Yum Cha serves traditional Chinese cuisine, including dim sum with a modern twist: It’s colorful, playful, and fun. These creative dim sums are are truly a feast for the eyes (and the camera), and are bound to add some cheerful quirk to your Instagram feed. The name “yum cha”, which literally means “drink tea” in Cantonese, has become the term for Chinese style brunch tea. A brunch which involves drinking Chinese tea and eating dim sum.
Finding Yum Cha (Tsim Sha Tsui) was a bit of a challenge as it’s located on the third floor of a nondescript building. We had reservations for 11:30, which is advertised as their opening time. However, when we got there, the huge place was pretty full. We’re talking over 3,000 sq ft huge. Their branch in Central is even twice the size! The place had lots of large tables where families shared dozens of dim sums. At 12:00 it was fully packed so we advise to reserve a table ahead.
The decor is a combination of modern and traditional chinese with accents of gold and grey. This applies to the plates and utensils as well, which promote aesthetic value and creativity. For some reason there were no windows for the most part so the place was rather darker than we’d hoped.
We were seated at the bar, which is not optimal when you’re sharing so many small plates, however it was pretty spacious and luckily the staff didn’t force different groups to sit together. On the bright side we were also able to see some action from the kitchen!
Apparently, Yum Cha didn’t hear about “saving paper – saving the environment”. Each table gets a pretty long paper menu with some pencils, and you’re supposed to tick the dishes you would like to order. We ordered only 5 dim sum dishes since it was pretty early in the day. After all, we had places to be and things to eat for the rest of the day.
When ordering you also get a tea kettle with a choice of flavor. Out of the three available options we picked the red dates tea, mostly because that’s the only flavor we could understand from our waitress’ broken english.
Not long after ordering, the dim sum plates started arriving, with no particular order, even though some of the dim sum were savory and some sweet.
Hot Custard Molted Buns (49HKD / $6 / 24.5₪)
The hot custard molten emoji bun was amazing. The bun itself was soft and the custard sweet. So good! As you poke the bun, its creamy filling slowly and hypnotically oozes out. It’s impressive how they managed to stuff so much custard into one small bun. This dish will make everyone in the table regress to the age of 5 and start playing with their food. Some poke in the front to make the bun “puke”, and some poke in the back to make it “poop”. Definitely a 2 in 1 dish.
Doggy Sausage Rolls (59HKD / $7.5 / 29.5₪)
While looking adorable, they failed to impress us with a sausage that wasn’t so good. The meat felt dry and tasted a bit funky.
BBQ Piggy Buns (49HKD / $6 / 24.5₪)
The pork BBQ were good. They had a little too much filling for my taste but the sweet and BBQ flavor was delicious.
Steamed Rose Floret Buns (49HKD / $6 / 24.5₪)
The roses had too little filling, and by “little” I mean I could barely taste any.
Baked Pineapple Puff (59HKD / $7.5 / 29.5₪)
Three small birds sitting in a cage. So cute! The pineapple was like a small cookie with jam-like filling. The cookie had great texture. Crisp, crumbly and soft.
The bill came up to 324HKD / $42 / 160₪. We were very surprised by the quality of the food. It wasn’t only visually appealing but for the majority – was actually pretty tasty. It’s a bit weird they don’t separate the sweet and savory dim sum on the menu, forcing you to guess which is what.
After wrapping up our meal we received a receipt in exchange for the checkbox menu. However unlike in other restaurants with similar “check box” systems, here you don’t take your receipt to the front of the house to check out. Instead you pay to your waitress like in regular restaurants.
Craving some more dim sum? Visit our post about the cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world!
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