Sunday, 21 December 2008

An impromptu Yum Cha Posse at Dragon Boat Palace

Dragon Boat Palace
149 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne (map)
9639 0888


Two Saturdays ago Miss L, Miss B and Miss T came along to hear me sing in a concert - afterwards, they suggested an impromptu Yum Cha Posse for the following afternoon, prior to F&H's engagement drinks. It had been AGES since the last YCP! We settled for John So's Dragon Boat Palace, and M and H also joined us.

Dragon Boat Palace

We yummed up a whole lot of dumplings to start with, including har gow (prawn dumplings - my brother Buster's absolute favourite yum cha dish) and prawn and vegetable. My absolute favourite yum cha dish, chee cheong fun (rice noodle rolls), is just visible there in the background.


For our fried dish, we eschewed the chewy calamari and opted instead for these excellent whitebait in batter.

Fried whitebait

We also enjoyed the sticky rice (again, barely visible in the photo below) and several
rolls and dumplings encased in bean curd skin. The gingery prawn ones were especially good.

Yum Cha

While I don't think Dragon Boat Palace is the best yum cha restaurant in Melbourne, I find it's pretty reliable for pretty good yum cha. One of the things I really like about it is the side galleries - it breaks up the space nicely but one still gets full access to all the trolley goodies.

Dragon Boat Palace

The egg custard tarts were still very hot when they came out. Mmmmmmmm.

Egg tarts

Miss L suggested we also get some silky tofu for dessert. Despite adoring silky tofu in Chinese dishes like ma po fofu, and having read about this dessert with interest when Mellie from Tummy Rumbles reviewed Shark Fin House last year, I had never tried this dish before - silky tofu in a light ginger syrup. It's delicious and subtle and as Mellie said, the perfect post-yum cha palate cleanser. I'll be ordering it every time from now on!

Silky tofu

We were a bit early for the engagement drinks, so we wandered along the Chinatown alleyways, admiring the street art and stopping in at Section 8 for a quick sunny drink.

Section 8

LOVE these pashing skeletons! They immediately reminded me of Björk's All is Full of Love robots. I particularly like the way it looks like one skeleton's arm has snapped off due to the passion of the embrace. Anyone know which artist's handiwork this is? Many thanks to the reader who identified Vexta as the artist... check out her website, her art rocks! :)

Pashing skeletons

Hey kid... wanna get famous?

Stevenson Lane

We eventually made our way up to Rooftop to congratulate F and H on their impending nuptials... spent the rest of the afternoon basking in the sun on overstuffed cushions and drinking Pimms cocktails. Not a bad way to finish the weekend!

Rooftop Bar


mellie said...

Mmm...I just love dau fu fa. Sometimes you might see it served with a brown sugar syrup as well, which is quite yum.

Anonymous said...

Aww you make me miss Melbs so much!

Mmm... prawny yum cha... *sniff sniff*

Anonymous said...

The Skeleton paste-ups are a Melbourne artist named Vexta.

claire said...

Oooh, it's called dau fu fa is it mellie? Awesome! I will now forever think of it as foux de fa fa. Merci mon petit bureau de change! :-)

Aw, Anonymous#1, what prawny yum cha-deprived corner of the world are you living in? You have my sympathies!

Thanks for identifying the artist for me Anonymous#2! I have updated accordingly.

Quantum Phobia said...

You're so lucky ^^!

Jetsetting Joyce said...

I've never been to Dragon Boat Palace, but that's because I'm partial to Shark Fin House - have you been before? Personally I think it serves the best yum cha in Melbourne and I like to think I have some credibility because my (Chinese) mum and dad back me up! Jetsetting Joyce