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Yum Cha in Chinatown

Home > Sydney > Food and Wine | Restaurants
Published October 7th 2010
Bursts of steam, silver trays and suited men only hint at the Yum-Cha experience in Sydney's China Town. Wedged between the CBD and majestic Sydney University, this area is a shamble of cheap take-out and discount retail. Yet delve deeper into the crowded alleyways and through a few inconspicous doors to be transported on an culinary adventure.

It begins as you are ushered to a table in a room better described as a banquet hall than restaurant. Among the throng of hungry diners, silver carts weave between tables. Wafts of honey, oil, sesame and salt permeate the room. Stacked with anything from crispy prawn dumplings to soft pork buns, these agile carts are a smorgasbord on wheels. You are handed an indecipherable slip of paper in which the waitress will tick as you order from her cart. This somewhat bottomless bill allows for ridiculous consumptions that, when you're sure you can't eat another morsel, includes the final fresh mango and whipped cream pancake. Yes, there is a dessert cart too!

Thankfully, eating your weight in noodles is more likely to cause stomach ache than poverty- the prices of most dishes are reasonable. Marigolds Restaurant serve assorted dumplings, buns, stir-fried vege's and noodle dishes for around $4-$5 a dish. More obscure concoctions- considered delicacies in Oriental cuisine and including chicken feet and chicken innards- are slightly pricier than their "plain" counterparts. For the culinary Columbus, enjoy a challenging exploration through deep-fried tripe and marinated chicken claw at East Coast Restaurant. Tea is often complimentary and poured piping hot as you are seated. Four or five shared dishes plus a dessert will cost you on average $25. This digests more easily if you remember Yum-Cha is breakfast and lunch in one.

Asia's take of tapas is a frenzied, delicious experience yet its popularity comes with crowds. Be sure to arrive no later than 11:30am for swift service and the largest selection of dishes. Public transport is the best option as most of the Yum-Cha restaurants hug the corners of Central Train Station. Golden Harbour Restaurant lies in the heart of Haymarket and is an easy walk from Central Station. Inner city traffic and wallet-bruising car parks make driving a less desirable option.

For a delicious alternative to bacon and eggs, take family or friends for Yum-Cha and enjoy East Asia's version of Sunday brunch. Do remember, this experience should be taken with pace- the array of dishes require a few seated hours and time for your stomach to catch up to your eyes!
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Why? Because there is always room for more colours on the palate
When: Every day 10am-3pm
Where: Haymarket (China Town), Sydney
Cost: Around $25
Comments
haven't had "complimentary chinese tea" for years - except when business is really slow . Do you mean "East Ocean Restaurant" - theyno longer use carts - you order by number and pictures - owner thinking of providing cart with "plastic lookalikes". Menu card is well explained in English though
By holde - reader
Wednesday, 6th of October @ 08:04 pm
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