sky Phoenix, the food always comes around quickly and as long as you want to keep eating, your table will always be filled with plates and bamboo steamers.
The rice noodle tray comes around and we select prawn rice noodles. I've had the BBQ Pork Rice noodles here in the past and can't recommend them, but the prawn ones are quite nice. You do however have to eat them straight away as they are only good as long as they are hot. They are very soft and the sauce makes them salty in flavour.
As the same carts begin to circulate past us, the woman pushing the cart who at first was offering us dishes by their English names, begins talking directly to Kenny, the Asian member of our party, in Cantonese.
The spring rolls here are great, they're long and fatter than your average spring roll. At Sky Phoenix you have a choice of chicken or vegetarian. We chose chicken and were not disappointed. They are crisp and meaty.
The scallop dumplings are probably my least favourite - though very meaty and large, they are fishy in flavour (unlike the prawn dumplings) and the dumpling coating is a touch too thick.
We finish our lunch with sticky rice. The consistency is quite mushy and gelatinous, but it is flavoursome, absorbing the taste of the stock sauce and the leaf it is wrapped in. Amongst the rice are pieces of pork, chicken and mushroom.
As we digest, we discuss the origin of Yum Cha - which means 'Drink tea". Traditionally in China, Yum Cha was eaten for breakfast as an accompaniment to the tea. Elderly members of the community would begin their Yum Cha at 8:00am or so in the morning and peruse the paper as they drank tea and sampled a variety of Yum Cha dishes until 12:00pm or 1:00pm in the afternoon.
Sky Phoenix is popular with CBD workers and is always buzzing any day of the week.