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Christmas Day yum cha

Swap prawns for pork buns and have yum cha on Christmas Day

Bowls of Yum Cha at The Eight
Photograph: Daniel Boud

Don't celebrate Christmas? Do celebrate it but don't dig turkey? Luckily some of Sydney's best yum cha restaurants will be dishing up all the dumplings your heart could desire this Christmas Day.

Need to get away from the fam? Here's where to get a drink on Christmas Day. Plus Christmas Day lunches if you prefer to outsource the hard work. 

Yum cha restaurant open on Christmas Day

Lady serving yum cha at Palace Chinese Restaurant
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Restaurants, Chinese

Palace Chinese Restaurant


By night it’s Cantonese a la carte but by day it’s yum cha carts ahoy at this Chinese restaurant hidden at the top of Piccadilly Tower. Palace churns out all the classics, bustled about by enthusiastic cart pushers who’ll happily lift every bamboo steamer for you to inspect its contents. On Christmas Day you can head in from you can head in from 10.30am.

BBQ Beef at The Eight
Photograph: Daniel Boud

The Eight


Order the chunky hunks of barbecue pork knuckle that our waiter says is “better than belly”. Don't eat meat? Go for sweet braised tofu and spinach dumplings filled with toasted pine nuts. Their dumplings are soft, cloud-like and well made - see for yourself with a serve of the prawn and pork, and follow them with the rolled-then-fried rice rolls. They'll open from 10am.




This Chinatown mainstay has been hopscotching around Sussex, Liverpool and George streets for 35 years, and she’s ageing well, with a look that nudges onto the right side of the nostalgic-kitschy divide. She also opens every day of the year so your Christmas chee cheong fun is in safe hands from 10am.


East Ocean Restaurant


This bustling, open-plan dining room is the place to inhale prawn and pork dumplings and barbecue pork buns. The dumplings are fluffy and fine-skinned, while the salt and pepper squid ticks the deep-fried box big time. On Christmas Day they will be open from 9am. 


Dynasty Chinese


Walk over the little wooden footbridge behind the waterfall to Dynasty, where sweet, glossy, baked barbecue pork buns and impressive 12 fold prawn dumplings await. On Christmas Day they'll be trading as usual from 11am. 


Sunny Harbour Seafood Restaurant


A perennial favourite with yum cha fans, this multi-level Canto-palace features some of the more interesting dim sum on offer, like braised tripe, congee and stuffed donuts. It’s prawn-o-rama here too, with rounds of sweet braised eggplant stuffed with chopped-up prawn prawn and scallop dumplings topped with a tiny scallop and har gau. Open from 10am.

Want more Christmas Day entertainment?

The 2014 Lights of Christmas at St Marys Cathedral Sydney
Photograph: James Horan
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Christmas in Sydney

Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere means beach barbecues, long lunches and checking out the festive lights in the city. There’s no snow, sure, but we know how to party. Find out where you can sing Christmas carols, shop at the Christmas markets, and get a head start on the Boxing Day sales.

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