Check in for some weekend relief at this popular yum cha haunt
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Everyone’s always on the hunt for a good yum cha restaurant. One effective approach is to drive around the eastern suburbs at midday, looking for Chinese restaurants with car parks busier than Chadstone Shopping Centre on Christmas Eve and hordes of multi-generational families streaming through the door.
Golden Dragon Palace in Lower Templestowe is one such place. Positioned next to a McDonald’s, it’s a popular yum cha destination, especially on the weekends. The large room strives for an opulent palatial look with high-backed chairs, the odd dragon statue, elaborate wood carvings and vases large enough to hide small children in.
Here, yum cha is a little pricier than usual, but for that you get well presented staff and a calmer, less frenzied atmosphere. On the trolleys you can expect to see all your old friends: har gau (prawn dumplings) and siu mai (pork dumplings), with some more interesting choices thrown in.
Big ups go to the wu gok (taro ball). Shaped like a hairy football, its crisp, lacy exterior contrasts perfectly with the smooth mashed taro interior. Tofu rolls have the sweet crunch of mixed vegetables all wrapped in a thin, golden brown tofu skin. On the dim sum front, the steamed scallop dumpling and the chive and prawn dumpling are both elegant, light and smooth.
Less impressive is the slightly overcooked vegetarian cheong fun (rice noodle roll) that’s split and bursting at the seams. Vegetarians, however, can rejoice: there are good and varied options that extend well beyond the standard Chinese broccoli in oyster sauce.
For dessert, the classic heart-shaped mango pudding will not disappoint with its real mango chunks, while the coconut-covered ice-cream balls make a cool and unusual finish to your meal. Kelly Eng