29 Nine 99
29 Nine 99 provides a yum cha and teahouse experience with a few Australian twists.
Owner, artist and sometime chef, Na Lan, started making dumplings for friends in the area before setting up shop in 2008. Now 29 Nine 99 is a restaurant, shop and art exhibition space, with a community garden attached at the rear.
Whenever Na Lan and husband Reg Buckland feel it’s right, they rotate different art through the rear indoor space, including some of their own paintings, prints and etchings. At the front, they sell teapots and cups, original art works, Chinese decorations, babies’ booties, scarves, jewellery, and soaps.
As a diner, you’ll choose between six, eight, 10 or 12 courses, plus a tea to match. If tea’s not for you, there’s a small wine and beer list as well as some non-alcoholic beverages.
The wait staff will ply you with dumplings, steamed buns and desserts according to the chef’s choice, unless you specify dislikes or allergies. In all, there are more than 30 to try including, lamb, beef, pork and many vegetarian and gluten-free dumplings.
If you plan on visiting on a weekend or in a large group, book in advance. The restaurant’s sheer popularity sees it regularly turn away customers.