Chinatown is where you get the yum cha, no question. But for all you Chinese tea-drinking, dumpling-loving fools who can't make it as far as Haymarket, Castlereagh Street holds good news.
The Palace is smaller than your average dumpling barn but the staff here are polite. And not just the yum cha brand of polite which involves not being yelled at or having your food thrown at you but the type of polite where they come and offer you the snacks with 'please' and 'thank you'.
For all their niceties, there's not much of a selection (they do have duck and mushroom dumplings - something of a rarity in Sydney yum cha land) and they're not cheap - our blow out is the $26 plate of suckling pig. We're happy to see the Chinese broccoli cart stays parked in one corner - something you usually need to chase halfway around the restaurant for - but when we ask for those flat rice noodles fried and served with sweet soy and sesame, we're laughed at, only to then watch a plate of them make their way over to another table. Their regular dumplings like pork and prawn and garlic and chive however, are great - as are the sticky pork ribs.
The room is fancy - rich red feature walls, clean bleached wood lines and a big bar filled with blue Curacao in the middle of the room (who drinks that?). There are also lots of tables for two as they're right in the CBD and get a lot more in the way of business trade than big family groups (though there are a few of these, too).
This is not a value proposition - instead, you'll find well-executed dishes and a limited yum cha menu (maybe there's a time in the week apart from Friday lunch they bring out the really exciting stuff). If you work in the 'hood or Chinatown is too far to walk, this is a good, safe option.