I was actually excited for our next MCC (Monthly Cousin Catchup) because we were planning on going to the newly opened Japanese restaurant on Lonsdales Street, Chaki Chaki. Unfortunately, they are closed on Sunday’s and Monday’s and it was a Monday when MCC happened. We were sad and disappointed. Because we wanted Japanese food and now since Chaki Chaki was closed we had to find another place to eat lunch. Trying to stay within the Braddon area as Cousin A had found a perfect parking spot, we decided to try out the other newly opened restaurant in Braddon. Yat Bun Tong.
The menu here is like a photobook, because there’s nearly a photo of each dish available. I find this really convenient because you are able to ‘see’ (only Instagram users will know what I mean) the dish before you order.
Cousin K decided to order a Hot and Sour Soup, shiitake mushroom, tofu, prawns, bbq pork in a thickened spicy and soup soup. After the first spoonful, we all agreed that Cousin A’s dad makes better soup. (For those who don’t know, all three of us were literally raised up in our parents restaurants. Hence our high standards when it comes to Chinese food.) the soup was fairly balanced in spicyiness and sourness but for me, the soup is not potent enough. I like my hot and sour soup like its name HOT and SOUR.
When eating at a Chinese dumpling restaurant, ordering dumplings are a must but there are also other delicacies which are equally as good. One of the delicacy is the Pan Fried Chive Cake, this is kinda like a giant pan fried dumpling with a garlic chive and egg filling. We ordered these because a close auntie of ours makes them and they are the bomb!! Too bad she only comes and visits once a year, but whenever she comes our freezers will be bursting with her buns, dumplings and these. The ‘cake’ is pan fried to perfection, golden and crispy. The only let down would have to be the filling. Tradionally the filling would consist of four main ingredients. Garlic chives, scrambled egg, dried shrimp shells and cellophane noodles/glass noodles. You can probably tell from the photos which ingredient is missing.
This is the start of our first sets of dumplings. We got the Shanghai Steam Bun. I prefer to call them Xiao Long Bao (XLB). These are one of the most dangerous steam buns to eat because they contain high levels of hot soup inside. Many people, including myself have burnt their mouths because they ate the buns too quickly. Through my mistakes I have devised a method to eating these buns safely.
- With your chopsticks, pick up the bun from the nib. This is because it is the strongest point and you won’t break the bun as easily.
- Place the bun in your spoon and take a small bite on the nib until you reveal the pork inside.
- You can either drink up the soup inside and then add your preferred condiment (vinegar, chilli oil, soy sauce) or add the condiments into the soup(this will lower the temperature of the soup).
- Eat up.
These XLB here are way better than those you order at Yum Cha. In fact they might be the best in Canberra. But for me the best ones would have to be the ones I had in Shanghai and maybe at Din Tai Fung in Sydney.
I’m one of those people who order food based on how well they look on my Instagram page. These dumplings are an excellent example. Combination Dumplings come in three different colours, each colour represents a different filling. The normal colour ones are chicken filling, orange ones are a beef filling and the green ones are vegetarian. When mouth order these you have a choice of pan fried, boiled or steamed, we went with the steamed ones. We did find the beef filling a bit tough and the vegetarian one tasted funny. Maybe because we love our meat!!
The other dumpling we got was the Shanghai Pan Fried Buns. This is different from the other buns because it uses a proved dough. The buns are pan fried so the base is nice and crispy while the top half of the bun remains light and fluffy. The filling is made of pork and is really juicy. So be careful when you bite into them.
We decided to order a noodle dish to accompany the dumplings (we need our carbs). I got to choose the noodle dish and I chose YBT Handmade noodles with Ja Jiang Sauce. This is literally a Chinese version of spaghetti bolognese but instead of tomatoes, Chinese miso paste is used hence the black colour. It comes with julienned cucumber and a dash of sesame paste. The noodles are cooked to perfection, cooked through and still chewy. The sauce was flavourful however with the addition of the sesame paste made it very gluggy. Cousin A thought the same about the sesame paste, because when our parents make this noodle dish at home, no sesame paste is used.
Cousin K insisted we order a rice dish as well because then noodle dish didn’t appeal to her. She chose the Scrambled Egg and Prawns with Rice. The name of this dish may mislead some people because of being ‘scrambled’, in my opinion this is more like a thicker egg drop soup with prawns. The direct translation from Chinese would be ‘silky egg’. This is due to the texture of the egg when it is cooked in the sauce. The portion size of the rice is big, three of us couldn’t finish all the rice.
Yat Bun Tong is run by the people who owned the Chinese Kitchen Dumpling House in Westfield Woden. Besides dumplings they also have your usual Chinese stir fries and fried rice and even Chinese barbecued meats.
When we went during the weekday it got really busy during lunch hours, so make sure you get a table before the lunch rush or have sufficient time. Also you may need to bring a couple of people along because the portion sizes are pretty big.
Yat Bun Tong
Address: 10-12 Lonsdale Street, Braddon, 2612
Lunch: Everyday 11.30pm – 3pm
Dinner: Everyday 5pm – 10pm
Phone: (02) 6152 0880