Here is a bit of a Sunday ritual for us. A short walk to Spicy Ginger Cuisine every couple of weekends for their buffet yum cha.
During lunch time, this Chinese restaurant serves all you can eat yum cha! It is not the best in Canberra and not fantastic compared to Sydney but for $20, its pretty decent.
Originally, we had some issues with the service but it has definitely gotten better over the last few months. There use to be this older lady (she could have easily been the owner), that would ensure that we would only get about two servings of whatever we wanted before not giving us more and making us wait until we got annoyed and left. Under her, we also would accept all food offerings because if you said no to anything, she would assume that you were full and would also stop serving you!
Recently, she hasn’t been around and sure has it been great since then. The young waiters serve us anything we want and as much as we like (as long as we finish it off, of course – we don’t waste food!).
As for the food, its pretty good. You’ll find all the basic yum cha goodies including pork siu mai, har gow. feng zhao (or chicken feet), BBQ pork bun, steamed broccoli and oyster sauce, pork and prawn served in bean curd (and some others I may have missed). On top of these, as they are a Chinese restaurant by day they also offer a whole bunch of normal Chinese goodies as a part of their yum cha, including: various Shanghai/northern style fried and steamed dumplings (I think I’ve seen pork, beef, chicken, vegetables, chives and prawns and variations of them) oh here’s a whole list of their dumplings, Chinese pancakes like the savoury pumpkin ones and the desserty red bean version, deep fried dough with condensed milk, deep fried chicken wings, squid and calamari.
Every time we go here, we get the chicken feet. They’re pretty nice – soft and tender with a slight bite to them, they’re also seasoned well and quite flavourful but slightly slim and small. But thats okay! Its all you can eat, so we just order more.
The har gows are nice, nothing to complain about here. The skin is usually pretty good – not overly thin or thick and not taut and hard like when you microwave them at home, mentioning this because I’m pretty sure they don’t make them in house or anything and its probably the frozen stuff that they are steaming up. But honestly, if you steam the frozen stuff right, they taste pretty legit.
On the sui mai front, all good – soft but bitely (like it should be) also has that porky taste and texture of a traditional yum cha place. Its weird when you get a sui mai that just doesn’t taste right.
I really don’t get the pork and prawn in bean curd enough at yum cha joints but this place does it pretty well. They’re really generous with the thick chow mein like sauce (you know the one I’m talking about), that makes it delicious and flavourful.
I guess its a pretty weird kinda yum cha – you’ll only really get traditional yum cha stuff here, the rest is just Shanghai food. Sadly – no har cheung or egg tarts here. So if you’re looking for traditional yum cha – don’t go here, maybe check out Scholar, Prince Palace or Dumpling Inn. But if you want some Chinese food with a har gow here and a chicken foot there, all for a measly price of $20 – this place is great.