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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Yummy Chinese BBQ, Haymarket Chinatown

Oops, I did it again.

I often say that I'm too old for buffets. Those university days of maximum value on student budgets are far behind me now, I say. And yet, still, the offer of the all-you-can-eat bounty will still draw me in at the weakest of moments.


Admittedly we'd been drawn to Yummy Chinese BBQ in search of the rotating skewer buffet I'd enjoyed at its sister restaurant in Ashfield. A sign advertising a $12.80 lunch sounds too good to be true. It is - the skewers are only available at dinner we're told, but we do a quick lap of the dishes that are available and agree to eat there anyway, loosening our belts as we take a seat.

Hainan chicken, fried rice, pork skin in jelly, omelette and red bean bun

Because that's the thing. A buffet doesn't have to be involve all-out gluttony. Surely one can maintain self-control, eating only enough to eliminate hunger and sufficiently fuel the body until the next meal?

Mapo tofu, seaweed salad, pickled vegetables, potato shreds and mantou bun

As if.

For how can I exercise restraint when there are pork hocks with szechuan pepper, mapo tofu, deep-fried chicken wings, spring onion pancake, soft glistening eggplant, strips of simmered pork belly, pan-fried dumplings and duck wings to explore?

Bamboo steamers with buns

Bamboo steamers are packed with plain mantou buns, corn buns in polenta yellow, pork buns and dessert buns willed with red bean. A lack of labelling is the only downfall, my dining companion biting into sweet red bean paste mid-way through her meal, causing tastebud confusion.

Fried rice

White chicken feet

I end up taking a shine to the white chicken feet, a dish I don't normally favour over the black bean, garlic and chilli version. They are a little chewy but the vinegar dressing is sweet, providing a welcome antidote to the plateful of fried food I'd just eaten (guilty, as charged).

Pigs ear terrine is a textural delight of cartilage and gelatine, and we find ourselves eating more than a few cubes of pigs skin jelly, curls of crunchy suspended in a savoury brown jelly that tastes of soy.

Sago in sweet coconut milk

Dessert is not terribly exciting. Green bean soup and sago in coconut milk both taste watered down and bland and a display of sponge cake cubes topped with mock cream remains relatively untouched. We finish with fresh rockmelon and honeydew instead and I return to the buffet for a red bean bun. Because I can.

And because surely I'm not the only one committed to selfless research?

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Yummy Chinese BBQ on Urbanspoon

Yummy Chinese BBQ
761 George Street
Haymarket, Chinatown, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9280 2800

Opening hours:
Lunch Monday to Friday 11.30am-3pm
Dinner Monday to Sunday 5.30pm-10.30pm

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11 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 11/09/2010 01:28:00 am


  • At 11/09/2010 7:23 am, Anonymous john@heneedsfood said…

    First of all, thanks for reminding me of that song "Oops I did it again" that is now stuck in my head. Too old for a buffet?! If it's a good one I'm always there. Although I'd be leaving the chicken feet

  • At 11/09/2010 8:58 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The buffet really got a lot of dishes and the foods are looking good :)

  • At 11/09/2010 9:43 am, Blogger Charisse said…

    I definitely would not be able to resist all the goodies there!

  • At 11/09/2010 10:29 am, Blogger joey@forkingaroundsydney said…

    I'm liking the value! Chicken's feet in a buffet? Odd but strangely alluring!

    How much is the dinner buffet I wonder?

  • At 11/09/2010 3:05 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    FOr some reason, I can't stop giggling at the sight of the nails in the chicken feet. Please don't ask me why this is funny. It just is.

    Sometimes I worry about me.

  • At 11/09/2010 10:49 pm, Blogger Von said…

    The food looks really good- especially for such a cheap price!! I love buffets, even if its just for the experience of stuffing myself so full that it's sort of sickening......haha =) I can't maintain self control either =D

  • At 11/10/2010 4:21 am, Anonymous Alissa said…

    Your photos are amazing! Love the blog, glad I came across it!

  • At 11/10/2010 10:57 am, Anonymous Simon @ the heart of food said…

    Too old for buffet? I'd always thought that buffets were for the elderly. Why else do so many RSL clubs have them? :)

    White chickens feet feel "raw" to me, for lack of a better word. Prolly cause I'm more use to the deep browns of the ones they serve at yum cha.

  • At 11/10/2010 3:05 pm, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    I love white chicken feet! Especially cooling in hotter weather. But no one ever eats them with me because everyone seems to prefer the hot black bean type.

  • At 11/10/2010 5:27 pm, Anonymous stephen said…

    I super duper like chicken feet. .what a buffet! you make me hungry

  • At 11/17/2010 9:14 pm, Anonymous Sara @ Belly Rumbles said…

    Amazing value with variety!


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