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The Wait Is Over: Nelson Street Restaurant East Is Launching Auckland's First All-Vegan Yum Cha

For the first time ever, vegans won't have to miss out on the yum cha fun, with three-hour sittings running every Sunday from September.
By Emma Clark-Dow
August 21, 2023
By Emma Clark-Dow
August 21, 2023

There's nothing quite like the magic of yum cha: lazy susans, an endless supply of incredible Cantonese food and, of course, the plate of fresh fruit to hint to your table to leave. Now Auckland vegans will be able to enjoy much more than just the parting gift, with the city's first-ever vegan yum cha coming to Nelson Street Asian restaurant East.

From September, the beloved CBD vegetarian restaurant is adding its own twist to the Cantonese tradition, and yum cha fanatics can expect the menu to keep to East's core message: delicious food that doesn't sacrifice flavour for plant-based goodness.

The vegan take on yum cha has been created by Executive Chef Stuart Marsden and his right-hand man, Head Chef Vincent Yan. Yan hails from Guangzhou, and has worked in restaurants across Hong Kong and Macau, where he became an expert in Cantonese cuisine.

The pair will whip up vegan versions of traditional dim sum, such as char siu bao with jackfruit and sheng jian bao, which swaps out the meat element for wood ear mushrooms. Some much-loved East favourites will also appear on the yum cha menu, like the restaurant's spring onion pancake and the xiao long bao soup dumplings.

For those who have a sweet tooth, don't worry — East hasn't skimped on dessert. The mouth-watering treats on offer include deep-fried sesame balls and mango tapioca pudding.

If you're reading this and drooling, you won't have to wait long to experience the aforementioned sesame balls, or the full vegan yum cha experience. East is launching the menu on Sunday, September 3, then serving it up every Sunday from 12–3pm afterwards.

Yum Cha at East will kick off on Sunday, September 3, on the ground floor at the Sudima Auckland City Hotel, 63–67 Nelson Street, Auckland. It'll then run weekly from 12–3pm — head to the restaurant's website for bookings and further details.

Published on August 21, 2023 by Emma Clark-Dow
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