We like to go to this little place on Margaret St here in Too’ba, for yum cha on Sundays. Royal Asian has less than a dozen tables and a small selection of yum cha dishes, and consequently very little resembles the yum cha palaces of the capital cities. We only had to try it once and we were hooked. It’s just the place to come to get a little yum cha fix. We order our favourite dishes and savour them and the flavours keep us going for a couple of weeks or so. These are some of our favourites:

We’ve had to wait a while for the squid tentacles to re-appear. They were on the menu but ‘out of stock’ for months! Squid tentacles taste a lot like regular ol’ calamari rings, but the texture is unbeatable. The pointy ends are crunchy and the thicker ends have a lovely, firm bite. Deeelicious.

These chive dumplings come out piping hot! On the outside it’s crisp and chewy, bite into its tender filling for a flavour explosion. There’s a little pork, some carrot and other tasty morsels, bound together by the deeply savoury chives. We should’ve ordered 2 serves…

Oh my goodness. Meet my beloved crab dumplings. These are my absolute fave. Three little pillows sit in a tiny pool of salty, tasty sauce. Bite into it and ahhhh….the flavour, the texture! Will make your head swim. There are little bits of crab, some pork mince, wood ear fungus which gives it some crunch and lots and lots of ginger to make it all zing in your mouth. Heaven!

Two glutinous rice parcels snugly packed into a steamer; firmly wrapped in lotus leaves and then a sheet of practical baking paper. Open them up to reveal a silky pillow of rice with a filling of chicken and other yummy bits. This version of ‘lo mai kai’ is a little short on the filling, but not on the flavour. It’s a firm favourite with my 4-year old, and my mother-in-law. (Which reminds me, I really should learn to make it for the MIL! Think of the brownie points!)

For the uninitiated, the thought of gnawing on a chicken’s foot can be a little challenging, to say the least. But for many, many of those brave enough, the reward is a wonderful treat of sticky yet melting, savoury, chicken and black-beany flavours. Different restaurants will have their own recipes, but the result is almost always the same. I was a little put off by the thought of it when I started eating it years ago, but when I see chickens feet I don’t think of anything except – let  me at ’em! This is a firm favourite with my 4-year old, along with the sticky glutinous rice.

I wanted to try something that we hadn’t ordered before, so I chose panfried pork buns. These were nice, crisp and hot with a filling of spring onions and pork mince. I think I prefer the regular old BBQ pork buns, however.

Do you have a favourite Sunday food ritual? Whether it’s breakfast in bed on your own, or a full blown Sunday dinner with a zillion guests – I’d really love to hear about. Go on, drop me a line or few, in the comments box.