Christmas Day yum cha

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

Photograph: Anna Kucera

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.

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 10am. 


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-3pm. 


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-3pm and from 5.30pm for dinner.


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 you can book in for a banquet menu for $64.50, which will have you feasting on chicken dim sims, sizzling Mongolian lamb, salt and pepper king prawns and fried ice cream. You can book in from 11am-3pm or for dinner from 5.30pm-10pm.



This one is a favourite with leading Sydney chefs (is that Tetsuya Wakuda hoeing into a plate of bible tripe?), but don’t expect anything civilised here – you’ve got to be prepared to fight for your braised pork knuckles, braised eggplant and steamed dumplings. Open 10am-3pm and 5.30-10pm.


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 10am-3pm and 5-11pm.


Want more Christmas Day entertainment?

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.

By: Time Out editors