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Restaurant Review: Yum Cha Noodle Haus Surfers Paradise

Gold Coast . 2012 . Aug 07-13

We chanced upon this small Chinese Café which is located a few shops next to Sushi Avenue. Its squeaky clean image coupled with a brightly-lit interior was its main attraction for us.  That, plus the fact that we were keen to sample some Chinese delicacy in Australia.

For the benefit of our non-Chinese readers, Yum Cha is a word of Cantonese origin and means ‘tea tasting’.  It actually refers to a Chinese morning or afternoon tea, usually served with a few dishes of ‘dim sum’.


The menu was quite comprehensive with typical chinese main dishes as well as dim sum.

Main Course

We had our fair share of horrifying Chinese food during our travels, and so, to play it safe, we ordered one portion of the most common Won Ton Hot Noodle Soup to test it out.

The portion is generous for an Asian stomach, the soup base was good, and most importantly, the prawns used in the wonton were fresh and large.  It was a most satisfying choice.

Dim Sum

In a traditional Chinese restaurant, Dim Sum (small bite sized portions of food) is usually served in small steamer baskets or porcelain plates.    The steamer baskets are usually lined with a piece of lettuce or cabbage and steamed together with the Dim Sum.  The small piece of vegetable acts as a lining and prevents the delicate skin of the food to stick to the surface of its steaming or serving apparatus.

Traditional Dim Sum restaurants also have their waitresses pushing a Dim Sum Cart around the restaurant for seated customers to choose and add on their orders while seated at the table.
Of course, we did not expect a dim sum trolley to be carted around this small café.  Orders are placed at the cashier counter by the customer.  There is also a condiment table, with essentials such as chilli and soya sauce for the taking.

We ordered the most common and basic of dim sum cuisine from the menu for a test-ride and must admit that we were rather disappointed when the dim sum was served to us in a mini paper plate instead of in a steamer basket.  For one thing, it does not keep the food warm.  Secondly, upon condensation, the delicate skin of the dumplings was stuck to the paper plate, causing it to be torn and deformed when you try to pick it up.
We overlooked the lack of steamer baskets and torn skins and focused on the quality of the dish itself:

Har Gow (Steamed Shrimp dumpling):  This dish is commendable.  As with the main course, the prawns used are fresh and large.   The skin tends to be a bit too starchy though.

Siew Mai (Steamed Shrimp and Pork Dumplings):  Of average quality.  The pork used tend to be a little less flavourful.

Shanghai Xiao Long Bao (Shanghai Style Steamed Pork Dumplings):   A miniature steamed bun originating from Shanghai, the most important determining factor for a good Xiao Long Bau is the quality of the soup wrapped within its skin with a small chuck of meat (usually pork).  We were surprised with the version of Xiao Long Bau served here, as there is absolutely no soup base in this dish.  It was just a piece of tough skin wrapped tightly around a huge chunk of pork.  Perhaps it was the style here, but it was not what we expected of a Xiao Long Bao.

Fried Wan Ton:   This is truly a delight.  It was deep fried with fresh oil and crispy to the bite. It is also the only dish that did not stick to the paper plate due to its texture and is probably the best out of the four.  You can’t really go wrong with a fried dish.

The Bill
Won Ton Noodle Soup - AUD$9.80
Har Gow (Steamed Shrimp Dumplings) - AUD$2.50
Siew Mai (Steamed Shrimp and Pork Dumplings) – AUD$2.50
Shanghai Xiao Long Bau (Shanghai Style Steamed Pork Dumplings) - AUD$2.50
Deep Fried Won Ton - AUD$2.50

Total: AUD$19.80

Final Thoughts

The meal at this casual café did not set us back much, but also bear in mind that we ordered only one main course.  Though not outstanding, this café serves decent Chinese food at quite an affordable price

Check out our in depth review of Scoot Airlines below!

Read these articles about our Gold Coast / Brisbane Trip too!

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