When you think of yum cha joints, Newtown wouldn't be the first suburb to come into mind. Interestingly, we somehow get the massive yum cha cravings whenever we are in the Inner West so it was good to hear that Luyu and Yum Yum is now opened in the vicinity.
Dipping sauces: soy sauce, chilli oil, vinegar
Compared to the usual yum cha joints; the venue is fancier, prices were more expensive and the service was incredibly friendly and welcoming. Plus, the dumplings were like a work of art on your plate.
Manga Dumpling *Hedgehog* - 3pc ($12.80)
While it was flour dough baked, the texture was similar to generic pan fried dumplings. Consisting of king oyster mushroom, Chinese mushroom, carrot and fungi, these vegetarian hedgehog dumplings were crispy, moreish rather adorable. CC thought they were a tad oily and too crunchy for her liking, but I thought the crisp texture was the best part.
Snow White rabbit dumplings - 3pc ($12.80)
Another cute batch of dumplings shaped like an animal with an even more adorable name to boot. This contains prawn, asparagus, bamboo shoot and creamy soup in a Chrysanthemum infused potato starch dough.
Caviar Dumplings - 4pc ($13.80)
We were feeling kinda fancy with these caviar dumplings. Filled with prawn, carrot, coriander and celery in a steamed rice dough pastry, these dumplings were plump, juicy and shaped like a steamed version of the traditional fried moneybags.
Flying Seafood Dumpling - 4pc ($13.80)
These fish-shaped dumplings were filled with scallop, fish-ball, prawn, asparagus and flying fish roe in a steamed rice dough pastry. Like the other dumplings at Luyu and Yum Yum, they have a nice chewy texture that wasn't too thick or too thin. I've got a soft spot for scallop dumplings so it was no surprise that I wanted more of this.
Mr Luyu "Starburst" Dumpling - 4pc ($11.80)
These are my fave dumplings of the lot. Not only did I love the xiao-long-bao shape, you can't help but notice its colourful fruit-infused flour dough, thin dumpling skin. While most xiao long bao contains pork, these dumplings consist of chicken in Mr Luyu homemade hot broth.
Kiss Me Dumplings - 4pc ($10.80)
Like the Starburst dumplings, these xiao long bao also consist of chicken instead of pork in addition to ginger and shallot in a hot broth. The texture is very thin and the broth is hot to handle when you try to devour these cheeky-named morsels.
Before you start thinking that Luyu and Yum Yum is just dumplings, there are loads of non-dumplings dishes to enjoy such as fried rice, steamed fish, roasted duck and 7 flovaoured tofu. CC goes crazy for eggplant so we went with that option. These were crispy on the outside and piping hot on the inside. It was also rather sticky from the chrysanthemum honey plus soy, sesame and dried onion coated onto the fried batter.
If you love your dumplings with a bit more of art and colour, you will be glad to hear that Luyu and Yum Yum is a lovely addition to the Newtown food scene. It's different from your usual cafes, Thai restaurants, cheap takeaways and dessert joints so it was no surprise that we often had to wait for a table in all of our visits so far (thankfully not very long). While the prices are a bit too expensive for me to return on a regular basis, the flavour, appearance, texture and ingredient combination would be enough for me to make a further visit or two to try more of their dumpling selection or even another serving of the above. And the cocktails look damn fine too.
Luyu and Yum Yum
Level 1, 196 King Street, Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9519 9888
Sun, Tues-Wed: 12:00pm - 3:00pm, 5:30pm - 10:15pm
Thurs-Sat: 12:00pm - 3:00pm, 5:30pm - 11:00pm