What’s better than some good old yum cha for brunch after a big night out?
Zilver is just one of many yum cha destinations in Sydney’s Chinatown, but is somewhat harder to find because it is hidden inside an arcade across from Capitol Theatre, up the escalators from the post office.
I have heard good things about Zilver over the years, but never had a chance to try it until now and we start off on a good foot – ushered straight to the Platinum Room inside because the outside tables are already full before noon on a bustling Saturday morning. At first I was skeptical about this seating arrangement, usually the tucked away rooms get little service from the trolley ladies doing their rounds, but there are enough patrons inside our special room to ensure that we got regular servings of the delicious dimsims on offer.
It’s hard to gauge the quality of different yum cha restaurants unless you order the traditional dishes of har gow (steamed prawn dumplings) and siu mai (pork and mushroom dumplings) and Zilver does both fantastically, with soft skins encasing flavoursome and succulent meats. They even have a premium siu mai (supposedly more special than the normal siu mai we tried first, there’s only 3 per serving instead of 4) which we decided to order as well just for kicks, didn’t taste much different except I think it had prawns thrown into the mix too and fish roe sprinkled on top.
We also tried their spinach dumplings for a slightly healthier option and they were freshly tasty, even for my carnivorous palate. This was followed by fried radish cake with some pieces of diced chinese sausage, it is covered in a light layer of oily crunch and tastes pretty good with some chilli sauce on top.
We finish off our yum cha for two with Zilver’s supposed specialty sweet bun – it is a yellow coloured custard bun with some funky Cantonese name (lao sa bao?). I have had custard buns at yum cha before, but they’re usually called “nai wong bao” and have a white coloured bread outside whereas this one is light yellow. It is yummy regardless, the custard inside is nice and smooth and I happily gobble it down before the manager randomly comes over to ask us how our meal was, and whether we had been to Zilver before. Perhaps it was because we were sitting in the Platinum room that we got special service and chitchat from her but I’d like to think that she just knew I was a foodblogger 😉
The nature of yum cha with its revolving selection of dimsims meant that I didn’t get the individual prices of our dishes but the bill came to a fairly reasonable $37 for tea and 6 dishes, so it’s not bad value considering how stuffed I was by the end of it.
477 Pitt Street
Haymarket NSW 2000
(02) 9211 2232