07 February 2013

Fat Buddha: Chinese Yum Cha, CBD Sydney (27 Feb 2012, 6 Feb 2013)

Queen Victoria Building
Level 2, 455 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Snaking back to yum cha

Time flies when you're eating out and it's been nearly a year since I first visited Fat Buddha but never had the chance to post my review. I remember service was above average, the decor was nice and the atmosphere fairly relaxed. Thanks to LenĂ© Ferris from One Green Bean I'm invited back to sample the yum cha and learn more about Fat Buddha's free cooking demonstration on 15 February to celebrate Chinese New Year at the QVB. Unfortunately I'll be on a cruise around NZ with the family but it sounds like a good chance to learn how to make some popular dim sum and I'm assuming also try them too. My favourite dim sum today was the Taro Pie with Seafood ($9.50) which also seems to be called woo gok, wu gok or wu kok. The light crispy outer shell is a delight to eat. Dim sims with mushrooms ($7.50) are always a popular choice for me at any yum cha. This time around they seem to have scallop and prawn included which makes them extra special. 

The first thing I do when I sit down at yum cha is to always order the Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce ($12.80) because it can take a while to prepare and you hardly see a trolley come around with them to order from. The flavour and freshness is good but I'm never a fan of big stalks in the mix. Too hard to handle with chopsticks let alone try and eat them. Salt & Pepper Calamari ($15.90) is another dish I order straight off the bat. The calamari was fairly tender as hoped although today's version was heavy handed on the salt and could have more balance with the pepper and a bit more heat of some chilli throughout for my liking. Ended up being more a Salt & Salt Calamari. Mango pancakes ($9.50) wrapped in plastic have received some review attention. I haven't really come across another place that does this although if they do I think they tend to take the plastic off before serving it to you at the table. I assume it's to keep the pancakes from drying out. Last time I ordered these the mango was still slightly icy from the fridge but this time around is much better and on both accounts there's been a decent amount of mango to enjoy with the cream. One things for sure it's so hard to find a yum cha teapot that doesn't dribble and today was no exception.

PROS: Central location, Nice decor, Better than average service for yum cha, Seems to have all the usual dim sum suspects
CONS: Teapots always dribble, Thick stalks in Chinese broccoli, Pricing seems a bit more than average although I guess the rent must be high for the location
MUST TRY: Taro pie with seafood, Dim sim with mushroom, BBQ pork bun, Mango pancake
VERDICT: Handy location for CBD workers and business meetings. I spotted a high chair so must be kid friendly too.
I love the sight of yum cha — so many choices
Deep fried combination ($7.50)
Chicken spring roll ($7.50)
Taro pie with seafood ($9.50)
Dim sims with mushroom ($7.50) — also seemed to have scallop and prawn
Steamed rice noodles with prawns ($9.50)
Prawn dumplings ($9.50)
Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce ($12.80)
I'm never a fan of the big stalks — too hard to eat
Pan fried rice noodles with shrimps ($7.50)
Egg tarts ($6.50)
Mango pancake ($9.50)

Salt & Pepper Calamari ($15.90)

Dim sum cooking class Friday 15 February 11 am & 1 pm — I believe it's a free demonstration
Chinese New Year decorations are up

27 Feb 2012 visit (paid)

Dribble free teapots in yum cha are very hard to come by — this one is no exception

Dim sims with mushroom ($7.50)
King prawn fillet in seaweeds roll ($9.50)
Dumplings — would have loved more broth inside them
BBQ Pork Bun ($5.50)

Fat Buddha meets Little High Chair so must be kid friendly

View Larger Map
Fat Buddha Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Sherrie @ Crystal Noir said...

Seems like a decent place for yum cha if not a bit pricey! But what can you expect from a city location :)

Simon Leong said...

hi sherrie, seems a bit pricier than average although decor and service is above average too

jugernauts said...

surprised you thought so highly of it. The food was sorta middling. And the sight of food in plastic wrap over it was kinda aack

Simon Leong said...

hi jugernauts, i thought some things were better than others so not all my favourites. the plastic on the mango pancakes was certainly something you don't see often and has had its fair share of criticism. i'm assuming it's used to keep the mango pancakes from drying out although I do think they should take it off before serving to the customer. what's your favourite place for yum cha?

Simon Food Favourites Map

View Simon Food Favourites in a larger map Key: BLUE - Location visit and review PINK - Simon Favourites and places offering something special

Small Bars in Sydney map

View Small Bars in Sydney in a larger map