It’s easy to forget you’re on bustling King Street once you’re inside Luyu & Yumyum. The sparse layout, high ceilings and a bamboo installation aren’t typical of a classic, casual dumpling restaurant. Atypical is what owner David Kang aspires to – he creates dumplings that are healthy and a treat for your eyes.
“A lot of traditional Chinese food is very oily and very heavy, whereas we don’t use MSG,” says Kang. Every aspect of the menu is intricately planned out. Kang has made a point of sourcing local produce and has a wine list that includes biodynamic and organic wines.
Tea motifs can be seen in all aspects of the restaurant, from the name (Luyu was the first man in China to write a treatise about tea), to the teapots on the tables, a menu that includes the famous antioxidant-rich Moringa tea, as well as tea-infused dumplings and cocktails.
Each dish is a mini artwork. There is the Flying Seafood Dumpling that is made to look like it has wings ¬– a nod to the flying fish roe inside with scallop, fish ball and prawn.
The traditional Xiao Long Bao soup dumplings have been renamed the Mr Luyu Starburst Dumpling, made from chicken soup. Dyed many colours, it bursts in your mouth. From May 6, the Hedgehog Dumpling will also be on the menu. It’s made from Chinese and king oyster mushrooms, celery, carrots and baby bok choy. It’s almost too cute to eat.
For mains there is roasted duck cooked with plum and basil, or vegetables stir-fried in Moringa tea. A highlight of the cocktail list is Grecian’s Garden, a mix of fresh mint, Citron Vodka, fresh lychee and elderflower.
Luyu & Yumyum
Level 1, 196 King Street, Newtown
(02) 9519 9888
Tue to Sun 12pm–3pm, 5pm–11pm