4 January, 2016
Eat & Drink

An Innovative and Instagram-able Dining Experience at YUM CHA

4 January, 2016

 The creative twist on classical dim sum and Chinese dishes!

Who doesn’t love dim sum? This classic Hong Kong food is loved by everyone, so when I had the chance to try out the new ‘YUM CHA‘ restaurant, I couldn’t wait. Conveniently located close to the MTR and across from ‘The One’ in TST, YUM CHA is a great option if you’re looking for something quick, easy and oh-so-cute on Kowloon side.

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We started with drinks at YUM CHA’s sister restaurant, Urban Park, which is located just one floor above YUM CHA. Apart from being beautifully decorated, I was happily surprised to see that Urban Park had a green, grassy terrace too. The terrace created a relaxed vibe – perfect for escaping Hong Kong’s concrete jungle.

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I also had a sneak peek of Urban Park’s tea set. I absolutely loved their unconventional picnic tea concept, which focuses on serving small dishes to optimise interaction between guests. I tried some of the cute bite-sized food and sipped on a delightful pink bubbly cocktail… the perfect start to the evening! The little bites made me all the more hungry, and after enjoying Urban Park’s cocktails and quirky decor, I was even more excited to try YUM CHA!

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As soon as we got out of the elevator at YUM CHA, I was surprised how ‘chic’ the decor was. Everything was decked out in marble, gold, and grey – definitely an Instagram-worthy spot. The appetisers came out on beautiful jade lotus plates – speaking of plates, I couldn’t help but admire the cutlery and tableware throughout the dinner, all of which had classic Chinese aspects. The appetisers were traditional Chinese dishes, but the flavours had a more sophisticated, modern and playful twist. We tried the orange winter melon, pickled cucumber and shrimp rolls, which all tasted great. I particularly enjoyed the pickled cucumber which was surprise, as they were so fresh and marinated in just the right amount of vinegar.

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Next up was the star of the show – dim sum! I won’t lie – this adorable piggy BBQ bun captured my heart and I was a little hesitant to eat it… but after a few squeals and pictures I couldn’t resist biting into the soft dough, which was delicious. We also tried the sticky rice dumpling and shrimp veggie dumplings, which despite their modern appearances stayed true to the authentic flavours of dim sum that we know and love.

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We then moved on to sweets, starting with a hot custard bun. These oozy custard buns are one of my all time favourite dim sums, and I’m sure that’s true for many others in Hong Kong too. The playful appearance added a fun and imaginative element to our dining experience – a great place to have a lighthearted dinner.

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Last but not least of the dim sum was a wonderful, bird shaped pineapple puff in a traditional looking birdcage… the presentation was outstanding, so smart and detailed. The first bite was hot and crispy (yum!) and I would definitely recommend ordering this for the photos. Overall, the dim sum menu was nicely balanced with tasty combinations of both sweet and savoury… and the unique presentation makes this definitely one to try in 2016.

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Moving on to the mains dishes! The egg white and seafood fried rice was a mysterious dark mixture that reminded me of the squid ink seafood paellas that I often ate and loved in Boston. I dug right in, expecting the hard rice texture and creamy sauce of a paella, but surprisingly it tasted very much like traditional Chinese fried rice – very well made fried rice.

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The other mains we had was organic kale with garlic, baby cabbage with parma ham, black peppered wagyu beef, and oatmeal prawns. I’m happy to say that I enjoyed every dish, each of which was beautifully presented and delicious.

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I was so full, I didn’t think my stomach had space for dessert. But I had to try some of the whimsical looking mango sago pudding! The flavour was authentic but the cotton candy on top added a fun, bite-sized burst of sweetness to the dessert.

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The whole dinner was a delightful, playful experience. It was also great to find out that YUM CHA doesn’t use any MSG and focuses on using fresh, quality ingredients. YUMCHA did a fantastic job at combining the characteristics of Eastern dishes with Western dishes; the creativity was undeniable in their flavours and presentation. So if you are looking for a chic night out with friends or family, this is modern Chinese spot is definitely worth trying out. But keep in mind – you’ll have to let the camera eat first!

YUM CHA, 3/F, Attitude Hotel, 20-22 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2751 1666, www.facebook.com/yumcha.hk

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