Yum cha at Shark Fin House – Melbourne


When comparing the Yum Cha experience between Hong Kong and Australia, most people would probably say Hong Kong is better. But unless your a frequent flyer to Hong Kong, going there just for Yum Cha would be ridiculous. Fortunately for us, we had Yum cha at Shark Fin Inn in Melbourne’s China Town last time we visited Melbourne – and we feel that the standards of Australian Yum Cha is actually not too far behind Hong Kong,  and is not bad at all.

According our local friends in Chinatown, there are a pair of Shark Fin restaurant – House and Inn,  both owned by the same group located at Little Bourke Street. You will find a good variety of flavours from Hong Kong  in these two restaurants but if you are fancy about Yum Cha, the Shark Fin Inn is the place you want be.  This is a very popular place for Yum Cha, especially on the weekends. If you haven’t booked, there is little chance you can get a table.

We arrived just after the lunch rush (maybe around 1:30pm). While we settled in, the waiters arrived at our table with the dim sum trolley. It did not take long for us to cover our table with bamboo baskets with steaming dim sums.


Black bean spare rib (pai gwat) – one of must order Yum cha dishes. The spare ribs are marinaded, steamed and soaked in the perfect amount of black bean sauce. Each piece is very tender and juicy.

Prawn Dumpling (Har Gao) – one of my favourite Yum cha items. The skin of the dumpling is very soft and is filled with sweet prawn meat.

Beef rice noodles (Ngau Yuk Cheong Fun) – another must order item for me. These are wide rice noodles that are steamed and rolled with beef minces mixed with chopped coriander. Rice noodles are slippery and smooth. Most importantly, the rice noodles had a consistant thickness. When paired up with sweet soy sauce, this dish is absolutely perfect.  Perhaps there are no words that I can describe about the sensation, but I really like this dish and enjoyed it very much.

Braised chicken feet (Fong Jao) – meaning Phoenix Claws in Chinese. The translation may make this dish sound like a delicacy, but it really isn’t. The chicken feet are cleaned, de-nailed, deep-fried, marinate in black bean sauce and then steamed.  The cooking process makes the skin so soft that it almost falls apart. It is very moist and tender.

Glutinous rice (law mai fan) – with Chinese sausage, dried shrimp and slice egg omelette. This is dish taste like your normal fried rice but instead of normal rice, it’s replaced with glutinous rice that brings more flavour, sweetness and texture to this dish.

Silky tofu with sweet syrup (Tofu Fah) – as it’s name suggests, it is silky and smooth. It feels like tofu would just slide straight through your mouth, down the throat and into your belly.

The dim sim at Shark Fin house is fresh and not too greasy. It taste is very familiar to me and is almost as though I am in Hong Kong. I am definitely coming back when I visit Melbourne again.

Shark Fin House on Urbanspoon

Shark Fin House


131 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
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