Melbourne boasts some of the best Yum Cha experiences in the whole of Australia. These restaurants serve a variety of nuanced dumplings and dishes that are intricately crafted to suit your every culinary desire.
Whether you are seeking to drown in weekend Dim Sum, or perk up your senses during a weekday lunchtime, you will the perfect option in the list below.
So let’s take a look at the best yum cha restaurants in Melbourne.
Location: Crown Melbourne, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank, VIC 3006 Ph: (03) 9081 0533
Opening Hours: Mon & Tues Closed, Wed & Thurs 6pm-9pm, Fri 6-10pm, Sat 12pm-3pm & 5.30pm-10pm, Sun 12pm-3pm & 5.30pm-9pm
Over at Spice Temple, the flavoursome dishes attract visitors from all ends of Australia. Mind you, with a renowned chef like Neil Perry at the helm, it’s popularity is not surprising.
It takes its inspiration from the underrated Chinese provinces and serves their culinary excellence to you, one dish at a time. These dishes are ordered via an a la carte menu and the service is also top notch.
Location: 4 Cecil Place, Prahran, VIC 3181 Ph: (03) 9529 5199
Opening Hours: Mon & Tues Closed, Wed-Fri 6pm-10pm, Sat 12pm-3pm & 6pm-10pm, Sun 11:30am-3pm & 5.30pm-9pm
David’s Restaurant is definitely a strong contender amongst the best yum cha restaurants in Melbourne.
The white interior of David’s, complete with paper lamps presents a minimalistic, slender environment to enjoy some Yum Cha! The baskets flow promptly to the table as soon as you are sat down.
It is an all-you-can eat style menu and each dish is influenced by generations of gorgeous cuisine crafted in rural Shanghai. You will be served each steaming basket with a smile until you are happily fed.
If you love the vibrancy of Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese and more cuisines, see our guide to the Best Asian Fusion Food in Melbourne.
Location: 222 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9988 778
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-3pm & 5.30pm-10pm, 11am-3pm & 5:30pm-11pm, Sat & Sun 10.30am-11.50am & 12pm-1.20pm & 1.45pm-3pm & 5.30pm-10pm
Also at Shop L2-2003, 619 Doncaster Rd, Doncaster, VIC 3108 Ph: (03) 9840 2248
Secret Kitchen’s trolleys roll out every day during lunchtime sittings. The hustle and bustle of the busy Chinatown streets is drowned out by the phenomenal fish tank that is on display.
It boasts itself as one of the most extensive live seafood aquariums in the whole of Melbourne and so you probably shouldn’t get too attached to any fish that you see!
This Yum Cha spot has fifty years of culinary experience and you can therefore expect to experience the most authentic, taste experience at this restaurant.
For smokey Japanese izakaya fare, see our review of Robata in the CBD
Location: Crown Melbourne, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank, VIC 3006 Ph: (03) 9292 5777
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu 12pm-2:30pm & 6pm-10pm, Fri 12pm-2:30pm & 6pm-10:30pm, Sat 12pm-3pm & 5:30pm-10:30pm
This restaurant isn’t your standard eatery. It’s culinary excellence comes at a price but for $50, you will receive a choice of three exquisite dishes including lobster, ginger & green onion dumplings alongside noodles or congee.
It may not be the most inexpensive option on this list, but you’ll most definitely continue your day feeling more than satisfied, knowing that you’ve just filled your stomach full of fresh and nutritious food.
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Location: Emporium Shopping Centre, 287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9654 1876
Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 11:30am-2:30pm & 5pm-8:30pm, Fri 11:30am-2:30pm & 5pm-9pm, Sat-Sun 11am-8:30pm
This restaurant has built a cult-following for a reason. You may have to queue to get in but it is well worth any wait. You will be given a buzzer that will alert you to when there is seating available. Don’t be put off. Here, dumpling making truly is an art form.
It’s popularity speaks for itself and their dumplings are a taste sensation that you won’t forget in a hurry.
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Location: 17 Market Ln, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9662 3655
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm & 7pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-3pm & 6:30pm-11pm, Sun 6pm-10:30pm
The flower drum is well known as an ancient Chinese dance and your tastebuds will undoubtedly be jiving once you have experienced the Melbournian version.
Their protein menu alternates seasonally and they only use the utmost freshest ingredients to achieve the intricate balance of flavours contained within each dish. Moreover, their Yum Cha banquets have made their mark as some of the best in the city.
They also come accompanied with matching wines. It may be a more expensive Yum Cha restaurant, but it promises to be an experience that you’ll never forget!
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Location: Crown Melbourne, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank, VIC 3006 Ph: (03) 9696 3966
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11:30am-3pm & 6pm-11pm
The Lucky Chan is undoubtedly a decadent option. They offer exquisite Yum Cha options alongside an incredible Cantonese menu that includes live seafood.
The trolleys are heavily laden with Dim Sum dishes that can either be a wholesome addition to a main course or easily be eaten as a whole meal.
Location: 211 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, VIC 3065 Ph: (03) 9417 7700
Opening Hours: Unknown.
This Yum Cha restaurant is located within the Builders Arms Hotel and there is an undoubtable juxtaposition between the hotel’s name and the intricate delicacies on offer here!
The head chef, Archan Chan, crafts beautifully modernised versions of traditional dishes including Peking duck spring rolls. The staff do not serve the dishes on trolleys and opt to serve you by hand.
They are also more than willing to encourage those who are more hesitant about their more experimental dishes.
Editor’s Note: We have been informed that Ricky & Pinky’s has closed. We will let you know if they pop up somewhere else.
Are you heading down the coast for a day (or 2) in Geelong? Then check out our Best Restaurants in Geelong for some dining suggestions.
Location: 14-16 Market Lane, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9650 8128
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu 11:30am-3pm & 5:30pm-10:30pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-3pm & 5:30pm-11pm
HuTong may not serve traditional Yum Cha options but all of your hesitancy will soon be lost when you try a basket of their Xiao-Long-Bao. These heavenly parcels contain pan fried pork, chilli wonton and dumplings and will be sure to satisfy your dumpling-cravings.
The flavour of these parcels sets this restaurant apart as they are intricately crafted with a delicate balance of spiced meat.
Ah dumplings! How we love them. Check out our guide to the Best Dumplings in Melbourne.
Location: 10-11 Star Cres, Docklands, VIC 3008 Ph: (03) 96701128
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm & 6pm-10pm, Sat 11:30am-3:30pm & 6pm-10pm, Sun 11am-3pm & 6pm-10pm
These trolleys roll out at an incredible pace and serve food ranging from traditional dumplings to more experimental options that come dripping in XO sauce. The Gold Leaf experience is a prominent example of the busy Yum Cha dining experience.
It is perfect for a weekday lunch hour, enabling you to sit back whilst indulging in their copious baskets and wash it down with some refreshing Chinese tea before returning to the day’s graft.
If you want to raise your own dumpling and yum cha game, you need a good cookbook. Dumplings and Noodles: Bao, Gyoza, Biang Biang, Ramen and Everything in Between is a great place to start.
Location: 58 Hawthorn Rd, Caulfield North, VIC 3161 Ph: (03) 9500 8819
Opening Hours: Tue 5:30pm-10:30pm, Wed-Sun 12pm-3pm & 5:30pm-10:30pm
We are off to the wilds of Caulfield North for the next of our best yum cha restaurants in Melbourne.
This restaurant amalgamates Malaysian and Chinese cuisine (as well as Japanese culinary influences). It boasts an incredible selection of dim sum as part of their Yum Cha daily menu.
There are also a wide range of options for vegetarians and those with a gluten intolerance making this a wholesome and inclusive venue for gatherings of family and friends.
Location: South Yarra, 455 Chapel Street, South Yarra VIC 3141
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu 10:30am-10pm, Fri-Sat 10:30am-11pm
This teahouse delivers small parcels of delicious food coupled with exquisitely brewed Chinese tea. It boasts two locations across Melbourne and each takes an alternate approach to serving it’s Yum Cha.
You’ll undoubtedly find all of the quintessential flavours in both restaurants and this is the perfect location for immaculately crafted dumplings including a white chocolate option. You’d be a fool to miss out.
If you like to ‘winter in the sun’ up in FNQ, read our piece on the Best Restaurants in Port Douglas.
Location: 363 Manningham Rd, Templestowe, VIC 3107 Ph: (03) 9852 4087
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-3pm & 6pm-10pm, Sat-Sun 11am-3pm & 6pm-10:30pm
If you find yourself in Templestowe, check out Golden Dragon Palace. This restaurant is well known for serving some of the finest Yum Cha in the whole of Melbourne. The food is exquisitely well presented and the trolleys are packed with bamboo baskets.
In addition, the decor here is quite something. The restaurant is features ornate dragon’s as well as jaw-dropping chandeliers. Their scallop dumplings are highly recommended, as are their drool-inspiring mango pancakes for dessert.
This is definitely not one to miss but book ahead for lunchtime sittings to avoid unnecessary disappointment!
Whilst not as well-known for its Yum Cha as many places on this list, Dumpling King Box Hill serves honest, tasty Chinese food at a great price point.
Location: 323 Rathdowne St, Carlton, VIC 3053 Ph: (03) 9347 3322
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 12pm-3pm & 5pm-10pm, Sun 11am-3pm & 5pm-10pm
Chow down within this immaculately designed venue that boasts life-sized stone warriors that gaze at you whilst you eat.
This is a certainly unique experience. However, the East Imperial has definitely found the right balance between the Yum Cha trolley-tradition and providing an atmospheric environment with plenty to look at while you sample their exquisite food.
Impress your friends and please your family with the Magic Dumpling Maker Kit. These easy-to-use dumpling molds are great to get the kids helping in the kitchen. And, of course, you can also use them to make gyozas, empanadas, ravioli and more.
If you like the idea of European breads and pastries given an Asian twist, see our review of #1000 Bread – famous for its cube croissants
Location: 50 Little Bourke St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Ph: (03) 9662 2681
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am-3pm & 5:30pm-1:30am, Sun 11am-3pm & 5:30pm-1:30am
This restaurant is located near Parliament House and has been serving the highest standard of Cantonese food since the 1980s. It is renowned as a local favourite and has lasted for a long time for a very specific reason; it’s food is incredible.
The deep red windows and wonderfully nuanced fluorescent sign is just a small indication to the kind of authentic experience that is on offer at the Shark Fin Inn! This restaurant is one of the best Yum Cha restaurants in Australia, let alone Melbourne.
We love the spice and heat of a good curry. For our top Indian Restaurants in Melbourne, click here.
Location: 282 Carlisle St, Balaclava, VIC 3183 Ph: (03) 9088 8022
Over in Balaclava, the Commune Group has opened a stylish Chinese restaurant in an absolute stunner of a building.
With a menu that leans towards Cantonese fare, this Art Deco beauty now serves yum cha every Saturday and Sunday as a very appealing lunch option.
For $60pp, you get to choose 8 delectable dishes from a list that currently carries 18. And with some many favourites, from Roast Duck Pancake with Peach Hoisin to Crystal Prawn Dumpling with Fermented Chilli, deciding on a mere 8 is a tough call!
In a very civilised move, the team at Moonhouse can also rustle up you a Breakfast Martini Carafe or, for $35pp, there’s Bottomless Booze in the form of bubble, wine or beer.
All in all, it sounds like a must-try yum cha lunch experience to us.
Whilst we’re mentioning boozy lunchtimes, here are our top Bottomless Brunch Spots in Melbourne
Location: 147 Johnston St, Collingwood, VIC 3066 Ph: (03) 9090 7878
Ultra-cool industrial chic vibes? Check.
Spicy modern Sichuan fare? Check.
100% plant-based menu? Check.
Unlimited Yum Cha Lunch? Check.
Few dining spots tick as many boxes as SHU restaurant.
SHU is a pretty exciting addition to this list of the best yum cha restaurants in Melbourne. For whilst the core of the business is modern vegan Sichuan cuisine, served across to different plant-based degustation menus, they also do a fabulous Sunday Yum Cha.
For a budget-friendly $55pp (+$45 for drinks as well) you get to eat as much food as you can put away from across 10 vegan dishes. And if you think vegan yum cha doesn’t sound all that inspiring, what about a dish of Chilled Spinach Noodles Dan Dan Style? Or maybe Plant Prawn with Sticky Rice Pockets. Tempting or what?
The spice and heat of Sichuan fare is not for the faint-hearted! You can try the Best Sichuan Food in Melbourne at these places
To conclude, Melbourne has a wide variety of Yum Cha restaurants that either serve their dishes traditionally using trolleys and bamboo baskets or by hand.
You will find the right location to suit your requirements in the list above, whether you are seeking an ambient, calm atmosphere or somewhere to indulge in a speedy and hearty lunch. The taste sensation of these Asian-Australian restaurants awaits you.