Yum cha is a weekly ritual for many. There’s nothing like dining in with a large group of friends while the trolleys roll past, hungry diners snatching up the towering piles of petite, individual dishes.
And while this experience this is perhaps the origin of the recent addition of a yum cha menu at Neil Perry’s Spice Temple, the experience is much more refined at the Cantonese eatery at Crown.
Like wandering down into a dark, underground club or opium den in Shanghai, lights are dim on the lower level and eating dumplings at midday might still feel like a late night snack. The yum cha menu is certainly an attempt to give the sophisticated dining room at Spice Temple are more casual edge, and the large affordable menu of small share dishes reflect this. Bamboo baskets filled with fried prawn wontons, chive dumplings and braised pork and bean curd balls might arrive at the table alongside steamed pork ribs, sesame mung bean noodles, braised eggplant and with silken tofu and tea-smoked duck with sweet peanuts.
The dishes keep coming and for the more adventurous there are yum cha favourites of chicken feet with glutinous rice, tripe with black bean sauce and white jade rolls with a gelatinous crab sauce.
And yum cha just wouldn’t be complete with out the quintessential sweet egg tart to finish, which are baked to order and best washed down with pot of Jasmine Pearls tea.
Gone are the days of lazy Susans, sweet doughy, cloud-like BBQ pork buns and gluggy noodles to weigh you down before the afternoon even begins – this yum cha is fresh and light with zing and spice and is some of the best you’ll find outside of Hong Kong. Despite its casino locale, Perry continues to diversify his ever-expanding offering, and we’re into it.
The yum cha menu a Spice Temple is available seven days a week from midday to 3pm.