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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Palace Chinese Restaurant, Sydney

It's funny how every family has its own yum cha traditions. We have our own list of must-have dishes that need to be consumed before there can be any thought of mid-air hand signals calling for the bill.

So it's only when I have yum cha with friends that everyone tends to break out a little, various nods around the table bringing a motley of surprise dishes to the soon-to-be-tea-stained-and-sauce-splattered table.

Panfried bean curd sheet rolls

Friendly company also brings me to Palace Chinese Restaurant, a swish and somewhat-hidden dining gem tucked away in the heart of the city. The Palace isn't too hidden though, claiming the Editors' Pick for Favourite Yum Cha in the 2008 SMH Good Food Guide Awards. A huge three-metre banner proudly reminds me of this fact.

Ham soi gok combination pork dumplings

The food? We marvel at the extensive range of dishes on offer. Presentation is emphasised (silver-edged bamboo steamers always add a touch of finesse) and the restaurant is busy without being too chaotic. Trolleys bob their way through between tables, but there's a sense of calmness to the place - not the usual frenzy of teapots and giggling kids underfoot, or plaintive wailing of dishes by the trolley trundlers.

Siu maai pork dumplings

Wu gok taro dumplings

Fish paste in fried bread sticks

Polo buns filled with two kinds of Chinese salami

Har cheung fun prawn rice noodles

Gai lan Chinese broccoli

Fung jao chicken feet with black bean and chilli

Gon jin ngau yuk steamed beef balls

Seafood dumplings with ginger and shallot dipping sauce

Egg custard buns

The damage? Six reasonably hungry people ate for $117 plus a $12 charge for tea.

New dishes are added every week, my friend tells me. It's a dangerous revelation.

Palace Chinese Restaurant
Shop 38, Level 1, Piccadilly Tower
133-145 Castlereagh Street, Sydney
(or enter via Pitt Street, opp the Hilton, and take the escalators)
Tel: +61 (02) 9283 6288

Yum cha available 7 days 11am-5pm
Restaurant open 7 days 11am-10pm

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Yum Cha--Dragon Star, Haymarket
Yum Cha--East Ocean, Haymarket, Aug06, Aug05 and Oct 04
Yum Cha--Hung Cheung, Marrickville
Yum Cha--Regal Restaurant, Sydney
Yum Cha--Zilver, Haymarket, Jan 07 and Feb06
17 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 2/26/2008 10:21:00 pm


  • At 2/26/2008 11:46 pm, Blogger Rachel said…

    looks yum! Nice to see they added veg to the cheong fun. is that bill of $117 for all the dishes pictured ? were there multiples of any of them? $2 per head for tea is a little steep.

  • At 2/27/2008 2:36 pm, Blogger Cheesywee said…

    Oh my ....
    I can't stop staring at the first picture! is that bbq pork buns I see?!!?? I love dimsum and I can imagine the bill hurting a bit .. think the most I spent on dimsum was around $85ish... yum yum though!

  • At 2/27/2008 2:39 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sounds good! We need another swish looking Chinese restaurant. How does the decor compare to Sky Phoenix?

    By the way, I've "tagged" you. To see what that means, there's an explanation on my site when you've got a spare minute. Just like tag in the playground really for food blogging! :)

  • At 2/27/2008 10:59 pm, Blogger Terri @ A Daily Obsession said…

    you've got siew mai, the king of dim sum, but where's the queen -- ha gow??

  • At 2/28/2008 12:38 pm, Blogger OohLookBel said…

    The Palace had improved when I went recently with mum (she does line dancing at the Wesley centre next door!) IMO, it previously wasn't as good as Sky Phoenix, but now the food is lots better, with more choice. Decor is a bit old-fashioned though.

  • At 2/28/2008 5:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is my favourite Sydney yum cha place, glad that you've made it there! I like the more calm atmosphere there as well as the better-than-Haymarket food!

  • At 2/28/2008 6:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    apart from Zliver this is my other favourite yum cha place. have been over half a dozen times so far.

    simon :-)

  • At 3/02/2008 4:19 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Rachel - There were a couple of other dishes we had which I didn't publish. We had 18 dishes in total, many of which were L, XL or Kitchen Special.

    Hi cheesywee - We did have bbq pork buns :) Was $85 for 6 ppl? Our benchmark is usually about $20.

    Hi Lorraine E - I haven't actually been to Sky Phoenix yet (!?!). And thanks for the tag. Will get to it asap.

    Hi Terri - Of course there was har gow! I didn't bother publishing the photo this time, but they were rather good.

    Hi Belle - Line dancing at the Wesley Centre sounds like fun! lol.

    Hi Aptronym - I do confess I get a bit of a buzz from the usual yum cha chaos, but I did appreciate the wider variety of dishes on offer.

    Hi Simon - It did remind me a little of Zilver. The yum cha adventuring must continue.

  • At 3/03/2008 10:48 am, Blogger Kazmic said…

    You make yumcha look so delicious!! Great photos!! :)

  • At 3/03/2008 11:23 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Kazmic - Yum cha is delicious :) Glad you liked the photos.

  • At 3/05/2008 2:18 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love dim sum..! i wished someone does dim sum here.

  • At 4/27/2009 9:28 pm, Anonymous Angela said…

    Hi! I stumbled upon your blog while searching for good restaurants in Sydney. Am from Melbourne by the way :) And I plan to go to Sydney in July. Am wondering, which restaurant you think is the best for yumcha? In terms of variety and taste. As I saw from your blog that you have been to quite a lot of yumcha restaurants. Thanks by the way! :D

  • At 4/29/2009 2:05 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Angela - I tend to go to East Ocean or China Grand but that's because I tend to stick with traditional yum cha dishes. If you want more variety, I'd suggest you go to the Marigold or Palace Chinese. Happy yum cha-ing!

  • At 5/01/2009 11:59 pm, Anonymous Angela said…

    Thank you for the reply! ^^ Hmm I think I prefer variety so I probably will try either Marigold or Palace. My fave are ham sui gok n wu gok! :D How about the price? Which ones of those 4 are the cheap & expensive? Oh yea I also keen to try fried whitebait, as I dont think yumcha restaurant here have it. Do Marigold or Palace provide it?

  • At 5/05/2009 10:43 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Angela - I find Marigold and Palace similar in price. Marigold is in Chinatown, whereas Palace is near Pitt St Mall (and a tad fancier). Both should offer whitebait - it's quite a common dish in Sydney.

  • At 3/17/2010 10:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Looks like something different!! I want to try.

    Oh and by the way the "Fung jao chicken feet with black bean and chilli" if you translate the cantonese "Fung Jao" its English is Phoenix Claw. I just thought that would sound much more appetising.

  • At 3/18/2010 6:07 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Anon - Ahh yes I love that chicken feet are known as phoenix claw - so much more poetic. There's an interesting range of dishes on offer here. Hope you enjoy it soon :)


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