Monday, 8 December 2008


Level 1, 477 Pitt Street (Cnr Hay St)
Sydney NSW 2000

Phone (02) 9211 2232
Fax (02) 9211 5670

Sydney is definitely not short on places to Yum Cha, so with so much competition it's a wonder Zilver seems to be letting the good stuff slide from hot dumpling to cold noodle.

Despite a cracking queue milling around like so many hopeful lottery ticket holders, once seated, the food was decidedly lacklustre. The Har Gao, normally plump, fresh and crunchy on the inside were shrivelled and decidedly not the greatest of produce. The pastry, which should be translucent and tender, was over steamed and chewy. Epic fail.

Everyone's favourite Char Siew Bao - BBQ pork bun - was small, doughy and disappointingly empty within. No fluffy white bready goodness here, I'm afraid.

Selection wise, it seems that the pedestrian favourites are available but for the more adventurous, there's little to whet the palate: Foong Zhao (chicken's feet, braised in brown sauce) is about as daring as it gets, so if you're into offal, head to Marigold.

It's not all bad news though. The See Jiup Pai Quat - black bean braised pork spare ribs - are still one of the city's best: the tender pork braised in garlic and black beans, served in a bamboo steamer doesn't look too pretty, but they're delicious. The fragrant black beans work well with the garlic and the fat in the pork makes the meat both tender and tasty.

This is also one of the only Yum Cha joints where you can get your hands on Peking Duck Pancakes before noon. I'm as yet undecided as to whether this is a good thing or whether it's further indication that the clientèle has changed the menu from authentic to "It's all Chinese, so what does it matter what time I eat it?" I suspect these are also the same people who order pink lemonade with their Siu Mai.