Restaurants

Your Guide To Melbourne’s Best Yum Cha For 2021

By Ben Tyers
15th Nov 2021

The inside of Flower Drum

Yum cha, it's the special culinary experience that's made up of at least several different snacks to form a meal in its entirety. It's often dumpling heavy, but you can find everything from your go-to special fried rice to spicy barramundi depending on which menu you're looking at. 

Melbourne has got some pretty good spots for all your yum cha needs. So we’ve curated a list of the best yum cha in Melbourne for 2021: 

Red Door Yum Cha

WINDSOR

The Red Door Yum Cha menu is stacked with only high-grade dumplings ranging from lobster & scallop, prawn & crab, chicken & peanut, vegetarian, Shanghai pork and corn & prawn. Other must-tries include the pulled pork with spiced honey, spinach and green tea noodles and slow-cooked chilli and lime leaf chicken. You can also pay $39 per person to let the Red Door team select eight of their yum cha dishes, paired with a black bean beef hotpot, mixed veggies and rice. Plus some ice cream for dessert, of course. 

Oriental Teahouse

SOUTH YARRA & CBD

For the discerning dumpling lover, Oriental Teahouse has nailed the art of yum cha with its considered and perfectly-portioned menu. The signature Xia Long Bao isn’t the only reason that this OG dumpling house is known for some of the best yum cha Melbourne has to offer.  Oriental Teahouse also has one of Melbourne’s most renowned fried rice dishes—it’s called the Legit Special Fried Rice, and it’s essential for anyone doing yum cha. Their shredded steak with a sticky sweet chilli sauce is heavenly—and for veggos, you must try the salt and pepper tofu. 

Din Tai Fung

CBD

The hype was palpable when Din Tai Fung opened in our city. Hailed as some of the best yum cha outside of Asia, and certainly some of the best in Australia, their dumplings are little bites of deliciousness. Din Tai Fung’s standards are outrageously high, both in taste and presentation. They also have a pretty loaded menu, so if you’re not sure where to start try the spicy shrimp and pork wonton, Kung Pao chicken or shrimp and pork wonton noodles with a spicy sauce.

David’s

PRAHRAN

David’s is a mainstay of the yum cha scene in Melbourne and has been for some time now. With over 20 years of heritage in every dish; highlights include the San Choi Bao and authentic Chinese pork belly. They’ve also got an all you can eat yum cha menu with a version for vegans too. 

HuTong Dumpling Bar

PRAHRAN

You know you’re in the right place for classic Chinese yum cha when there’s a menu that’s at least five pages long. Hu Tong dumpling bar first started up in 2008 and there are a few things the hub has become renowned for. For starters, get on those handmade chilli wontons, then pair it with one of the lighter dishes on the menu like the Peking duck pancake and you have some of the best yum cha Melbourne can serve up. 

Tim Ho Wan

MELBOURNE

There’s a Michelin-star chef behind this international yum cha sensation, so you know they’re doing something right. The whole menu will satisfy your deepest yum cha cravings, but Tim Ho Wan is famous for pork buns, so order at least a few. 

Crystal Jade

CBD

Crystal Jade comes in as some of the more traditional yum cha in Melbourne, so expect more experimental dishes you may not find elsewhere in Melbourne, like the chicken soup with dried fish maw. They’ve got a pretty seafood-heavy menu with lots of crab, lobster and fish dishes to trial. The steamed coral trout with ginger and spring onion is a clear favourite; we can guarantee it will be gone in minutes after it hits the table. 

Spice Temple 

CBD

Spice Temple is a dumpling haven; the Southbank Yum cha spot has got to be one of the best in Melbourne’s CBD. They have two banquet options with a collection of the restaurant's greatest hit—or alternatively, you can order A la carte. If you order A la carte we have to recommend the Bang Bang Chicken and the lamb dumplings with chilli. 

Flower Drum  

CBD

Chances are if you live in Melbourne, you’ve heard of Flower Drum. The Chinese restaurant is one of the best Yum Cha’s that Melbourne has to offer. The restaurant is known for its legacy as a Chinese culinary institution with its elegant interior, elite service, and a gold-standard repertoire of Cantonese dishes. With lunch and dinner banquet menus, the hard guesswork goes right out the window and you’re left with a bountiful selection of plates that imprint long-lasting memories on your tastebuds. You have to try their sesame marinated jellyfish, prawn and chives Har Gao or spring onion pastry filled with pork. 

Gold Leaf Chinese Restaurant   

VARIOUS LOCATIONS

With multiple locations across Melbourne, Gold Leaf Chinese Restaurant is clearly onto something, serving up some of the best yum cha. With a fantastic collection of super-fresh seafood, you can’t go wrong with the deep-fried oysters or king crab. The pan-fried duck breast will make a lasting impression upon sight and the chicken San Choi Bao has been finely dialled. There’s a bunch of great vegetarian dishes too and quite frankly the vegetarian Singapore noodles are one of our favourites. 

Shark Fin Inn 

CBD & KEYSBOROUGH

Shark Fin really delivers the goods when it comes to Yum Cha, their circling carts deliver plates of dim sim, spare ribs with black bean sauce, salt and pepper squid and more. For something a little different, try the fried taro dumpling or prawn puff. Their pork and peanut dumplings are a no brainer, much like the prawn and sweet corn ones. If you are looking for a bigger dish—the beef fried noodles are phenomenal.  

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Image credit: Flower Drum 

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