Last week I sent this message to Mr. D via WhatsApp: `there is a new Yum Cha place in Newtown’, and I immediately received a whole bunch of googly eyes emoji from him. Steaming dumplings, crispy little fried goodies, and copious amount of tea. Who wouldn’t be happy?
As it turns out, Luyu & Yum Yum isn’t a yum cha place per say. However, the menu reads a bit like one from a Yum Cha restaurant and the `Tea and Dumplings’ line under the name infers that you will be getting the two core elements of the Canton’s most famous meal.
Luyu & Yum Yum is the latest addition to a slowly growing repertoire of dumpling spots in Newtown. The bright neon sign and steamer baskets above the door make it hard to miss this second floor eatery nestled in the mid-section of King Street. Head up the stairs and be engulfed in a sea of trendy black lattice partitions, a wall of wine and a yellow neon tea legend hanging above the door.
From the general décor in the restaurant to the little tea cups on the table, they most certainly tried to bring a more upscale dim sum experience to Newtown. We started with a pot of Osmanthus tea (AUD $10) and found it look very pretty with the table setting. The tea itself was nice and delicately fragranced. That being said, the price point is still a bit too high for a pot of tea.
The dumplings you get from Luyu & Yum Yum are very different from what you will normally find in a Chinese restaurant. Mr Luyu “Starburst” Dumpling (AUD $11.80/4pc) is a new take on the traditional Xiao Long Bao. Instead of pork, you will find chicken and soup wrapped underneath a fruit infused dumpling skin. And these little colour bombs really `burst’ in your mouth!
Mr Luyu Herb Dumpling (AUD $12.80/4pc) comes with prawn and chives. The fillings were very fresh but we nodded in agreement that the dumplings came across a little too watery as a steamed dim sum.
The old shallot pancake you see in a Chinese restaurant not only became thinner and crispier in Luyu & Yum Yum, but it also got a new name – Mini Frisbee (AUD $9.80). This savoury pan-fried shallot and spring onion pancake was so thin that you could no longer call it a pancake, but rather a crisp. Although this one was quite flavourful and tasty, we still prefer it to have a bit more chewiness in the pancake.
Our last dish was Mr Yumyum Pot Sticker (AUD $10.80/4pc). These pot stickers were filled with chicken, ginger, shallot and Chinese Cabbage in a seaweed flour dough. The top of these dumplings were crispy, but the sides of them were again a bit too soft and watery.
One thing we noticed on Luyu & Yum Yum’s menu is that they don’t serve pork, which is probably the most common ingredient in Chinese dumplings. We found that quite intriguing. Value-wise, this place is not that cheap but it could be quite fun to bring a couple friends along for a pre-gig snack.
Oh, and if you are planning to go to Luyu & Yumyum, don’t forget your credit card. This place is a cashless restaurant and they only take cards!
Luyu & Yum Yum
Website / luyu.com.au
Phone / (+61) 02 9519 9888
Address / Level 1, 196 King St, Newtown NSW 2042
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