By now, you probably know that I am a little bit of a yum-cha fiend. Luckily for me, my family are all the same and similarly, never like to pass up the opportunity to yum cha either. When I recently was in Sydney visiting my sister, we decided to embark on a little yum cha mission prior to doing a spot of shopping in the CBD. As my sis is a Sydney local, she often hunts around and although Palace Chinese isn't her favourite Yum Cha destination, it is pretty decent fare right in the city, so it is a spot she often visits.
As there were only two of us, we couldn't go too insane, but still helped ourselves to a good selection of dumplings and other offerings. First off the rank were some of Amelia's (my sis) old favourites, steamed pork buns. The buns were really good, lots of saucy and tasty pork packing out the soft and sweet, steamed bun. These didn't taste like the generic pork bun and had a little something special.
Steamed snow pea and prawn dumpling sounded like an enticing option but ended up being a little bland. The prawns and snow peas were fresh, but not very flavoursome.
In stark contast, were the beautiful garlic chive and prawn dumplings which were tasty as can be. The oustide skin was soft and almost sticky and the inside was fresh, hot and moreish, so moreish, I could have had another serve all to myself. These were definitely the best dumplings of the day.
Obviously I wouldn't be myself If I didn't order some scallops when they were being offered! These scallop dumplings were quite good. Although halved and not as fat as I'd have liked, they were perfectly steamed resulting in a really tender outcome. Sometimes, scallops become rubbery when steamed, but in this case, it wasn't so! Easy to bite through, it was nice to see a real scallop in the dumpling other than the dried scallop that sometimes appears in these situations.
At this point, the efficient and pleasant service was very apparent. Staff were watchful and very helpful which is often a stark contrast to other Chinese restaurants. Getting more tea or asking about ordering dishes was no problem at all, and everyone was eager to please, even when there was a bit of confusion due to lost in translation moments.
We had almost eaten enough food, but found some space for the BBQ soy chicken. My sister raves and I had to try. Luckily we did!! Silky, tender and beautifully moist, with a flavour packed skin, this was without a doubt the best BBQ soy chicken I have EVER had. Ever. Seriously, this chicken was moist, almost so moist it was wet! The skin had a great depth of flavour and as it was served with the bones removed, it was incredibly easy to eat. I almost wanted to order another serve to take away. If you are trying to entice a vegetarian over to the dark side (like I may have been known to do- Sorry Soph!!), get them to eat this chicken, that's seriously how good it is!!
In short, Palace Chinese is centrally located, has some good dumplings, great service and AMAZINGly good BBQ soy chicken. It's in the perfect spot to fit in a little bit of yum cha before hitting Pitt Street, and well, whenever you are in the city really! There is no bad time for yum cha. Note: Sorry can't remember the prices but the total bill was around $40 which included 15% off for leaving before 12:30 p.m.
When to go: Whenever you can! You must try the BBQ soy chicken. You will not regret it.
Tell me readers, how often do you go to Yum Cha?
Shop 38, Level 1
133-145 Castlereagh Street
Sydney City NSW 2000
02 9283 6288
Monday- Friday 11am - 3pm
Saturday - Sunday 10:30 am - 3pm
5pm till late