Bokchoy Tang is a contemporary high-end Chinese restaurant which holds a prime position facing Federation Square and ACMI. The long narrow restaurant is impressively decked out in expensive-looking cabinets and feature tables, and a window table is a pleasant place to bask in the afternoon sun.

I haven’t been to Bokchoy Tang in years and was keen to try their weekend yum cha menu. You can choose between a la carte dim sum and other dishes, or go for a yum cha banquet. Their menu states that they use only free range eggs and poultry, some ingredients are organic and no MSG is used.

Between three people we shared the following items:

Steamed hand-made shao mai of pork, prawn & black fungi ($5.50 for 3). A bit solid and bland for my liking and to be very picky, the dumplings were not exact replicas but were slightly haphazard shapes.

Northern Chinese spring rolls filled with Beijing duck & garlic chives ($8.50 for 4). This was billed as a Bokchoy Tang speciality and it was disappointing. I liked the idea of crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside, but the filling was again bland and the outside had a thick taro-like texture which I personally don’t enjoy.

Prawn balls with glutinous rice ($8.50  for 3). A not entirely successful dish consisting of mashed prawn and soft rice. Bland and the overall mushy texture was not very pleasant.

A tasty pork and prawn fried rice ($12) and great value for $12, although curiously to be plated onto flat ramekins which made it very difficult to eat. It got a bit oily towards the end too but I think that’s just a function of restaurant fried rice, which will inevitably contain more oil than the home-made version.

San choi bau – wok-fried chicken with finely chopped Chinese vegetables combined with Bokchoy Tang soy sauce & served in a crisp lettuce cup ($8). Nothing particularly remarkable though pretty to look at.

Poached jiao zi of pork mince, prawn and garlic chives ($12). This lumpish mass was actually the most successful dish for me, as the pastry skin was thick (as per Northern style) without being gluey and the filling was flavoursome. I think a single plate of these with some Jasmine tea would make a good filling lunch.

To end, egg tarts ($8 for 4). A beautifully flaky pastry holding a soupcon of sweet egg custard. But again, a little too much of an oil slick aftertaste.

All in all, our experience at Bokchoy Tang wasn’t so terrible that I’d never go back again, but based on our meal I certainly wouldn’t be rushing to recommend it. The setting is very pleasant but every dish, with the exception of the jiao zi and the fried rice, just didn’t quite hit the mark, and the prices are a little higher than usual. If I am to have yum cha in the future I’ll stick to my staple Shark Fin House or for high-end dim sum I’d rather go to David’s.

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