Newtown’s newest dumpling house puts a twist (with a capital tea) on the traditional dumpling.
Jasmine tea vodkas and pots of expertly brewed green, white and flower teas. Sound like your kind of cup? Wait until you try the chrysanthemum-infused dumplings.
It’s all just the tip of the quirky iceberg that awaits you at this Chinese tearoom.
Like the Tardis, this unassuming dumpling house on Newtown’s busy King Street is larger on the inside than it is on the outside. Marked by a glowing yellow sign and the sound of 90s r&b, it sits a level above the street and is accessed only by a single glass door and a narrow wooden stairway.
Dare to make the climb and you'll be pleasantly surprised at what you find on the other side.
Inside, it’s an impressive oasis from the hustle and bustle. High ceilings, wooden tables and shelves of delicate tea ceramics fill the room, as does the smell of the dumplings from the semi-open kitchen. Each table comes dressed for the most traditional of tea ceremonies, with a bamboo mat, heavy pot and shallow tea cups eager to be sipped from and talked over.
Down them dumplings at Luyu & YumYum
The vibe: Cosy, cool.
Ideal for: Dumpling connoisseurs, late night catch-ups, date night.
Bartender’s choice: Mr Luyu Jasmine Tea
Try the… Caviar dumplings, they can’t be beat.
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Will it be the traditional tea or a wicked tea-infused cocktail on your order? Both are just as good as the other.
Personally sourced from China by owner and General Manager, David Kang (Quay, Lotus Dumpling Bar) the tea list is 10+ strong offering varieties of greens, Jasmines, flowers, black and springs by the pot. For boozy nights out, sours like the King of Newtown appear in martini glasses while cocktail infused “teas” like the Mr Luyu Jasmine Tea come nestled in teapots for short pourings into shallow cups, destined to last all night long.
Like the drinks, the dumplings are crafted to be both aesthetically pleasing to the eye and delectably pleasing to the stomach. Crowd favourite Mr Luyu Mixed Steamer is a 6-piece sampling of herb, fungi and “starburst” dumplings (chicken and mixed seasonal fruits to give it that “burst” of colour”).
The Caviar Dumplings and Caviar King Prawns are melt-in-your-mouth winners while vegetarian-friendly Manga Dumpling “hedgehogs” and gluten-free chrysanthemum-infused Snow White Rabbit Dumplings are eye-pleasing wonders that offer a sense of the bridge Kang is trying to make between traditional Chinese food and the modern V / GF diet.
Vegetarian options abound in the guise of mushroom and vegetable fillings (there’s even an asparagus pancake option in lieu of duck) while potato starch flours and rice dough wrappings fill the need for gluten-free options.
If that wasn’t enough, in another (unexpected) twist, the meats have also been given a tweak, transitioning away from the infamous pork dumpling and onto the more customer-friendly, chicken variety.
“I want to show that you can make dumplings just as well with chicken than with pork,” says Kang.
And if the starburst dumplings (which were originally filled with pork) are anything to go by, you can. My dumpling god, you can.
Getting your dumpling fix at Luyu & YumYum?
Address: Level 1, 196 King Street, Newtown
Opening hours:Lunch: Tues-Sun 12pm-3pm | Dinner: Tues, Wed & Sun 5:30pm-10:15pm, Thurs-Sat 5:30pm-11pm
Phone number: (02) 9519 9888
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