Sunday, 26 August 2012

Yum Cha Cuisine Carindale

It's been a while since we've had yum cha in Brisbane. Lately the quality of the food at the usual places has dropped and although service was never their forte, that had gotten much worse over the years or perhaps we've just gotten more impatient. Either way, we had boycotted yum cha for a while, until we heard about the new yum cha place in Carindale. Yum Cha Cuisine does a slightly different take on yum cha. I got the vibe that it was targeting a wider market which is great to see - the decor is clean and modern and service was top notch.

It was busy inside, being 11:30am on a Saturday - peak yum cha time. Regardless, within a minute of sitting down, we were met with a trolley full of food, a lady carrying a tray of pan-fried dumplings and a waiter asking us for our drinks order. Already we were impressed. Halfway through our meal we easily caught the eye of a waiter and we ordered a few more special dishes we hadn't seen go around on the trolleys. He did so with a smile. At other places, the waiters have perfected the art of looking at anything other than the customers and when we do get their attention, they're grumpy. Top points for service here.

 Shanghai Style Steamed Pork Dumplings - Xiao Long Bao

Xiao Long Baos are soup dumplings - the soup sits inside the the dumpling and when you take a bite out of it, the soup pours out. There is meant to be a thick enough wrapper to ensure the soup doesn't leak out easily when you pick it up. As soon as Will picked up his with his chopsticks, it effortlessly broke away. He was instantly disapointed because he knew his soup would have split onto the steamer basket. But after I took a bite of mine which I was careful not to break, we realised there wasn't much soup at all. There was just enough to keep it moist but not enough to slurp. Although the flavour of the dumpling was good, the missing soup was a big disappointment as it's the whole novelty of the dish. 

Pan fried pork dumplings

I've never had this dish before at yum cha but these were delicious. The vinegar dip was light and tangy, not too tart like the xiao long bao one. I really liked the large chunks of crunch prawn and the bold use of mushrooms.

BBQ Pork Buns 

The BBQ Pork Buns were smaller than usual. Will said he preferred this because there was a better filling to bun ratio. They were just as fluffy and sweet as usual and didn't make us feel sickly full after having just one of them. 

Duck and Prawn Rolls

Probably my favourite dish of the meal were these duck and prawn rolls. It had thin slices of  traditional chinese roasted duck meat and crunchy prawn. An unusual dish but definitely a winner. 

Deep Fried Taro Dumplings

The batter on the taro balls were so crispy and light. The filling was moist and had a few slices of mushroom which balanced out the dish. Often I find this too dish to be too salty and heavy and never end up finishing my share but this time I was happy to finish mine off.

Chicken Feet in Black Bean Sauce

For me, chicken feet is the best dish to compare yum cha restuarants. I have it every time and the style of the dish never gets altered. This one sealed the deal for me. Most certainly one of the better ones I've tried. It wasn't too dry, the skin was soft and succulent and the sauce wasn't overly salty.

Steamed Rice Noodle with Prawns

What I enjoy most about this classic yum cha dish is the sweet soysauce that soaks the rice noodles. This one was too heavy on the sesame oil and the noodles were too thick to satisfactorily soak in the sauce. This was a big let down as all the dishes so far had been so promising. We couldn't finish this dish because the sesame oil was that overpowering. 

Pan Fried Taro Cakes

Will ordered this dish by accident. The dish we normally order is actually pan fried turnip cake. This one was basically the same dish but with taro. The texture was much more dense than the turnip cakes and the flavour was bland. I didn't enjoy it very much but I can't compare it to other taro cakes since this was the first time I've had it. I personally wouldn't order it again.

Yum Cha Cuisine served us some great new yum cha dishes and even better classics (with the exception of the rice noodles). The service here was a nice change to the usual hustle and bustle of the big yum cha restaurants. However one thing to note, the cashier lady is not as freakishly fast at calculating your bill.
Dishes I'd order again: Chicken feet in black bean sauce, BBQ pork bun, duck and prawn roll

Yum Cha Cuisine Carindale
Ground Level Glasshouse
Carindale Westfield

Yum Cha Cuisine (Carindale) on Urbanspoon


  1. Came here recently too. Also liked the chicken feet and taro balls. Curious about the other dumplings you recommended now. Agree with you on the steamed rice rolls. They were the bigget let down for us too. I thought it was pretty good for a yum cha place, by Brisbane standards. I'm not keen on the parking situation in Carindale Shopping Centre now though!

    1. Hi Cora. I really enjoyed their unusual dumplings! Something different for a change. And it was nice that most of the staples were on par if not better than its competitors. It definitely stands a chance in Brisbane. Yes agreed about the parking. Will and I had to rethink going into another store because our free park was coming to an end.