Fat Buddha, Queen Victoria Building – Yum Cha

Well Fat Buddha certainly caught me off guard – openly discreetly with no fanfare and no write ups!  It wasn’t until my colleague told me “have you been to the new Yum Cha at QVB” that I was alerted to the fact that it has in fact been operational for over a week!  Very keen to try it – who doesn’t love yum cha?  We went there on a Saturday morning – but shhh don’t tell the people at our regular hehehe :)  It’s actually on level 2 of the QVB where the ABC shop used to be – directly below the Tea Room.  I have to admit, the name “Fat Buddha”, and also the red huge signs next to Cupcake Bakery signalling its construction made me believe that it would be a trendy mod-Asian style of yum cha.  How wrong I was!    We walked up to the grand foyer and discovered it is decked out more like a palatial colonial style of dining room – more like Raffles style than Longrain style (sorry to mesh cuisines, but you know what I mean!).  The gorgeous wooden screens, the red and gold fabric lamps and the solid wood chairs, matched perfectly with brand new linen and dark silver topped chopsticks.

They set the bar high – this is yum cha fine dining style!  The usual pram jam and rampant children running dangerously around steaming hot trolleys might not be featured here – instead it’s likely to form a suit crowd. Verified by the waiter who said that it was packed out during the week. Well the proof is is in the dumpling – the prawn dumpling in fact. The yardstick by which all yum chas are measured!  The pricing here seems to be at a small premium for the upmarket experience, most are extra large at $9.50 a pop. but you do get 4 of each, unlike some cheeky yum chas who now give 3!    I loved the prawn dumpling.  The skin was correctly translucently but al dente. Not soggy at all, and the prawn filling had the appropriate texture and also this delicious seasoning that is usually simply pepper in other restaurants. Thumbs up!

The fancy sister of har gau is the scallop dumpling.  They look like little “cheeks” if you know what I mean! hehehe.  They were plump and nice.  But my only gripe is that a bit of cheap seafood extender is also in the filling.

Next, the other staple for comparison – the siu mai – or pork dim sum. Dotted with some roe on top.  The meat had some texture but my one didn’t have much prawn.

The lotus leaf wrapped sticky rice was good too. Also at the extra large price though.  The rice was gooey and perfect, but personally a bit more sauce would be excellent!

The scallop wontons were hot and crispy – served with mayo. I was a bit miffed that it too was $9.50 and also, had a bit of seafood extender in there.

This was my fave though – the vegetable dumpling. Vegos around the world cheer – because usually they have hardly any offerings at yum cha.  Chinese stick prawns inside vego things as that is perceived as being generous and more hearty.  But this triangular dumpling needed nothing of the sort. Finely chopped mushrooms, bamboo, water chestnut and carrot were taken to a new level with coriander and sesame oil.

And for dessert – some baked taro buns. Usually these sticky brown buns are filled with char siu.

So we ordered a steamed char siu bun to make up for it :)

And finally, some deep fried sesame balls filled with lotus seed paste.  I have to commend the really friendly staff. They were not pushy at all like some other yum chas. The lady really acted like a friend, saying “Try this, it’s only priced as a small, it’s really nice!”.  It was indeed a serious change from the frantic (but fun!) pace of other yum chas where they try to churn you out.  It’s absolutely worth paying a small premium for this service!  What else would you expect from this regal dim sum house in such a beautiful building as QVB!

Looks like the CBD yum cha scene is hotting up more – with Sky Phoenix having opened a few months ago in the Westfield Sydney, and the closure of beloved Regal Restaurant.   :)

One Response to “Fat Buddha, Queen Victoria Building – Yum Cha”

  1. admin Says:

    Oh – note, just went to my local, Marigold today, and noted that Marigold’s “extra large” dim sum size costs $6.90 in comparison compared to $9.50 here!

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