Here's something a little different. It's a Cantonese restaurant that's not an eating 'palace'. It's in the CBD. The decor is contemporary. The food is really good.
Am I showing my age when I ask, "Do you remember the Chinese restaurant that used to be in the Queen Victoria Building?". It was called Silk Road, or something, and it was a pretty high-class, fine dining type of place. It must have been in the 1990s and it was the place to go. But that was then, and this is now.
Fat Buddha opened last week on level 2 of the QVB. It has a gorgeous modern decor with golden barrel lights suspended from the ceiling, heavy marble tables (with white tablecloths) and dark-toned wood panelling. It also has these beautiful arched windows to let in daylight (#win for foodbloggers).
This is what we had for yum cha lunch today.
Like I said, the food is particularly good, with a 'homemade' flavour that is a refreshing change from the MSG-laden dishes of other yum cha restaurants. The spring rolls were delicious, plumply filled with pork and scented with ginger.
These seafood rolls were sitting in a delicate broth and were chock-full of finely chopped prawn and scallop meat.
The sui mai dumplings were tender and piping hot.
Yum cha staples of egg tarts and mango pancake ticked all the right boxes.
We arrived before 12pm on Saturday and there was plenty of room, though the place is not large and filled up quickly. There was a reasonable variety of dishes, although not as many as some of those enormous Chinatown places. I loved that there was not prawn in everything, and the flavour of the food was a lot 'gentler' and less salty than at other places. Prices are high, as expected in the CBD, and the bill for this meal came to about $70. Chinese tea is $2.50 per person.
The service was lovely, and the trolley ladies were polite and not pushy at all. The city needs more restaurants like this (nice decor, nice food), and I'm really glad there's now a decent city alternative for weekend yum cha. Hope they stay good for a while yet.
Fat Buddha is on level 2 of the Queen Victoria Building, George St, Sydney.
ph: 02 9264 9558