189-193 Barkly St, Footscray. Phone: 9078 8778
Bennie’s mate, Rakha, is spending a large chunk of Sunday with us – and a fine thing this is.
We dig his company a bunch, of course, but his arrival also opens up unexpected vistas in terms of luncheon possibilities.
Bennie has been bugging his dad for months for a return visit to Yummie, but dad has concluded that yum cha is unviable unless we have at least one buddy along for the ride.
Even better, Rakha was an enthusiastic participant in our most recent yum cha outing, several months previously in the CBD.
So off we go!
I’ve never seen lads so eagerly relinquish a PlayStation.
Yummie has a strictly functional ambiance and is unheated. It occupies premises that once housed a cheap, good and short-lived Indian place and, before that, a Polish deli.
As is our general experience with yum cha, there is a certain amount of low-key anarchy and chaos.
Sometimes there are longish waits for food – any food.
Other times it’s a case of too much on offer.
Our previous visits had been of the mid-week evening variety, when we ordered from the list.
Personally, I prefer this to the mobile cart tradition – you get exactly what you want, or at least ordered, and with a higher probability of fresh-out-of-the-steamer.
For this Sunday lunch, though, there are trolleys, so we’re a bit confused. Some of the occupied tables also seem to be ordering a la carte.
We enjoy a pretty good lunch doing a bit of both.
We start with trolley-derived deep-fried won tons ($4.80).
These are barely OK – and barely luke warm.
Also from the trolley service come prawn dumplings ($5.80) and chive dumplings ($5.80).
This is more like it!
They’re all hot and fresh, with lovely casings of typical stickiness and with prawn fillings of sublime semi-crunch texture.
Next up is our order of chicken feet ($3.80).
They have close to zero of the black bean and chilli zing we’re expecting, but they’re so hot and tender that they are greeted with all-round acclaim.
Also a la carte is a rice roll with deep-fried flour ($6.80), ordered on the basis of my inquiry to a neigbouring table: “What is that?”
This, frankly, is a little weird.
The soft rice covering surrounds fried dough of some sort and also spinach or some similar leafy vegetable. It all disappears, though, and is tasty dipped in the accompanying bowl of oyster sauce.
Perhaps the prawn, beef or BBQ pork versions might be the go next time.
For our last hurrah, we tackle two more trolley items – BBQ pork pastry ($3.80) and deep-fried prawn roll ($4.80).
The pork items are for the boys – just as well, as there’s only two of them.
They like them, but both concede they prefer the steamed bun variety.
The prawn roll is, with the chicken feet, a highlight.
For each us of there’s a flat and crispy fried tofu casing wrapped around fine prawn filling. They’re very good.
There are more highly regarded yum cha places in our extended westie neighbourhood, but choice is limited close to home.
As well, it’s not that much of priority for us.
In that context, Yummie does just fine when the mood strikes us.
It’s reassuring, too, to note that for Sunday lunch – peak traffic time for yum cha the world over – Yummie is busy without being frantic.
Ms Baklover’s review of Yummie at Footscray Food Blog is here.