Yum cha rage: that feeling you get at yum cha when the food trolleys seem to be servicing every table but yours. However at Zhu Canton, nobody puts Baby in a corner.
They’ve ditched the carts completely in favour of directly bringing you the dishes you order from a picture menu (complete with prices).
They’re taking on the masters at Chefs Gallery in the cuteness stakes with golden Manga Buns ($10/3 pieces) shaped like echidnas. By making a series of clever little snips into the dough, these darling buns get their trademark spines; and they’re super tasty to boot, with crisp outsides and chewy pork centres.
While their glowing red eyes might be a bit of a worry for those with farming backgrounds, the White Rabbit Shaped Dumplings ($9/3 pieces) are another fine table addition, though you’ll find they’re actually filled with prawn, sweet corn and asparagus rather than rabbit.
Even doing yum cha for one isn’t a problem - the Zhu Signature Mixed Dumpling ($15/6 pieces) steamer basket give solo diners a good selection of seafood, soup, caviar, prawn and vegetable dumplings. It includes a Crystal Fungi Dumpling ($8/3) stuffed with a good array of oyster and other Chinese mushrooms, and a Garlic Chive Dumpling ($9/3 pieces).
Gossamer skins allow you to peer through to the vegetables within – thanks to the skills of Johnny Lai (and his team) in the busy dim sum kitchen.
The dim sum menu offers a few fried options - like extra long vegetarian Spring Rolls ($8/3) - which go down well with a long, cold glass of Tsingtao Beer ($8) or a Cascade Premium Light ($6) if you're driving.
The most interesting fried items are the Deep Fried Taro Dumplings ($10/5) - tiny quail egg topped taro birds' nests stuffed with prawn and cheese.
Zhu Canton does a lot more than yum cha – and in case the nervous barramundi in the blue-lit tanks didn’t clue you in when you stepped out of the lift, one of their focuses is live seafood.
We sent the obliging Keith Wong into the tanks for Sweet and Sour Barramundi ($28), deep-fried then presented rather grandly with its head leaping out of a red lake of sweet and sour sauce.
Later we tested Keith’s fire fighting skills, getting him to open our foil-wrapped Taiwanese dish referred to on the menu as Paper Wrapped Chicken with Flame ($23).
With loads of fresh ginger, it felt quite restorative after all the dumplings, however my highlight at the big end of the menu was their achingly tender Stir-fried Diced Beef Short Ribs ($28). And even after this extensive meal, I'm pleased to report that there are still items on this menu I’d like to try.
Note: You can read my lowdown on the Zhu Canton launch party back HERE.
The Randwick Club
Level 3, 135 Alison Road, Randwick
Ph: (02) 9399 4188