Luyu & Yum Yum is a newly opened dumpling and tea house in the heart of Newtown. A very chic and modern restaurant, sexy enough to challenge any of Surry Hills‘ finest! The staff are friendly and attentive, without being overbearing, and the overall ambiance is of slightly upmarket, trendiness – without the associated price tag!
A fully stocked bar enables them to churn out delicious cocktails and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Wine, beer, spirits – you name it, and they’ve probably got it. This includes am impressive floor to ceiling wine cellar along the front wall.
To start with, I ordered “Mr Luyu’s Ice Tea”. Don’t let the unassuming name fool you. This ain’t no ordinary ice tea! This concoction has a powerful hit of Absolut Wild Tea, Luyu Lychee Black Tea, Cointreau, Tequila and Absolut Citron. Garnished with lemon peel and a lychee. Lip smacking deliciousness! Not overly sweet, very refreshing and a pretty potent kick!
I started my meal with the Flying Seafood Dumpling. Scallop, fish ball, prawn, asparagus and flying fish roe, steamed in rice dough. The translucent skin on these dumplings are amazing. Not too thick or doughy and that nice slightly chewy texture we all love in our Chinese dumplings. No overcooked or mushy dumplings here! These delicious morsels are served with 3 sauces: soy sauce (tweaked in-house to enhance the flavour), home-made chilli oil, and a dark vinegar. So good. And guess what. No MSG!
Next was the Caviar Dumpling. These dumplings had prawns, carrots, coriander and celery, steam in a rice dough and topped with a little scoop of caviar. Ah, the taste of the ocean in a perfect little parcel. The thing I love about the dumplings here is that you can feel and taste the ingredients. The vegetables don’t lose their texture and the light crunch as you bite into them is fantastic. This also means you can taste the seafood, which is sourced locally, as is their free range meat, without the need to drown the dumplings in soy sauce or chilli.
The salt and pepper squid was the dish of the day. Cooked perfectly, the squid was exceptionally soft and tender and was encased in a very light batter. The salt and pepper seasoning was absolutely spot on for me as I love punchy flavours. However, if you’re partial to slightly milder flavours, then be sure to ask them to tone down the salt and pepper a little. If you love bold flavours and perfectly cooked seafood, then this is your dish! And who can resist deep fried goodness!!
The dessert appears to change daily. Going by the “Luyu Surprise Dessert” mentioned on the banquet menu, my guess is that it changes based on produce availability. Their desserts range from their own version of Chinese moon cakes to Japanese mochi based desserts – both crowd pleasers no doubt. However, tonight’s offering was a plain fruit tart. I won’t pretend I wasn’t a little disappointed to hear this, but I will admit that I was quite pleased with the result. The fruit tart consists of apple, strawberry, mango juice and yoghurt, with a delicate crispy encasing. The pastry is wafer thin and made in-house by hand, and there is no mistaking the effort that went into the making of those pastries. Delicious, refreshing and quite honestly, the perfect conclusion to dinner.
To wrap up the evening, I was talked into having some tea. Not being much of a tea drinker, I was not all that enthusiastic! However, I was told that this tea aids in digestion. The “Iron Buddha” is a green tea from Fujian China, and is just one of many tea offerings sourced directly from various provinces in China. This tea was mild tasting and very soothing – and the perfect end to an excellent night.
Luyu & Yum Yum are the new kids in town, but are already making waves in the foodie world. If you’re looking for a little atmosphere and ambiance, alongside fantastic Chinese food, then look no further.
Luyu & Yum Yum
196 King Street
Newtown NSW 2042
Contributed by Susan, who dined as a guest on behalf of 2 Hungry Guys