Yum Cha has become an Australian tradition thanks to the pioneering, gold-seeking Chinese who settled in Victoria during the 1850s. There are a myriad of Chinese tea houses strewn across Melbourne that offer tiny parcels of goodness wrapped in a steamed or fried package, but only few are hard to get into. Such is Shark Fin House, although this time around I, along with R*yan, were promptly seated and began our Dim Sum feast.
Shark Fin House (131 Little Bourke St, Melbourne Ph: 9663 1555) is renowned for its Yum Cha and soon enough the trolleys with the little ladies speaking indecipherable Mandarin/Cantonese with steaming bamboo baskets of Prawn Dumplings, Pork Dumplings, Prawn on Toast, Chicken Feet, Fried Squid, Pork Spare Ribs and Sticky Rice Puddings were abound.
The key to Yum Cha is to know your limit and not get over excited with what is on offer. It’s also wise to ensure the ‘delicacies’ trolley comes past – you know, the trolley with those weird items such as Chicken Feet or Frog Legs – as that’s where you will get the tastiest items. Pace yourself, ensure your tea cup is filled with Green Tea and your Yum Cha experience will be heaven.
The deep fried items are well made, with enough stuffing, seafood and thin pastry that don’t make your stomach feel heavy and are not drenched in enough oil to fill tanker. The steamed items including the Prawn Dumplings, Scallop Dumplings and the Pork Buns are light and flavorsome.
Shark Fin House is the perfect place to try Yum Cha if you haven’t before and highly recommended as a return venue. While R*yan and I left with some room to spare (for Max Brenner nonetheless), I’m sure we could have gone a few more rounds of dumplings.
Definitely the best Yum Cha that I’ve had in Melbourne, it comes close to my Dim Sum/Yum Cha optimum experience in Montréal. Shark Fin House has a sister restaurant in Chinatown, Shark Fin Inn (50 Little Bourke St, Melbourne Ph: 9662 2681).
3.5 of 5