So much has changed on the Gold Coast from my first visit in 1997 and years thereafter. It is now home to the world's first fashion brand hotel, Palazzo Versace, the bus station has a ferris wheel, and even my previous home on the Gold Coast, Sheraton Mirage has been upgraded.
Favourite places have come and gone, replaced by skyscrapers, but certain establishments like the Gold Coast Fishermen's Co-Operative and the Fisherman's Wharf Tavern have stood the test of time. As surely as the sun rises over the Pacific, one traditional Chinese restaurant has withstood the massive redevelopment of Broadbeach and continues to serve, I believe, one of the better yum chas on the Gold Coast since my first bite in 1997.
Not much has changed in my recent visit to Ming Palace. Neither the signs on the door leading to the first floor restaurant in Victoria Square nor the decor. Even the taste of the dim sums remain fairly consistent over the past 15 years. By the number of customers filling up the restaurant at 12pm on a weekday, its popularity with locals hasn't changed as well.
Ming Palace reminds me fondly of similar family restaurants in Hong Kong that serve Cantonese cuisine including freshly prepared dim sums on trolleys. The selection of more than 25 steamed, fried and baked items live up to the expectation of most yum cha customers. I particularly enjoy the steamed pork ribs, beef tripe, and the salt and pepper quail.
The saucing and textures are heavier to suit the Aussie palate but the din of Cantonese speaking customers, crowded seating, semi-bemused service, and waiters and waitresses fumbling over English-speaking orders will make any Hong Konger feel right at home. If you do not speak any Cantonese or Mandarin, fear not. The wonderful thing with trolly dim sums is you can always look around and point to what you're interested in.
Apart from Mandarin Court on Mermaid, Ming Palace remains my go-to-place for a Hong Kong style dim sum fix when on the Gold Coast.