10 Dixon St
Sydney, NSW 2000
I love yum cha, but I don’t love how it’s largely limited to daylight hours. I am 100% not a morning person, to the point where I’m reluctant to even get up for food unless it’s something really special. Coupled with my preference for getting all my chores and errands out of the way earlier in the day rather than leaving it to later, I end up rarely having yum cha despite wanting to very much. That’s where Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine comes in.
I was drawn to Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine by its dedicated yum cha menu that’s available all throughout the day, but that’s not all that goes on here. The menu is an absolute whopper at 30+ pages long, and basically has everything Hong Kong that you could possibly want, from spam and eggs on rice, all the way to fresh lobster and Peking duck, and everything in between.
Craving Peking duck, we settled for a serve of the Peking Duck with Handmade Bao ($9, 2pcs), instead of going the full duck hog and ordering an entire bird. Though not spectacular, these got the job done with passably crispy skin, the slight blandness of the meat rescued by the classic combination of scallions and hoisin.
The Deep Fried Dumplings with Minced Pork and Mixed Vegetable ($8.8, 3pcs) was unfortunately not the fried glutinous rice dumplings I had hoped for; in my defence, the picture on the menu looked exactly like them. Instead, these were pretty much what it said on the pack. The filling of pork and shiitake mushrooms carried a good hit of umami, but unfortunately the casing was greasy, and the dumpling skin soggy.
Having not had Pork Wontons in Chilli Oil ($13.8, 6pcs) for a long while, I decided to give these a try, despite the rather steep price. Unfortunately they were not worth it. Not only were the wontons just average, it was served with a chilli oil that was spicy, yet flavourless. The whole dish just came across tasting bland, despite the copious amounts of seasoning.
Yet another let down was the Steamed Beef Balls with Beancurd Sheet ($8.8, 3pcs). Not only were they flavourless, the promised beancurd sheets were nowhere in sight.
Not really wanting to explore more of what’s been a thoroughly lacklustre yum cha menu, I decided to wrap up the meal with a simple bowl of Preserved Egg and Lean Pork Congee ($13.8), with a serving of Deep Fried Fritter ($3) of course. The congee was pleasingly thick and rib-hugging, and the usage of BBQ pork was tasty, if unorthodox. But like everything else, this still erred on the (everybody together now) bland side, and whilst I liked this, I certainly didn’t love this.
So all up, Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine was a flop. Aside from arguably the duck bao and congee, nothing even managed to even scrape par. Likewise, the service was poorer than I had expected, even for a relatively casual Chinese joint. Maybe the a la carte dishes show a little more promise, but I’m certainly not interesting in coming back to find out. Consider me thoroughly disappointed.
Rating: 11/20 – old news.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.