It's a rare Sydneysider who won't put up with being yelled at by irate Chinese trolley trundlers for great dumplings. At the Eight, the new house of 'cha brought to you by Henry Tang (Zilver), the trolley dollies are pushier than most, but at least no one told us to die in Cantonese when we refused the fried noodles (as happened to Time Out at a certain waterside yum cha restaurant that will remain nameless).
At the Eight, however, they push the boat just that little further – there's an extra lick of attention paid to everything on offer, from the moist, sweet, tender barbecue pork ($14.80) to the stout little mango pancakes ($6.20). The congee ($9.80) is excellent – all loose and glutenous with little pieces of pork and preserved egg woven through, topped with little bits of fried bread and green onion. If you're not a Chinese nanna, you might have to arm wrestle the waitress for it, but persevere.
The dumplings are generally a little smaller than the footballs you see around Sydney, and just a little more tender - namely the plain prawn and pork ($6.20). Rolled-then-fried rice rolls ($7.20), studded with dried shrimp and served with sweet soybean paste and sesame seeds, are light and slightly scorched rather than having sat on the hotplate for hours. We weren't quick enough for the fried bread wrapped in rice noodles (a personal favourite) but we'll be going back for it. The enormous, plush red room seats 750. There are fish tanks in the corner, filled with all your piscine faves, and if you get a seat near the door, you'll be in best-stuff-in-the-room heaven.