Morning or afternoon yum cha is best when friends or families gather to chat, eat delicious dim sum and drink traditional Chinese tea. Located right near The Concourse on Victoria Avenue, Star Capital Seafood Restaurant has recently opened its doors offering traditional trolley yum cha services. I have heard a number of positive and negative feedback about this place and personally I thought this restaurant was average for yum cha. Comparing with nearby yum cha places in the Lower North Shore, it is indeed a few dollars more to add in your total bill.
For those of you who have never experienced yum cha, it is a Chinese style lunch dining that offers various sample Chinese cuisine in miniature bamboo steamers. Do note prices vary according to the dishes you select. I must say yum cha does remind me of the Spanish Tapas concept due to the bite sized portion of food.
As the extremely efficient waitress directed us to our seats I was already ahead of everyone else deciding what to eat. Looking around the restaurant, skilled waitresses roaming around with food trolleys across table to table lifting the lids to reveal steamed dumplings tucked inside the bamboo steamers. It is uncommon to ignore freshly handmade delicious dim sums.
Traditionally, waiters ask what flavour tea you would like to try. We were offered Tieguanyin, which the whole table agreed was one of the best yum cha teas we have ever come across. The flavour was stronger than the usual Tieguanyin I’ve tried, but cleansing. I highly recommend coming here for their tea. It is a popular tea pick as it compliments steamed dishes.
The classic Steamed Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow) was deliciously tasty. The prawns tasted very fresh and the silky translucent steamed dim sum pastry hot and chewy.
Steamed Pork Dumpling (Siu Mai) stuffed with a reasonable amount of seasoned pork was heavenly flavoursome.
I almost felt guilty eating the entire Tender Beef Ball wrapped in Bean Curd Skin. The minced meat was soft and easy to chew. The bean curd was very silky to the point it slid off quite a few times from my chopstick.
Steamed Scallop Dumplings with chives tasted very bland however the scallops were fresh and enormous. Most of the time I could only taste the dim sum pastry. Not a pleasant dish to try.
The Bean Curd Skin Roll with Oyster Sauce is a savory seasoned dish. Burst full of flavours, however a bit zesty.
Spare Rib in Black Bean Sauce was succulent to eat. Slightly disappointed with the amount of oil that was tucked underneath the ribs. Also this dish was slightly peppery amongst regular ribs we have come across.
Do you dare to eat Chicken Feet Marinated in Brown Sauce? Try it… you might like it. It was marinated very well.
Besides the steamed dim sums we wanted to try what was on their lunch special menu and we decided Shunde Fish Cake with Rice Vermicelli in Soup ($18.80). Our verdict? It was very clever to have a creamy soup base, green veggies were fresh however was not a fan of the tasteless Shunde Fish Cake.
My taste buds are asking for something deep fried…
Seasoned Deep Fried Calamari Dish was targeted by chopsticks as soon as it landed onto our table. Very generous portion of calamari. Exquisite flavour. Spring onion and hint of chili perfumed the table.
One of their signature dish Deep Fried Pumpkin Cake was not so signature after all. It turned out cold and tasted doughy. I couldn’t taste the pumpkin flavour the waitress had mentioned. I am still curious to what the green leaf is made out of… at first I thought it might be deep fried buk choy?
OK! So no one wanted the Silky Sweet Tofu Soup ($5.80) and it was all up to me to finish it. Hooray! I certainly wasn’t complaining. Very thick chunks of tofu pieces bathed in sweet syrup soup. Mouth-watering ! Too bad for the rest of my foodie friends who didn’t want to try Tofu Soup 😛
Once you are done tasting testing everything, end your meal with a plate of traditional Baked Egg Tarts. It is a MUST! The crisp flaky pastries filled with sweet creamy egg custard is a delicate dish you can expect to find at Star Capital. It was GOLDEN PERFECTION on a plate. Just look at it GLOW!
Dim Sum price range from $5.80-$9.50. So expect to a pay a little bit more than regular Yum Chas. We were overwhelmed at the cost of tea charges for ($2.80) per person. So there were six of us times $2.80 = $16.80. With that money I could of purchased a lot of self-serve ice-creams.
I do recommend to sit near the kitchen area as we were positioned right near the air-con therefore majority of the deep fried food was not hot anymore.
Tips to enjoy Yum Cha
- Try everything! It might turn out to be one of your favourite dish, even chicken feet!
- Always bring friends or family along. It is a fun experience especially sharing the food around. Everyone can try more dishes.
- Use chopsticks! Even if you are a beginner, WHO CARES! At least your trying to blend in.
- If you want a specific dish that you saw that came straight out of the kitchen, don’t be afraid to get up and grab it. Remember to bring your card.
- Can’t find that dish you are looking for? Ask the friendly waiters. They are happy to help
- Paranoid with the stamps? FORGET IT! Your here to enjoy the meal, not count every penny. In the end, you will be stuffed!
- Go during rush hours! Usually 10am-2pm. Although you might have to wait, but at least the food comes out fresh because it is busy.