Kenny’s Yum Cha House, 34 Ferguson Street, Williamstown. Phone: 9397 8688
The premises recently occupied by Kenny’s Yum Cha House was previously, and for many years, a rather nondescript noodle shop we never tried.
A new family has taken over, headed by dumpling-making dad Kenny, and they’re doing very nice things.
I confess to having tried “hokkien noodles” a few weeks before Christmas and being unimpressed.
But then a home delivery of some of yum cha items – and very good they were – re-sparked my interest.
So heading to Ferguson Street with two regular CTS companions, I am filled with hope.
But there is cause to be cautious in terms of optimism.
After all, normal expectations for yum cha goodies served in such a humble, corner store setting would normally fall into the realms of cheap, enjoyable but surely frozen and mass-produced dumplings and the like.
What we enjoy at Kenny’s Yum Cha House is way, way better than that – top-notch yum cha that pretty much matches what you’ll find at any of the storied yum cha places around town.
In fact, this place sort of redefines yum cha and how it can work.
Yum cha doesn’t have to be Sunday brunch; it can also easily be dinner.
Great yum cha doesn’t have to involve trollies; it can just as easily be a la carte.
In truth, it can even be argued that ordering as you go is preferable.
Finally, Kenny’s Yum Cha House proves beaut yum cha doesn’t have to be served in a vast barn; a smallish neighbourhood enterprise can do it, too.
Everything we have is good or better:
- Pan-fried dumplings ($8 for five).
- Pork dumplings ($5.50 for three).
- Chive prawn dumplings ($6 for three).
- Pork ribs in black bean sauce ($5.50).
- Chicken feet in black bean sauce ($5).
Only the last mentioned are in any way less than excellent; they lack a certain spicy zing.
As well, as we find that assessing a yum cha joint can at least partially be done on the basis of greenery, we order Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce ($12) – and that, too, is lovely.
It’s been a rather smashing meal – cheap, easy, impromptu (we pay $16 per person).
And on a Monday night in Williamstown!
Kenny meets Kenny.