Follow the yellow neon glow to Newtown’s latest dumpling party
One frozen yoghurt shop is already too many for any neighbourhood, but dumpling houses are a whole other snack steamer. A glut of places for soup, dumplings and fried eggplant is a very nice problem to have, and while Newtown’s current total is a modest three establishments, the latest arrival has us pretty excited.
Look for the neon yellow sign that marks the doorway to Luyu and Yum Yum. Head up the stairs and you emerge into an elegant dining room that has a sexy birdcage vibe thanks to all the black lattice panels that divide up the room. The wall is one big, back-lit wine cellar on the street side of the room; the opposite wall boasts the glassed-in kitchen, where steamers are at the ready.
In case the wall of wine wasn’t tipoff enough, this isn’t a hurried-service BYO kind of place. And the prices reflect that. They’ve got 14 wines by the glass and more than twice that number by the bottle. We like the Paxton pinot gris from McLaren Vale, a clean, crisp, biodynamic white that’s also cheap at $40 a bottle. Put too much chilli in your bowl? Cool the fire with a Tsing Tao, Asahi or Sapporo. If you’re off the sauce for the night, the dedicated tea menu ranges from robust Iron Buddha green teas to a delicate spring tea from Taiwan.
The ‘Kiss Me’ soup dumplings have tiny red lips on top, but check the temperature before puckering up – the soup inside these fragrant and gingery dumplings is deceptively hot. For vegetarians the mixed mushroom dumplings are umami-rich little parcels, and across the board steamed dumplings trump potstickers in both flavour and texture.
Forget the mini Frisbee. For nearly ten bucks all you’re getting is a crisp shallot cracker. Drop that cash on a plate of the battered, fried eggplant dressed in a sweet honey soy sauce.
You know what goes well with dumplings and wine? R’n’B. You know you’re in for a good night when you clock Naughty by Nature, Heavy D and the Boyz, Trey Songz featuring Nicki Minaj and Stevie B in a single sitting.
The fro-yo incursion of King Street was not a welcome one, but we happily roll out the red carpet for a good dumpling house, especially if it's lifting Newtown’s dining game with xiao long bao, booze and the kind of tunes that make us want to get a little low.
|Venue name:||Luyu and Yum Yum|
1/196 King St
|Opening hours:||Lunch Tue-Sun noon-3pm; dinner 5-11pm|