Six of the Best Yum Cha Restaurants for Families in Melbourne
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 most 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 bring you six of the best.
Oriental Teahouse began as a single restaurant many years ago in Chapel Street, South Yarra, and now boasts a second establishment, which just goes to show how popular this particular Yum Cha destination is to Melburnians.
Oriental Teahouse is all about bringing together modern eating and traditional food – and kids will feel right at home in their contemporary restaurants and love the extensive dumpling menu. A great option at Oriental Teahouse is to take advantage of their group menus. 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 and 455 Chapel St, South Yarra
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
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. Dim Sims made fresh onsite daily at Dragon Boat and yum cha is served all day from 8am to 5pm on trolleys. It is heaps of fun for the kids who get to choose what they want. plus there is plenty of room for prams.
Where: 203 Lt. Bourke Street, Chinatown
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 a fun atmosphere.
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
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 their easy locations in Melbourne’s busiest shopping areas.
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: Emporium, Lonsdale St, Melbourne and Chadstone Shopping Centre
For the 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, Southbank
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