To me, Sunday is a day of rest where you can take things at a slower pace and enjoy the last of the weekend before going back to work.
But this Sunday was slightly different as I decided I would join nine other Sydney Yum Cha Lovers from the Meetup group and indulge myself with delicious yum cha dishes until my belly was stuffed and content!
Today we headed to the Palace Chinese Restaurant situated on Castlereagh Street near David Jones in Sydney city and I arrived slightly before 11.30am where our host had already secured a large round table for us. I have been to this restaurant once or twice before so I knew the food was good and was excited to try more – lots more!
The great thing about doing yum cha in a big group is that you are able to try many more dishes, rather than just a few if there are just two of you. However, pace is important and shovelling food down your throat sounds like a great idea, but you’ll end up over ordering and waddling out of the restaurant instead!
As customary, I cleansed my palate with the fresh tea placed on our table and then the chaos began! Luckily I let my fellow yum cha lovers order from the trolleys that wheeled past us with tempting delights. As I don’t have yum cha often I didn’t really know what dishes were what. However, I was in safe hands as we started with some Prawn Rice Noodles which were actually really yummy.
After this I savoured the delights of Sticky Rice which came intricately wrapped up in a banana leaf, followed by my favourite Steamed Prawn and Pork Dim Sum. So far every dish was mouth-wateringly delicious and the service was good, although smiles from the staff are not a common sight!
Next up came more dumplings including Steamed Prawn Dumplings, Steamed Duck Dumplings and Steamed Mixed Vegetable Dumplings. In between all these dumplings we decided to sensibly get some Poached Green Vegetables to help us feel slightly healthier – even if they were coated in oyster sauce, it’s green!
And then it was another cup of tea before diving back in, spinning the table and see what’s up for grabs, whilst trying to operate the chopsticks, which for some reason I was failing at today! I tried some Taro Pork Dumplings which I hadn’t had before, but I described this dish as “interesting” and actually particularly moreish, as I went in for two more during the course of our yum cha dining experience. There was also some meatballs to try, but I thought these were ok and nothing worth getting excited about.
From here other delights included Spring Rolls, Prawn Toast and Sesame Prawn Rolls (I wonder how many prawns are devoured a day here?!) as well as some Pan fried Rice Noodles and some Beancurd Rolls.
Now of course, every time I have had yum cha, some bizarre dishes always appear, normally Chicken Feet which I’m not the biggest fan of. However, someone at our table loved organs and wanted Tripe, which I have to say isn’t my favourite dish, but isn’t horrific either. Personally I wouldn’t order it though!
Now we were starting to get full, but of course we had left room for dessert – the best part for many. For me, I’m not the greatest lover of sweet dishes, but the Mango Pancakes here are actually delicious, as is the Mango Sago. I avoided the Coconut Jelly as I’m not a fan of coconut, but it did look pretty and had a good wobble to it, as any jelly should!
Overall, this was a great yum cha experience amongst lovely people with a great variety of dishes which were served hot and came around frequently. We spent approximately $30 each and were here for a good hour and a half – well worth it in my opinion.
If you are looking to come here for Yum Cha then I would recommend getting here early as bookings are not required for yum cha. The Palace Chinese Restaurant operates on a “first in, first serve” basis and yum cha operates daily between 11am to 3pm Monday to Friday and 10.30am to 3pm on the weekends.
Palace Chinese Restaurant – I will be seeing you again soon!