Yum cha, Dim sum, whatever name you call it –these delicate morsels of deliciousness are a treat and when I was a child it was usually reserved for birthdays and special celebrations. You tend to stick to your tried & true staples, out of politeness you offer the last dumpling in the steamer to those you’re dining with when truth be told, you would happily eat another whole steamer of the same yourself but there are so many other things to eat so you don’t mind so much. It is also fun to ‘introduce’ someone to yum cha, some people think they need to know Chinese or get a little freaked out as they don’t know what to order. I usually lay off the tripe and chicken feet on these occasions to go easy on them.
My only gripe about yum cha is it is traditionally served several hours a day for lunch and often you want to take your time and share it with people so that usually leaves weekend lunches, particularly Sundays where everyone is scrambling for a table and flagging down a trolley or waiter is near impossible, at some places you have to call to pre-order special dishes otherwise they run out. At restaurants where you can order yum cha all day – it’s just not the same, it lacks atmosphere and there are no trolleys at all.
When I heard whispers of a midnight yum cha session I was definitely intrigued. Pan Asian on Chapel St has reinvented classic yum cha favourites into a 6 course degustation menu. A clever and modern twist to both yum cha and late night supper dining, the dishes have been deconstructed enough to give it a makeover but is not unrecognisable to its former self. The meal is not too rich or heavy but light enough to consume so late at night yet still satisfying which is a perfect balance– although not served on trolleys it is served with generous lashings of karaoke. Open mic for those interested in a late night serenade.
Thanks to Pan Asian for hosting the degustation dinner. For full menu and pricing details go to:
http://www.panasian.com.au/ – news & events page
Twilight degustation is available for a short time over the next few months, Fri & Sat at
Pan Asian 267 Chapel St Prahran
03 9533 7022
From 10pm to 1am