Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fat Buddha yum cha - classy

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

Fat Buddha Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. It's so hard to find higher end chinese food places like that here...I'm so jealous!

  2. i've been wondering what Fat Buddha is like. good to hear the trolley ladies aren't pushy :-)

  3. Prawns in everything gets on my goat too. Especially when something I've always known as vegetarian gets the unneeded addition, and is embarrassing when you take a vegetarian or seafood/shellfish-shy friend along to yumcha and everything - everything! - has freaking prawns in it!

    And, um, I remember Silk Road as well =p

  4. This place looks great - what a lovely location for yum cha....!

  5. I was there around the same time yesterday (arrived a little after 11am), The food was so good me and my partner went back today, and you are right about it filling up quickly. We we there at about 11.30am today and right on 12pm there were people lining up for tables. The food is a little more expencive however the quality is the best I have had in Sydney.... Looks like my new little secret won't be so secret for to long.

  6. Decor looks great and the sunlight is a bonus :) Will need to give them a try soon!

  7. Fantastic, was wondering what this place was going to be like!

  8. Oooh look at those dumplings and that glorious light coming into the windows!

  9. I don't think there is any "Yam Cha" place here that looks better than that. We need restaurants like that here. Enjoyed looking at all your photos as always!

  10. I am checking this place out!!

  11. How funny we just had dim sum over the all the dishes look familiar :-)
    Hope you have a great week ahead Bel!

  12. Love that the trolley ladies werent pushy - soe of them can be like car sales people. Will have to head here for a Friday lunch :)

  13. Chicken feet and pork spare ribs, yummo! My fave is actually wu gok and tripe :) :) Great photos and thanks for sharing :)

  14. ive been wondering for a while what this place is like! def beats my expectation for sure!!!! def looking fwd to trying it out...esp its not MSG laden or salty yayyy!! :D