I was not very familiar with the Chinese dining style of yum cha before coming to Australia, but I’m quickly becoming a fan. For those that may not know, yum cha is a Chinese morning or afternoon tea with a variety of small dishes. It’s really popular here in Sydney and most Chinese restaurants offer this during the day.
I read a recommendation on the Facebook community page Sydney Food Bloggers, of which I’m a member, for Palace Chinese Restaurant in the city – which I was told serves ‘the best yum cha in Sydney’ – as big fans of Chinese food, how could we not try it out! It’s quite a large restaurant, up on the first floor of Piccadilly Tower on Castlereagh Street in the city. We went on a Saturday lunchtime and it was really busy, which is usually a good sign. There were several trolleys of different dishes coming round and the staff were very keen to offer us plenty of dishes as soon as we sat down!
We started with a serving of prawn dumplings and pork dumplings to share, served with chilli and soy sauces on the side. These were both really good with a generous amount of filling in each. It’s a tough call, but I think I preferred the prawn ones and could eat these all day if I could!
Next up was the highlight was our lunch, and my favourite dish of the day – prawn toast. This was quite different to prawn toast that I’d had in the past, as it used a large whole prawn on top of a small piece of fried bread and all coated in batter together. Wow – it was amazing and I loved this new take on a traditional dish! So tasty and not at all greasy, which can sometimes be a problem with these fried style dishes. I’ll come back to this restaurant just for this dish alone!
We then moved on to peking duck pancakes, which unfortunately are not on the standard yum cha menu and so we had to order them especially. They were a little pricey for this reason – but they were also much larger than yum cha pancakes I’ve seen before. There was so much meat in each pancake, with cucumber, spring onion and hoi sin sauce. We probably didn’t need two each in hindsight as they were very filling, but this didn’t stop me finishing them up!
This was indeed fantastic yum cha – thank you Sydney Food Bloggers community! I recommend popping in for lunch and trying it yourself. I want to go back soon and try more of the dishes on the menu – alongside more of that prawn toast of course!