If you feel like spicing up your usual brunch order, yum cha is the perfect way to do so. For those who aren’t familiar with Chinese cuisine, you may be thinking “yum what?” Don’t worry–This article will tell you all there is to know, including the best places to go.
To anyone new to the yum cha scene, let’s start with the basics. Yum cha is the Cantonese take on brunch. Rather than your standard pancakes or eggs, this eating experience is made up of dim sum and Chinese tea. Dim sum is a style of Chinese cuisine served on small plates or in small baskets. The dishes include a variety of fried and steamed foods such as dumplings and pork buns. The purpose of drinking tea in between is to help your stomach digest the meal and cleanse your palate.
Instead of ordering a meal for yourself, yum cha is designed to be shared. Fear not, this doesn’t mean you’ll be leaving with an empty belly. In fact, the more people you’re sharing with, the more dishes you’re likely to try.
Although yum cha may be unfamiliar to some, it’s certainly not new to Auckland. This city has many spots that serve incredible dim sum. To help you decide where to go, we’ve scouted out the best yum cha restaurants in Auckland.
Empress Garden Restaurant
First up, we have the Empress Garden restaurant in Herne Bay. As you enter, you’ll be welcomed with friendly smiles, hanging red lanterns, and the smell of delicious dim sum. Their Peking duck is known for being the best in the city, so make sure to give it a try.
Grand Park Restaurant
If you don’t mind a potential wait, Grand Park Restaurant is a goodie. Their menu consists of numerous mouth-watering dishes, such as honey chicken wings, prawn toast, and beef rice rolls. It’s also only one of the few places in Auckland to offer yam dessert wraps.
Grand Harbour Restaurant
Often referred to as the best yum cha in the city, Grand Harbour Restaurant is high up on our list. The spacious setting accommodates their many hungry customers, with the service generally being reasonably quick. The menu is filled with a variety of options, such as Chinese broccoli, chicken corn soup, and stir-fried beef. Having a range of choices means deciding what to order can be a struggle, so invite as many friends as you can.
HKD Chinese Seafood Restaurant
With reasonable prices and excellent food, it won’t be long before you’re a regular yum cha customer at HKD. From egg yolk buns to beef ribs to chicken feet, there’s plenty to choose from to get the full authentic dim sum experience.
Imperial Palace is a top pick for yum cha in East Auckland. Parking can be a mission on the weekends, but it’s worth it. Their most popular dishes include shrimp dumplings and steamed vermicelli rolls, as well as a whole BBQ section with ribs and wings!
Lucky Fortune Restaurant
Located in Mount Albert by Countdown and CityFitness, Lucky Fortune offers a casual dining environment, perfect for a pre-supermarket or post-gym brunch. Their staff are eager to help, so don’t feel bad if you have plenty of questions. Once again, their menu is packed with endless options, such as amazing crispy rice rolls and delicious steamed BBQ buns. Keep the tea flowing and enjoy!
For something a bit fancier, Huami offers a high end yum cha experience. If you have the budget for it, this Sky City restaurant is worth a visit. With seating options ranging from large tables and private dining rooms to intimate seats for two, you can comfortably enjoy their incredible dishes.