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Where to Find the Best Yum Cha in Sydney for 2023

It's a truth universally acknowledged that it is impossible to leave yum cha feeling hungry.
By Kara Jensen-Mackinnon
April 01, 2023
By Kara Jensen-Mackinnon
April 01, 2023


It's a truth universally acknowledged that it is impossible to leave yum cha feeling hungry.

Regardless of how hard you hit the clubs or your Netflix account on a Friday night, you can rest assured that your weekend morning hunger pangs will be fully satiated by a hot plate of juicy dumplings at one of Sydney's best yum cha destinations. Dim sum literally means 'to touch someone's heart', so no matter what your preference — soupy xiao long bao, prawn har gow, pork belly bao, crispy duck spring rolls, sang choy bao or those creamy mango pancakes, there's a carb combo out there waiting to touch your heart and fill your grumbling stomach.

But not just any dim sum spot will do. It's only the best for us. That's why we created this definitive of the top places to find yum cha in Sydney. So, rather than spend your precious free-time huddled over a hot stove top, put on your stretchiest pants, grab some eating amigos and hit up one of the many incredible, dumpling depositories that Sydney has to offer.

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    Set among the colonial, bamboo-focused furnishings of the 1930s Shanghai-inspired eatery, Mr Wong’s yum cha menu is available every day of the week between 12pm and 3pm. The dumpling selection is pretty exquisite, featuring tobiko, scallop and prawn shumai; abalone, snow crab and white rice bamboo rolls; and poached pork, prawn and black truffle dumplings. But if choosing is too difficult for you, you can opt for the steamed dim sum platter (eight pieces for $44) which comes with scallop shumai, jade seafood dumpling, har gow and Chinese mushroom dumplings.

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    Sky Phoenix is a Sydney yum cha institution that has been serving up the tastiest carb parcels since 2002. The eatery has been crowned with the title of Sydney’s best yum cha for a number of years, and once you’ve dined there you’ll understand why. Housed in the Westfield food court, the busy dumpling house serves yum cha every day of the week, and because the turnover is so high, you can rest assured that the dumplings will arrive at your table fresh and hot. It’s also worth noting that coke — the yum cha non-alcoholic beverage of choice — is served in glass bottles rather than in a can or from a fountain, so if you’re looking for a low key way to treat yourself, look no further than Sky Phoenix.

    Image: Natalie Carroll.

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    Become the queen of chow at Queen Chow in Enmore, a Merivale eatery serving up Hong Kongese street food and yum cha-inspired delicacies in a glamorous old-school imperial dining house. After 30 years of pastry parcel packing, dumpling master Eric Koh (ex-Tim Ho Wan and Mr Wong) has his dough down to a fine art. His dumpling menu features a range of more-exotic-than-usual fillings beyond the basic pork and chive, including jade seafood, crystal pumpkin, Alaskan crab and lobster and asparagus, each one pleated and pinched to perfection. This Sydney dim sum menu also includes plenty of deep-fried goodness such as crispy duck spring rolls and the cloud-like pork and prawn ‘footballs’ made with chewy gelatinous rice flour and coated in toasted sesame seeds.

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    For Sydney kids who prefer to indulge in their yum cha within a dumplings throw of the beach, look no further than China Diner in Bondi, which serves up grade-A dumplings from every day of the week. The dumpling choices are extensive, prepared to order by head chef Seb Gee. The friendly staff recommend the prawn har gow dumplings ($22 for six) and the steamed barbecue pork buns ($13.50 for three). If you’re keen to explore other carb and meat combos, the pork belly bao buns ($14 for four) do not disappoint, either.

    But if you really want to feast (as anyone should when seeking yum cha in Sydney), then head to China Diner on Wednesday for all-you-can-eat dumplings. For a mere $25 per person, you can scoff down as many delicious dumplings as you can within a 1.5 hour sitting. Challenge accepted.

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    If you’re a professional business type who works in the CBD, you’ll no doubt be aware of Palace Chinese and their trusty menu of Cantonese favourites. Unless you’re feeling particularly peckish, it’s probably best to bring some hungry mates with stretchy pants to this one. There are more than 60 yum cha classics on the menu, including steamed duck meat dumplings ($10.80) and crispy prawn toast ($12.80). The price tags at Palace Chinese are a little heftier than their Chinatown counterparts, but this place is all about convenience and proximity. And really, what’s better than indulging in a midweek yum cha session?

    Image: Kimberley Low.

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