Friend sends me a text saying this place has just opened, let’s go check it out. Its like a sushi train but with Yum Cha. Kind of goggled it to see where it was but nothing really came up. Got into westfields, wandered around, was told it was level 4, then was told it was level 2. Well, its Lvl2 and located near the David Jones Food Hall Entrance.

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Fancy that. a Yumcha train.

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Opening special = all plates $3.50 – venue was packed and we had to wait for the singular waitress who was attentive to clear the table. The looks is suitably asian with hanging bird cages and bright reds. The fit out is appealing. There are 2 x2 seats where the waitress is. I think the dumpling train sits probably 40?

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Looks really good don’t it. Chefs in the kitchen prepping food. Kinda like sushi, but instead of wasabi and soy, you have soy and chilli. Its all novel for like 2 seconds and then it becomes really familiar.

Here’s a link to the instagram video i made while in there.

 

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1. chicken dish thing. 2. chicken dish thing 3. fried rice. 4. lamb thing.
Now we get to the food review and 1-3 = bad. 4 was okay because the lamb was greasy and held it owns well having spun around the train. Unlike sushi which holds up well because its chilled anyhow, Hot food gets cold and tastes … like crap. I kept thinking about the masterchef judges eating cold food and raving about how good it is. Kind of like that. Dried stodgy chicken? Check. The fried rice was fairly new out of the kitchen and was also kind of dry. We grabbed 2+3 the second the chef took it out of the kitchen and yup no good. You can sort of see that the meat is dried in the photo (click on pic).

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Prawn dumplings. Yum cha is about delicate flavours, picking what you want to eat, variety and great pops of flavour. These have chopped up portions of prawns in them (like the ones you can see in the fried rice) and chives. The skin is disintegrated so the minute you lift it out, it breaks apart. The prawn dumplings were decent. It don’t look too flash because they ain’t. We got both dumpling dishes the second they hit the train.

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Scallop dumplings. Like the prawn ones, chopped up scallops and chives. skin also broken so it wasn’t like a delicate good dumpling.

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First thing we ate here. Pork Siew Mai. Its was decent. Its seasoned steam pork. Hard to go wrong and these were kind of okay. These were also the only ones that showed up the entire time we were here. Note the number. To be fair, the pork siew mais and the prawn dumplings were o-kay, but just.

So, venue had launch prices  – everything was $3.50 and we tried a selection and the tab was $35. It’s cheap. That said, once proper pricing resumes – I’m going to have to say go to a proper yumcha place. Yum Cha places do huge turn overs – you get great roast duck/pork/salt pepper squids, noodles, mango pudding, all sorts. Westfields on Lvl 5, there is sky phoenix,  which is excellent. You pay more (I really question how cheap Cha Cha will be once the coloured plates pile up) and you have a great feed there. Go with a group of people to yumcha and order lots of dishes and you can share them.

There’s also golden palace a short walk away and fat buddha if you have to.

Cha Cha had way too many mediocre dishes and there wasn’t dessert (mango pancakes?), there wasn’t spring rolls and what was here… was sadly kind of average.

How to eat here: Pick only the dishes that just come out. Hope its good.

 

5 Responses

  1. Tina @ bitemeshowme

    I was a bit skeptical on the dumpling train concept as I really think everything needs to be served fresh. Thanks for the honest review, appreciate it!

  2. milkteaxx

    thanks for the review, this concept doesnt really appeal to me because i like the comfort of hot steaming dumplings not ones that have been spinning around, peered at by everyone and left behind!

  3. Simon @ the heart of food

    I love the novelty of the idea but I guess it’s evident from what you’ve experience that it doesn’t work out so well in practice.

    Thanks for the review. Good to know.

  4. Josephine

    I’ve walked passed this several times and have been tempted – looks like I should give it a miss.