Walking up a flight of stairs into this restaurant is like stepping into the forgotten world of ancient China. With its high ceilings, wooden panels and rows of tea themed ornaments, this is a recluse from the hustle and bustle of the main street outside.
Located in Newtown, the restaurant’s name is inspired from the name of the person, Luyu, who wrote the first definitive work on cultivating, making and drinking tea, coupled with “Yum Yum” which refers to the dumplings, and this inspiration of the partnership of tea and dumpling is seen throughout the menu.
We visited this restaurant on a Sunday night without making a booking, and the staff was friendly and was accommodating for our large table with adults and kids.
Duck Pancake ($17.80 for 4 pieces)
This entree consists of pancakes wrapped with duck, spring onion and cucumber. The pancake was a bit dry, but the duck was very tasty and had the right balance of fat.
Manga Dumpling Hedgehog ($12.80 for 3 pieces)
The flour dough in these dumplings are baked with king oyster mushroom, Chinese mushroom, fungi, carrot and coriander inside. When served, they looked like mini hedgehogs complete with spikes and eyes. The pastry was sweet and soft, but the filling inside, being predominately mushrooms, was a bit bland. These dumplings needed some dipping sauce to bring out their flavours.
Caviar Dumping ($14.80 for 4 pieces)
The rice dough in these dumplings are steamed with prawn, carrot, coriander and celery inside, and some caviar is sprinkled on top of these dumplings. Visually, they looked stunning, as they were in the shape of money bags, with the caviar on top looking like coins. In fact, they looked alot like the money bags from the computer game “The Legend of Zelda”. Taste-wise, these dumplings were nicely cooked and elegant, with the flavours of the prawns and caviar melding well together.
Mr Luyu Mixed Steamer ($18.80 for 6 pieces)
This steamer consists of the Herb Dumping, Fungi Dumpling and Starburst Dumpling.
The Herb Dumpling is made from steamed rice dough filled with prawns and chives. This dumpling was nicely done with a good ratio of prawns to chives, so the freshness of the prawns shone through.
The Fungi Dumpling is made from steamed rice dough with king oyster mushroom, Chinese mushroom, fungi, carrot, coriander and celery inside. The texture of this dumpling was interesting, where in one mouthful, there were elements of softness, crunchiness and chewiness. However, similar to the Manga Dumpling Hedgehog, the taste was a bit bland, which again required some dipping sauce to bring out their flavours.
The Starburst Dumpling is a modern take on the traditional Xiao Long Bao, replacing the pork filling with chicken filling. The steamed flour dough is infused with fruit, with the filling being chicken and homemade soup. Visually, this dumpling was impressive. It literally looked like a large starburst, with different colours illuminating its wrapping. One bite, and the soup inside bursted into our mouths, creating a wonderful sensation, and this was balanced by the subtle fruity flavours of the wrapping. This is a must try for anyone coming to this restaurant.
Mr Yumyum Pot Stick ($10.80 for 4 pieces)
This consists of chicken, ginger, shallots and Chinese cabbage in seaweed flour dough which was pan-seared. This dumpling was very tasty, with a nice ginger flavour.
Truffle Dumpling Skewer ($18.80 for 4 pieces)
This dumping is made from pan seared flour dough with chicken, prawn, ginger, shallot and truffle inside, served on skewers. It is a modern take on the Siu Mai being sold on the streets of China, replacing pork with chicken and adding a touch of luxury with the truffle. This was a very nice dumpling. The truffle flavours was fused perfectly with the subtle flavours from the ginger and shallot. Another must try dish.
Salt & Pepper Squid ($24.80)
This consists of fried squid with spring onion, garlic and serrano chilli. A fairly average dish with the texture of the squid more on the limpy side, but the serrano chilli provided a nice kick to this dish.
Steamed Fish ($26.80)
This dish is an orange roughy fillet steamed in shallot and ginger. The taste was spot-on, but the fish was a bit overcooked. The sauce was really tasty and if we had some steamed rice, we would have mixed the sauce with the rice and gobbled it down.
Mama’s Chilli Chicken ($22.80)
This consists of chicken, beetroot, serana chilli and honey coated walnut. A modern take on the chicken stir-fry, the flavours were nicely balanced, with the spiciness of the chilli balanced by the sweetness of beetroot, while the walnut provided the crunch which contrasted with the softness of the chicken flesh.
Mr Luyu Fried Rice ($17.80)
This fried rice contains duck, egg, asparagus, shallot, coriander, baby corn and mustard seeds. It has great mouth-feel when we took a bite, with a variety of textures cumulating in our mouths. However, the flavours from the asparagus and shallot were too overpowering, and we were not able to taste the other elements in this dish.
Overall, Luyu & Yum Yum is the place to be for tea and dumplings as their name implies. However, their other dishes need to catch up to the high standards they have set with their dumplings.
Luyu & Yum Yum
Address: Level 1, 196 King Street, Newtown
Telephone: (02) 9519 9888
Mon to Thurs – 12pm to 3pm, 5:30pm to 10:15pm
Fri & Sat – 12pm to 3pm, 5:30pm to 11pm
Sun – 12pm to 4:15pm, 5:30pm to 10:15pm
Only accepts credit cards as it is a cashless restaurant