From braised chicken feet and fried taro dumplings to soft pork buns and fragrant Chinese tea, there’s nothing like an old-fashioned and incredibly chaotic yum cha session with the boys. Fortunately, Melbourne does the dining tradition quite well. The city may lack the behemoth yum cha essentials of Sydney like Zilver, Palace Chinese Restaurant and Mr Wong, but there’s no shortage of good yum cha restaurants peppered across Australia’s cultural capital.
Looking for yum cha in Melbourne? You’re going to want to keep this round-up handy as we’ve gone through and picked only the best yum cha spots from Chinatown and Prahran to the most obvious pick of the great Golden Dragon Palace in Templestowe.
These Cantonese restaurants all offer traditional trolley kart yum cha service, meaning you’ll typically meet with the frantic process of staff zipping around big, round tables like hawkers looking to offload their specific dish. Which could be anything from all the usual dim sum options to sweet suckling pig, salt and pepper calamari, duck dumplings, prawn dumplings, scallop dumplings, spring rolls, xiao long bao, beef spare ribs and even – in the case of David’s Yum Cha and Oriental Teahouse – banana fritters and white chocolate dumplings.
Best Yum Cha In Melbourne – Table Of Contents
- Golden Dragon Palace – Templestowe
- Gold Leaf Chinese Restaurant – Docklands
- Lee Ho Fook – Melbourne CBD
- David’s Yum Cha – Prahran
- Red Door Yum Cha – Windsor
- Crystal Jade – Melbourne CBD
- Shark Fin Inn – Melbourne CBD
- Tim Ho Wan – Melbourne CBD
- Lucky Chan Restaurant – Southbank
- Oriental Teahouse – Melbourne CBD
- Flower Drum – Melbourne CBD
- Spice Temple – Southbank
- Secret Kitchen Chinatown – Melbourne CBD
Best Yum Cha Melbourne Has To Offer
Golden Dragon Palace – Templestowe
Get in fast for a weekend booking and round up the boys for a short drive out to Templestowe. Consider the trip a tried and true tradition as far as Melbourne’s best yum cha goes, with Golden Dragon Palace regularly drawing diners out of the CBD with its over-the-top, highly ornate interior and electric-paced atmosphere.
You’ll get all the typical yum cha favourites at Golden Dragon Palace, seeing as the kitchen has enough scope for over 100 different dishes without falling prey to the pitfalls of mass production. Quality here is consistent and admirably committed to traditional favours like siu mai with XO sauce, sweet suckling pig, har gow and spongy cheung fun. Don’t forget the typical sweet treats like mango pancake and you’ll understand why this has long been a neighbourhood favourite and a destination in its own right.
Address: 363 Manningham Rd, Templestowe VIC 3107
Contact: (03) 9852 4087
Opening Hours: Monday (11:30 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm); Wednesday – Sunday (11:30 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm)
Gold Leaf Chinese Restaurant – Docklands
Melbourne’s beloved Gold Leaf Restaurants offer some of the best yum cha Melbourne has to offer, with the Docklands branch typically being the best and most convenient option for big groups looking for a bit of a dim sum sesh on a Sunday.
Don’t go in expecting Gold Leaf to break the mod when it comes to yum cha. You’ve got all the favourites here like chicken feet, sui mai and har gow, plus the pork buns here are particularly excellent as are those excellent silken tofu rolls.
The real value here lies in accessibility. Gold Leaf Restaurant never quits when it comes to yum cha, so you aren’t restricted to the typical weekend lunch service if you’re feeling some dim sum and other great Chinese food at night. Consider it the go-to for your daily yum cha cravings given, much like Golden Dragon Palace, this kitchen offers over 100 different varieties of yum cha dishes.
Address: 10-11 Star Cres, Docklands VIC 3008
Contact: (03) 9670 1128
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday (12 pm – 3 pm, 6 pm – late); Saturday (11:30 am – 3:30 pm, 6 pm – late); Sunday (11 am – 3:30 pm, 6 pm – late)
Lee Ho Fook – Melbourne CBD
Head down Duckboard Place to find what was, is and most likely always will be one of the best Chinese restaurants in Australia. Lee Ho Fook is great any time of the week, but on Saturdays and Sundays the kitchen offers traditional yum cha for lunch with a more refined and quieter approach.
Don’t go expecting the fast-paced trolley service style here, with Lee Ho Fook instead opting for a $40 four-course yum cha menu with the option for add-ons and a primo wine list. Think classics like steamed prawn and chive dumplings, prawn toast with sweet and sour sauce, and wok fried rice noodles.
Address: 11-15 Duckboard Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact: (03) 9654 8239
Yum Cha Opening Hours: Saturday – Sunday (12 pm – 4 pm)
David’s Yum Cha – Prahran
David’s yum cha is a reliable crowd pleaser from owner David Zhou, operating much like Oriental Teahouse (also on this list) with a bit of a different approach to typical yum cha offerings. The all you can eat menu is popular, but you’d be remiss not to scroll through the a la carte offering and roll off a list of Shanghainese yum cha favourites that should always lead up to those moreish white chocolate dumplings.
Start with some drunken chicken and pan-fried BBQ porn buns before moving on to a dumpling feast that should always include those excellent mapo tofu dumplings with Szechuan pepper sauce and some beef dumplings with black bean sauce. Make sure the tables got some of those honey black pepper beef short ribs and smoked duck legs as well and you’re set for some of the best yum cha in Melbourne.
Address: 4 Cecil Pl, Prahran VIC 3181
Contact: (03) 9529 5199
Opening Hours: Wednesday – Friday (6 pm – 10 pm); Saturday (12 pm – 3:30 pm, 6 pm – 10 pm); Sunday (11:30 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 9 pm)
Red Door Yum Cha – Windsor
Red Door Yum Cha flies a bit under the radar in Windsor but the loyal following this relatively tiny restaurant has amassed isn’t without reason. The atmosphere is eclectic and a bit of a change from your typical yum cha experience, with antique furniture mirroring the Ming and Qing dynasties and a more exploratory approach to Cantonese cuisine.
You’ll find some traditional fare from Bejing and Shanghai mostly, adapted into a consistently excellent a la carte menu that does away with trolley service and focuses on a calmer experience. Some of the best orders here include Shanghai chicken soup dumplings, beef sui mai and braised pork belly with Chinese wine and star anise.
Address: 1 Mcilwrick St, Windsor VIC 3181
Contact: (03) 9510 9658
Opening Hours: Monday – Tuesday (6 pm – 10 pm); Wednesday – Sunday (12 pm – 3 pm, 6 pm – 10 pm)
Crystal Jade – Melbourne CBD
Don’t think dinner will be any less busy than the lunch service at this bustling yum cha restaurant on Little Bourke St. Much like nearby Shark Fin Inn, Crystal Jade is considered one of the best restaurants for yum cha in Melbourne CBD, leaning more towards fresh seafood but also sporting plenty of small, detailed twists to yum cha favourites like fried taro dumplings with creamy chicken filling and golden lava buns with lightly salted egg custard.
It’s highly advised to book well ahead of your visit to Crystal Jade considering the queue can often snake well outside the door, spilling out onto Little Bourke St so anyone passing by can never mistake this for anything but one of the best Cantonese restaurants in Melbourne.
Address: 154 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact: (03) 9639 2633
Opening Hours: Monday (11:15 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 10 pm), Wednesday – Friday (11:15 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 10 pm); Saturday – Sunday (11 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 10 pm)
Shark Fin Inn – Melbourne CBD
Walk through the doors of that bright red facade that sticks out like a sore thumb on Little Bourke Street and you’ve just stumbled upon one of the best spots for yum cha in Melbourne. Shark Fin Inn may be a fairly limiting name, but the throwback Cantonese restaurant, with interiors that look both charming and slightly dated, is diverse, invariably delicious and absolutely deserving of its reputation as a local dining institution.
The variety of yum cha dishes is reason enough to grab a table here, but the quality puts Shark Fin Inn amongst the very best in Melbourne with excellent value best found in dishes like chicken feet with black bean sauce (somewhat of a signature dish here), satay calamari and fried egg custard tarts.
Address: 50 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact: (03) 9662 2681
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (11 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 10 pm)
Tim Ho Wan – Melbourne CBD
You might not have heard much from Tim Ho Wan in previous years. The Hong Kong-born chain, which quickly shot to fame as the world’s cheapest Michelin-star restaurant, arrived in Australia a few years ago to try and recreate its global success but largely failed. Sydney no longer has any Tim Ho Wan restaurant – there was one in Sydney CBD and one in Chatswood – but the brand hasn’t left the country completely.
You’ll find Tim Ho Wan Melbourne on Bourke Street, making a strong case for the brand even if it failed to meet the same level of popularity as it has experienced in other countries. Something about those unique, biscuity BBQ pork buns will never get old, offered alongside a hefty list of more premium yum cha dishes to help remind you why this global brand can still work down under.
Address: 206 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact: (03) 9663 9691
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (10 am – 8 pm)
Lucky Chan Restaurant – Southbank
Located in Crown Melbourne, Lucky Chan Restaurant plays away from those more accessible yum cha restaurants to offer something a bit more premium. Although you’ve still got those clattering trolleys calmy moving about the space, serving up dim sum, dumplings and noodle dishes prepared to a high standard.
The lunch service here is for those looking for a more typical yum cha experience, offering up plates of deep fried squid tentacles and steamed spare ribs alongside favourites like the signature deep-fried pork and seafood dumplings, steamed beef balls and mango pudding.
Address: Crown Casino, 31, 33/8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC 3006
Contact: (03) 9696 3966
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (11:30 am – 3 pm, 6 pm – 10 pm)
Oriental Teahouse – Melbourne CBD
You’ll find Oriental Teahouse in South Yarra, carving out a nice and relatively relaxed space for a more refined yum cha experience with hand-blended teas and premium dim sum offerings and dumplings with a difference like the roast duck dumplings with Peking sauce and, even better, pulled pork dumplings, best taken alongside some fresh ginger prawn dumplings.
Too often yum cha can feel rather same-same in Melbourne, and while that’s part of the appeal (consistency always counts for a lot), it’s good to know that Oriental Teahouse is there for when you want to take a bit of a left-turn and experience a different kind of yum cha – more sophisticated without a gratuitous price hike.
You’ll want to save room after all those dumplings for some of the other treats on the a la carte menu, like the plant-based Buddha’s BBQ buns and pan-fried spring onion pancakes, both delicious options best followed by signature white chocolate dumplings with coconut and peanut praline – a welcome change from the usual mango pancakes, which you won’t find at Oriental Teahouse.
Address: 378 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact: (03) 9600 4230
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Wednesday (12 pm – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 9 pm); Thursday – Saturday (12 pm – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 10 pm)
Flower Drum – Melbourne CBD
Flower Drum isn’t your typical choice for yum cha in Melbourne. The famous Cantonese fine diner is the reference point for more a sophisticated experience if you’re in a particular mood for regional Chinese food, but play your cards right across the a la carte menu and you can put together a great yum cha feast.
The dim sum selection is standard-setting and varied, with favourites like the Berkshire pork and prawn siu mai, prawn har gao and Shanghai-style pan-fried dumplings filled with either pork or chicken. Make sure you’re filling the table with those dim sum plates first before you dig a bit deeper with dishes like crayfish omelette, saltbush lamb cutlets and seafood fried rice with black truffle.
Flower Drum isn’t a cheap night out, but it’s definitely a worthwhile option if you want to take your yum cha session to the next level.
Address: 17 Market Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact: (03) 9662 3655
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday (12 pm – 3 pm, 6 pm – 11 pm); Sunday (6 pm – 11 pm)
Spice Temple – Southbank
Much like Flower Drum, Spice Temple isn’t the typical choice for yum cha but when you want to do without the trolley service and opt for something a bit more high-end then this ain’t a bad shout at all.
You’ll want to tuck into the dumplings first and foremost, filling the table with lamb dumplings, prawn wontons and some of those lush lobster and prawn dumplings. Then jump to the likes of stir fried abalone and Nanjing style red braised pork hock, best taken with sides of steamed Chinese broccoli and followed up with a premium take on mango pudding with condensed milk chantilly.
Address: Crown Casino, 31, 33/8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC 3006
Contact: (02) 8099 7088
Opening Hours: Tuesday (6 pm – 9 pm); Wednesday – Thursday (12 pm – 3 pm, 6 pm – 9 pm); Friday (12 pm – 3 pm, 6 pm – 10 pm); Saturday (5:30 pm – 10 pm)
Secret Kitchen Chinatown – Melbourne CBD
Although Secret Kitchen has a few outposts across the city, you’ll want to go to the Chinatown venue to really get a sense of why this brand is synonymous with yum cha in Melbourne. Once those trolleys start rolling get ready for waves of fresh seafood to waft around the space, making use of that immense live seafood aquarium that towers across the restaurant’s two floors.
It’s not the top pick for the best yum cha in Melbourne, but you can hardly ever go wrong with the cheap-and-cheerful approach of Secret Kitchen Chinatown.
Note that on weekends, Secret Kitchen Chinatown’s opening hours work a bit differently to say about every other restaurant in the city. They are quite odd, split up into three lunchtime sessions that are only just over an hour long, and then a continuous dinner service from 5:30 pm till late.
Address: 222 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact: (03) 9988 7778
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday (11 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 10 pm); Saturday – Sunday (10:30 am – 11:50 pm, 12 pm – 1:20 pm; 1:45 pm – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 11 pm)
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Best Yum Cha Melbourne Has To Offer – Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the best yum cha in Melbourne?
You’ll find the best Melbourne yum cha sessions at Golden Dragon Palace, David’s Yum Cha and Shark Fin Inn. Oriental Teahouse and Spice Temple are also very reliable when it comes to your dim sum and dumpling cravings.
Where is the best yum cha in Melbourne CBD?
Most of the city’s best yum cha restaurants are in the heart of Melbourne around Bourke Street, so you won’t have to look far to find some great dim sum and dumplings. Head on over to Oriental Teahouse and Shark Fin Inn for the most consistent yum cha experience.
Can I have yum cha for dinner?
While yum cha is typically thought of as a day thing, there are plenty of restaurants across Melbourne that also offer a dinner service like Secret Kitchen in Chinatown and Oriental Teahouse.