Six of the Best Yum Cha Restaurants for Families in Melbourne

  • Family

It’s not called YUM cha for nothing! Who doesn’t love a delicious steamed dumpling and fragrant Chinese tea? For family dining, yum cha is a fantastic option; it combines great food with culture, colour, new flavours and, in some restaurants, the novelty of selecting delicious dishes from a trolley that rolls right up to your table. There are loads of yum cha restaurants all over Melbourne, but we’ve done the hard yards to being you six of the best.

1. Oriental Teahouse

Oriental Teahouse began as a single restaurant many years ago in Chapel Street, South Yarra. Since then it has grown to a three-chain establishment, which just goes to show how popular this particular Yum Cha destination is to Melburnians.

At Oriental Teahouse it’s modern eating, and traditional food – and kids will feel right at home in the contemporary restaurants.

A great option at Oriental Teahouse is to take advantage of their group menus. For example, a family of four can dine for a total of $120, which includes nine different dishes.

Yum Cha is served all day with the lunch service coming around on trolleys.
Where: 378 Little Collins St, Melbourne, 455 Chapel St, South Yarra and Chadstone Shopping Centre
Cost: see the website for individual yum cha prices and group options
More info: see the website

Source: Oriental Teahouse Melbourne

2. Tim Ho Wan

Michelin-starred and oh-so-popular, Tim Ho Wan is a must-visit. Chefs Mak Kwai Pui and Leung Fai Keung are renowned for being masters of the Chinese dim sum – which might explain why they won the title of Best Restaurant in Asia in 2015. They use only the best ingredients to deliver outstanding food to the discerning patrons of Melbourne. And they positively nail the Chinese pork buns.

Located on Bourke Street in Melbourne’s CBD (adjacent to Chinatown), Tim Ho Wan is hugely popular with families, especially on the weekends, for their excellent yum cha service.

Yum cha is served all day from the menu. No trolleys at this one, but you receive a paper menu with images to tick off what you’d like, so the kids will enjoy choosing their own.
Where: 206 Bourke St, Melbourne
Cost: Most items range between $6 and $10 per serve. See the table menu for more details
More info: see the website

3. Dragon Boat Chinatown

This well-established restaurant, in the heart of Melbourne’s Chinatown, serves excellent yum cha seven days a week and is a popular destination for families.

You’ll find white tablecloths at Dragon Boat, plenty of room for prams, and yum cha all day from 8am to 5pm on trolleys – heaps of fun for the kids who get to choose what they want.
Where: 203 Lt. Bourke Street – Chinatown – Melbourne. (There is also an outlet at Knox O-Zone, 509 Burwood Hwy, Wantirna South)
Cost: see the website for individual yum cha prices
More info: see the website

Dragon Boat Melbourne

4. West Lake Restaurant

West Lake is another long-standing Chinese favourite, super-popular with families. It is a large restaurant, with food served over two levels – and it can get very busy, which makes for fun atmosphere.

With white tablecloths, this restaurant is spacious and renowned for serving up excellent yum cha off the trolley until 5pm. (You have to order off the menu at other times.)

West lake is a great, authentic yum cha experience. It’s open seven days a week and open until really, really late.
Where: 189 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
Cost: Contact the restaurant for menu prices on (03) 9662 2048
More info: See the website.

West Lake Restaurant Melbourne

5. New Shanghai

New Shanghai is a fun and contemporary Chinese restaurant packed with colour and a fabulous atmosphere. This yum cha option is very popular with families due to its location in one of Melbourne’s busiest shopping areas, the Emporium; as a result it is only open during shopping hours.

One of the most memorable things about New Shanghai is their Dumpling Theatre. Families can actually sit and watch the experienced chefs preparing and cooking traditional Shanghai dumplings – great entertainment for little foodies.

This is another yum cha service not served on trolleys; guests order off a paper menu.
Where: 291/313 Lonsdale St, Melbourne and Chadstone Shopping Centre
Cost: Contact the restaurant for individual prices on (03) 9994 9386
More info: see the website 

6. Red Emperor

For location, it’s pretty hard to top this. Red Emperor sits right on beautiful Southbank, overlooking the Yarra River, and its proximity to other attractions make it a convenient stop for families who are in the city for the day.

It is elegant dining at Red Emperor, with white tablecloths and a stunning backdrop. The dumplings prepared here are made with the finest ingredients and are MSG-free.

The yum cha service operates seven days a week, and you can order off trolleys for the lunch hours.
Where: Level 2, Southgate Restaurant & Shopping Precinct, 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank
Cost: Ranges between $6 to $12 for individual serves.
More info: see the website

Red Emperor Melbourne
Source: Red Emperor Facebook Page

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