I love dumplings. Especially pork dumplings. So imagine my surprise when I eagerly arrived at Luyu & Yum Yum, completely unaware that there was no pork on the menu. And the bigger surprise was that even sans pork, they were tasty little suckers. I didn’t think it was possible, having eaten pork-free dumplings in Indonesia a lot. The kiss me dumplings, which are essentially xiao long bao but made with chicken, and the starburst dumplings, containing chicken and wrapped in a colorful fruit infused pastry skin, are both excellent.
And the hedgehog buns are a delight. Deep fried and filled with mushrooms, they are so cute, it’s ridic. I often find vegetarian buns and dumplings on the bland side, but these are packed full of flavor. The paper-thin shallot pancake is tasty beyond belief, though potentially too salty for some.
On the mains front, the fried rice with duck, egg, asparagus, shallots is a good base for the different proteins we order. Green beans with chicken pack a punch, and are even stirred through with bonus okra. The fried eggplant pyramids are crispy, yielding a soft center. They’re taken up a notch with the sweetness from chrysanthemum honey soy. The steamed fish, roast duck and pepper beef are also solid options.
The only letdown are the fruit tarts for dessert. They’re crispy shells filled with diced apple and yoghurt. If there were sweet buns or dumplings on the menu, I’d be pretty excited. I can already imagine them (probably in other cute animal shapes) filled with black sesame or red bean. Hubba hubba.
I’m keen to return, because there are loads more dumplings on the menu that I need to try. And it looks like they change the menu from time to time, featuring different proteins (including pork – yay!). A good thing to note is that Luyu takes group bookings. There were 14 of us for dinner there, and we got to have our own VIP area that’s caged off from the rest of the space.
Luyu & Yum Yum
196 King St, Newtown, NSW
Tue – Sun 12pm-3pm and 5.30pm-11pm