I do not have a bad word to say about Yum Cha. When the weekend swings around and I’m not craving breakfast at Reuben Hill, my other Sunday morning kickstarter is a trolley chase at my favourite yum cha restaurant. Sky Phoenix is the choice for today and though not the most authentic of the big China Town experiences the dishes are reliably good (and conveniently located for a spot of Zara shopping pre or post your fill).
Not only do I love the Yum Cha at Sky Phoenix in the city, there are 10 things I love about yum cha wherever I might go.
1. Sneaking traditional lunch/dinner-style items into the breakfast window.
The only time I think a non-breakfast meal is acceptable before 12pm is when I’m having Yum Cha. Even though it un-tilts the universe.
Top 1 Dish: Gow Gee
2. Park the menu and feast your eyes.
Yum Cha is one of the few instances where pointing is perfectly acceptable and the menu is completely unnecessary.
Top 2 Dish: Shiu Mai
3. An opportunity to get the gang together.
When it comes to Yum Cha the more is most definitely the merrier. Grabbing a large table is perfect for groups, in fact the more people you have the broader range of dishes you can get your hands on!
Top 3 Dish: Char Siu Pork
4. It’s fine if you make a mess.
Where else is a stained tablecloth considered so acceptable? There’s spilt tea, chilli stains and splashed soy from a stray dumpling and no one seems to mind.
Top 4 Dish: slippery, fried rice noodle
5. The kids are alright.
Extending on point 4, the kids love ‘the yum cha’ and take pride of place at the lazy susan from their high chairs.
Top 5 Dish: Noodles
6. Doesn’t require commitment to a single dish. A smorgasbord of Asian treats.
Sometimes I can’t commit to a single dish preferring a banquet, degustatation or in this case, never ending stream of delicious chinese treats. Perfect.
Top 6 Dish: Peking Duck
7. It’s mobile.
When my high school friend Jacqueline Tan told me about how she spent her weekends pushing trollies at yum cha whilst I worked the drive-thru window at McDonald’s I had no idea of that massive gulf between our respective culinary offerings. I got the foxy headset but she got trolley duty and the added bonus of seeing the delight on people’s faces when you revealed your steamy offering.
Top 7 Dish: Green Vegetables
8.No waiting for your meal!
Well apart from the occasional queue once you’re seated at Yum Cha, it is game on.
Top 8 Dish: Pork Buns
9. Happy vegetarians!
Though there is a bit of a propensity to sneak a little pork or prawn into the mix, the vegetarian options availabe at Yum Cha are spectacular.
Top 9 Dish: Garlic Chives Dumpling
10. Custard Tarts.
That is all.
Top 10 Dish: Custard Tarts
77 Castlereagh Street, Sydney