Tea, steamed dim sum, mates and mango pancakes. Is there any dining tradition as unique and treasured in Sydney as yum cha? Although the historic dining experience has largely been replaced by weekend bottomless brunches in terms of popularity, there are still numerous Cantonese restaurants across the city offering some of the best yum cha in Sydney for when you and the boys want to start the day rolling around in prawn har gow, siu mai, braised chicken feet and beef tenderloin.
Given the number of restaurants offering trolley cart yum cha services in Sydney, it’s hard to zone in on the very best options out there. We’ve pulled together the best yum cha restaurants in Sydney as a bit of a guide so you can block out the noise (and trust me, there’s a lot of noise) and focus on the most reliable yum cha sessions around, from Haymarket favourites like Zilver and The Eight to CBD gems like Palace Chinese Restaurant, Sky Phoenix and, of course, Merivale’s Mr Wong.
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Yum Cha Sydney Restaurants Overview [Not Ranked]
- Zilver, Haymarket & Bondi Junction
- East Phoenix, Zetland
- The Eight, Haymarket
- Place Chinese Restaurant, Sydney CBD
- Mama Mulan, Chatswood
- XOPP by Golden Century, Haymarket
- Hung Cheung, Marrickville
- Dynasty Chinese, Belmore
- East Chinese Seafood Restaurant, Haymarket
- China Diner, Bondi
- Sky Phoenix, Sydney CBD
- Mr Wong, Sydney CBD
- Vin Phat, Cabramatta
- Bodhi Restaurant, Sydney CBD
- Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant, Maroubra
- Golden Globe Seafood Restaurant, Burwood
Where To Find The Best Yum Cha Restaurants In Sydney
Zilver, Haymarket & Bondi Junction
Although many of the stalwart yum cha restaurants in Sydney are lifted by history that dates back decades, Zilver takes pride in its contemporary take on the quintessential Cantonese dining experience. Being gently harassed by cart-pushers over some prawn dumplings and foie gras? Yeah, for anyone who adores yum cha, it gets no better. Zilver is an easy pick when you’re looking for the best yum cha restaurants near Sydney CBD.
The Haymarket favourite, just a stone’s throw from Capitol Theatre, opened back in 2005 with an admirable goal of showcasing how adaptable and delicious Cantonese food can be… beyond just what’s seen by many diners as a rather novel experience. The brand has since expanded to include a second restaurant in Bondi Junction.
Everything from the fresh seafood to prawn toast and mango pudding speaks to a high level of consistency, clearly tightly controlled to ensure Zilver remains one of the most popular Chinese restaurants in Sydney for many years to come.
Address: Level 1/477 Pitt St, Haymarket NSW 2000 (also in Westfield Bondi Junction)
Contact: (02) 9211 2232
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday (10:30 am – 3:30 pm, 5:30 pm – 11 pm); Saturday – Sunday (10 am – 3:30 pm, 5:30 pm – 11 pm)
East Phoenix, Zetland
East Phoenix is another major fixture on the Sydney yum cha scene. And to many, it’s the single best yum cha restaurant Sydney has to offer. Why? Service and consistency. Yum cha isn’t necessarily known for polite, plucky service that leaves you feeling like more of a guest than a number.
The typical yum cha experience involves staff pushing carts of steamed dim sum around, basically shouting at you until you sheepishly accept whatever’s in the basket. They need to sell their plates and they will hassle you until they do.
And that’s a good thing. An overly polite person can come across as incredibly insincere. These staff members want you to know that you’re just here to fill their quotas. It’s all very utilitarian, but at least you know what you’re in for.
East Phoenix embodies that as much as Zilver and The Eight, building up a bustling atmosphere that’s genuinely exciting for the taste buds. The egg custard tarts here are divine and should always be taken with a plate of mango pancakes But of course, dessert comes last. You’re here for the moreish chicken feet, the fresh scallop dumplings and prawn dumplings best taken with some XO sauce.
Address: 3/2A Defries Ave, Zetland NSW 2017 (in East Village Shopping Centre)
Contact: (02) 9662 2088
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday (11 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 10 pm); Saturday (10:30 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 10 pm); Sunday (10 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm)
The Eight, Haymarket
After the overwhelming success of nearby Zilver, the same owners behind the Sydney yum cha restaurant opened The Eight in 2011 and quickly built it to the same level of popularity. And while Zilver is still chugging away quite nicely, enjoying a post-pandemic surge of diners who’ve missed yum cha in Sydney over the past few years, The Eight just may be the very best of all the several yum cha restaurants in Haymarket.
You’ll find all the classics here. The Eight is a pretty hefty production, ambitiously attempting to highlight a variety of dishes from the eight culinary cuisines of China. And yet of course it’s Cantonese that’s most popular here, flowing through to a rigorous yum cha experience that’s tight and relentless but a bit less chaotic than ones you’d find nearby.
Those brilliant fried taro dumplings should always be on the table, along with more typical yum cha dishes like braised chicken feet, fluffy pork buns, barbecue pork buns, spinach dumplings, seafood dumplings, Peking duck pancakes with hoisin sauce, spring rolls and of course some of the freshest mango pancakes you’ll find in the city. Although the scope of Chinese cuisine at The Eight is wide, it almost always is about the Cantonese staples here, with the dim sum menu featuring no less than 100 options.
The Eight is also one of the earliest yum cha Sydney restaurants to open on weekends, so if you and your mates roll on through at 9 am looking to wake up to a great atmosphere and a very extensive selection of dim sum.
Address: 9, Market City Shopping Centre, Level 3/13 Hay St, Haymarket NSW 2000
Contact: (02) 9282 9988
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday (10 am – 3:30 pm, 5 pm – 11 pm); Saturday – Sunday (9 am – 3:30 pm, 5 pm – 11 pm)
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Palace Chinese Restaurant
As one of the only good yum cha restaurants in Sydney CBD, Palace Chinese Restaurant is almost always buzzing. And that’s the kind of energy you really want for an authentic yum cha experience – loud, kind of obnoxious, and full of delicious dim sum.
You’ll find Palace Chinese Restaurant in Piccadilly Tower. It’s easy to be overwhelmed for first-timers who stroll in and don’t expect to join a queue that often stretches out of the door. It’s worth the wait.
Once you get inside, those army of trolley carts will be zipping around the large space, delivering all kinds of traditional and modern Cantonese food like melt-in-your-mouth chicken feet, prawn-stuffed rolls of rice noodles (cheung fun) and, blending Cantonese and Australian, XO kangaroo. A signature dish is that gorgeous honeycomb tripe, so make sure you’ve got room for a plate or four.
Address: Shop 38 Level 1 Piccadilly Tower, 133/145 Castlereagh St, Sydney NSW 2000
Contact: (02) 9283 6288
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday (11 am – 3 pm, 5 pm – 10 pm); Saturday – Sunday (9 am – 3 pm, 5 pm – 10 pm)
Located in The Concourse, Chatswood, Mama Mulan doesn’t look like any regular Yum Cha restaurant that you’d find in Haymarket. The multi-million dollar fit-out, inspired by Disney’s Mulan – hence the name – leans into a more sophisticated vibe that moves away from tradition and towards something much more modern.
Don’t let that put you off. There’s no mistaking Mama Mulan for anything but a premium Cantonese restaurant geared towards reinterpreting all the favourites and offering something a bit different than what you’d find in other Sydney yum cha restaurants.
Modernity is the goal here, from pineapple flecked into the pork buns, adding a little fruity taste to the fried dough, to something as outrageous as mango crepes with chocolate sauce. Traditionalists be warned – Mama Mulan is divisive, and while some may hate it with a passion, there are just many loyal customers who crave something different from the usual yum cha experience.
Address: Level 1, The Concourse, Chatswood NSW 2067
Contact: (02) 9157 1488
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday (11 am – 3:30 pm, 5:30 pm – 10 pm); Sunday (11 am – 3:30 pm, 5:30 pm – 9 pm)
XOPP by Golden Century, Haymarket
Opened by the Golden Century Group as a spinoff to its iconic parent restaurant, XOPP holds court over Haymarkets new-wave of yum cha restaurants without doing so much as to put off those after an authentic yum cha dining experience.
While contemporary Cantonese food is most definitely the focus of this relatively new kitchen, the yum cha lunch menu – available from 12 pm to 3 pm – is stacked full of recognisable dishes like steamed prawn dumplings, crispy pork rib with bean curd, braised chicken feet and a divine steamed Cantonese sponge cake.
Address: Level M, Shop 31/1 Little Pier St, Haymarket NSW 2000
Contact: (02) 8030 0000
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Thursday (12 pm – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 10 pm); Friday – Saturday (12 pm – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 11 pm); Sunday (12 pm – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 10 pm)
Hung Cheung, Marrickville
I’ve had just as many bad experiences as I have had good experiences at Hung Cheung, a longstanding yum cha favourite in Marrickville with very reasonable prices. So why is it on this round-up? When it’s good, it’s exceptional.
Fresh seafood and perfectly steamed dumplings are what you’d get on the best days for the eternally busy Hung Cheung kitchen. On bad days, food can be average at best. But the prices here are too attractive to resist the gamble, so even if there’s a consistency issue for this Cantonese restaurant, the risk stings a bit less when things don’t work out.
Address: 338 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204
Contact: (02) 9560 4681
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (10 am – 9:30 pm)
Dynasty Chinese Restaurant, Belmore
Believe it or not, some of Sydney’s best yum cha restaurants are actually in RSLs. It goes against instinct, of course, but Dynasty Chinese Restaurant in Canterbury Leagues Club is a highly dependable yum cha experience worth travelling for.
Best yum cha in Western Sydney? Look, no. Belmore is South-West for starters, but Cambarrata’s Vin Paht may still hold the Western Sydney crown because of just how inexpensive it is.
Regardless, Dynasty Chinese is a formidable option, with all the standards like pillow-soft pork buns and fresh egg custard tarts. Don’t forget the beef belly and tendon lightly covered in hoisin sauce – a favourite for club members, who get a discount each time they dine at this yum cha restaurant.
Address: 26 Bridge Rd, Belmore NSW 2192 (in Canterbury Leagues Club)
Contact: (02) 9704 7704
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Thursday (11 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 9 pm); Friday (11 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 10 pm); Saturday (10 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 10 pm); Sunday (10 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 9 pm)
East Ocean Seafood Restaurant, Haymarket
Here’s one of the most obvious choices when you’re thinking about popular yum cha restaurants near Sydney CBD. Much like The Eight and Zilver, East Ocean Seafood Restaurant is now an indelible part of Haymarket, and for many the area’s most definitive yum cha restaurant.
With a large capacity – although expect to queue if you don’t have a booking – there’s plenty of room for those trolley-carts to run around with staff impatiently shouting out their dishes in the hopes you’ll want to tuck back into seconds and thirds. And you most likely will. The food here is consistently delicious, from the traditional favourites like seafood dumplings and crowd pleasure pork buns to a la carte essentials like salt & pepper king crab.
Address: Level1/421-429 Sussex St, Haymarket NSW 2000
Contact: (02) 9212 1989
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday (10 am – 3 pm, 5 pm – 10 pm); Friday – Saturday (10 am – 3 pm, 5 pm – 11 pm)
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China Diner, Bondi
China Diner Bondi isn’t necessarily renowned for its yum cha, but that’s only because the local favourite on Hall Street has only recently introduced the offering on its new menu. Over the years, China Diner has had a broader scope on Asian dining, with a lot of flavours taken from South-East Asia. It was only until recently that the restaurant narrowed its focus on Cantonese, given the sore lack of such options around Bondi Beach when compared to the famous suburb’s love of Mexican and Japanese.
China Diner is one of the yum cha places in Sydney that serve up a full cocktail list, so you’ve also got that point of distinction while you’re watching trolleys run around the space from 11 am to 3 pm with items like prawn tom yum dumplings, the classic prawn har gow, golden scallop and bamboo shoot dumplings, chicken spring rolls and lotus leaf chicken rice.
Note that China Diner yum cha is only available at the Bondi restaurant. The brand has another eatery in Double Bay which has not yet introduced the new menu.
Address: 75/79 Hall St, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
Contact: 1300 244 620
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday (5:30 pm – 10:30 pm); Friday – Saturday (5 pm – 11 pm); Sunday (11 am – 10:30 pm)
Perched near the top of Westfield Sydney, Sky Phoenix has become one of the most popular yum cha restaurants in the CBD and is almost always packed full of hungry diners greedily shouting for more of those silky egg tarts while those big round tables are stacked with half-finished baskets of steamed dim sum and plates of saucy noodles.
Sky Phoenix is a bit more polished than some of the more traditional yum cha sessions you’d find in Haymarket, but that doesn’t stop operators from barrelling into this place and leaving an absolute mess. The atmosphere inspires that kind of all-you-can-eat mentality, so it’s always super competitive to try and get the best dishes from the staff tirelessly pushing around those food carts.
Address: Shop 6001/188 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000 (in Westfield Sydney)
Contact: (02) 9223 8822
Opening Hours: Monday (11 am – 3 pm); Tuesday – Saturday (11 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm); Sunday (10:30 am – 3 pm, 5 pm – 9 pm)
Mr Wong, Sydney CBD
You knew this was coming sooner or later. Mr Wong is the most high-end yum cha experience we’ve got in Sydney, and reliably one of Merivale’s biggest earners for good reason.
Chef Dan Hong helped open Mr Wong back in 2012, and has since turned it into a star-studded powerhouse of Cantonese flavours. Truth be told, the last few times I’ve been, I’ve found the food a bit too oily. But almost all of the best restaurants in Sydney have their off-days, and while steadfast consistency isn’t on the cards for Mr Wong, more often than not you’ll at least waddle away from that eye-popping expensive bill with a great big grin of satisfaction.
A faultless mixed basket of dim sum, king crab fried rice, rich and melty Peking duk, fragrant crispy eggplant – all must orders at Mr Wong, although perhaps nothing quite hits the spot as that signature Char Siu roasted Glacier 51 toothfish, best flanked by plates of wagyu and truffle puffs, mapo tofu and some extra lobster and scallop dumplings.
Address: 3 Bridge Ln, Sydney NSW 2000
Contact: (02) 9114 7317
Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday (12 pm – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 10 pm); Friday – Saturday (12 pm – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 11 pm)
You’ll have to travel out to Cabramatta to experience Vin Phat and the frequent chaos that stems from queues that sometimes snake around the corner.
This spot is known as one of the most affordable yum cha places in Sydney, meaning you can get more in for less. Going back for multiple rounds of slippery chee cheong fun and stacks of pork buns is totally reasonable here, seeing as you won’t be slapped with a hefty bill afterwards.
Address: 12/10 Hughes St, Cabramatta NSW 2166
Contact: (02) 9726 2720
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (9 am – 3 pm, 5 pm – 9 pm)
Bodhi Restaurant, Sydney CBD
Even if you’ve never been to Bodhi, you’ve surely walked past it. It’s that non-descript restaurant at the St James end of Hyde Park, neighbouring the more casual cafe which is mostly packed during weekday lunch hour. Bodhi may not seem it, but it’s actually one of the best yum cha places in Sydney specifically for vegans given that the kitchen finds creative ways to work in Cantonese classics using plant-based ingredients.
Meat-free duck pancakes? Check. Plant-based dumplings? They always hit the spot. Even those silky cheong fun noodles are really just tofu rolls stuffed with textural water chestnuts for something a bit different.
Address: Cook + Phillip Park, 2/4 College St, Sydney NSW 2000
Contact: (02) 9360 2523
Opening Hours: Wednesday – Saturday (11 am – 3 pm, 5 pm – 10 pm); Sunday (11 am – 4 pm, 5 pm – 10 pm)
Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant
You wouldn’t really expect to find one of the best yum cha restaurants Sydney has to offer down in Maroubra. And yet Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant is one of the most reliable spots outside of your typical neighbourhoods like Chinatown, Burwood and Chatswood.
It’s mostly your standard fare here, with Golden Unicorn Chinese Restaurant matching its by-the-beach location with fresh seafood dumplings and lighter Cantonese dishes. Not many people outside of Maroubra eat here, but it’s well worth travelling for next time you’re feeling like a quick yum cha sesh followed by a stroll on Maroubra beach.
Address: 2/193 Maroubra Rd, Maroubra NSW 2035
Contact: (02) 9344 9278
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday (11 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 9 pm); Saturday – Sunday (10:30 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 9 pm)
Golden Globe Seafood Restaurant
Noisy, relentless and overstimulating. Golden Globe Seafood Restaurant is exactly what you want when you’re looking for yum cha in Burwood. The neighbourhood has plenty of these restaurants, but Golden Globe has always been the top pick.
You’ll know exactly what time it is as soon as you walk into that massive space, spread generously with enough room for all the carts to dart between the big round tables with all the standard dishes prepared with precision.
Address: 208 Burwood Rd, Burwood NSW 2134
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (10: 30 am – 3 pm, 5:30 pm – 10 pm)
Best Yum Cha Sydney – Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best yum cha in Sydney?
The best yum cha in Sydney can be found at The Eight, Zilver, Palace Chinese Restaurant, Mr Wong and East Ocean Seafood Restaurant.
What should I order at yum cha in Sydney?
Well, you should always get the pork buns at yum cha followed by baskets of steamed dim sum, prawn dumplings, braised chicken feet and beef noodles.
What’s the best yum cha in Chinatown Sydney?
You’re going to be choosing between The Eight and Zilver if you’re looking for the best yum cha in Chinatown. We lean towards the larger scope of The Eight.