It's called Yum Yum Dumplings, but dumplings were not what we were after. I doubt many people know but Yum Yum also serves a range of dishes from different regions of China, and in particular the north or north west.
This style of food is fast becoming my go to option on cold Melbourne winter days, particularly the spicy mix of chilli and cumin on lamb skewers, and the delicious taste and texture of hand pulled noodles.
Located on Flinders Lane near Elizabeth Street, downstairs Yum Yum is squashed into a small, narrow room but is quite comfortable for all that. The seating is basic but comfortable, and while we didn't go up there it looks like there is more seating upstairs. You can see the various house 'specialties' rotating around you compliments of the plasma screen TVs. Some of these looked good, some not so good, but it was interesting to see a number of organ based options.
What attracted me to Yum Yum was the photos strategically placed outside, particularly the lamb skewers. So when it came time to order it was an absolute given we were going to order these. Now they aren’t the most photogenic of foods but they would have to be one of the tastiest. Tender, moist, juicy lamb flavours complimented by generous amounts of cumin and just enough chilli to make its presence felt, there just seems to be something about lamb cooked on a stick (hello satays and kebabs). While not the best I've had in Melbourne, the meat tender but a little underdone to my taste, I'd still more than happy to order these again.
Another classic northern Chinese dish is hand pulled wheat noodles. Served with lamb, tomato, cabbage, onion and capsicum, what stands out about this style of noodles is their better flavour and firmer texture, closer to al dente pasta than your dry packet noodles. Nicely cooked what was best about this dish, other than the noodles themselves, was the delicious meaty/tomato juices at the bottom of the plate.
Thinking that just the noodles and skewers wouldn't be enough we also ordered the fried pumpkin cakes. Generally like little pumpkin patties, crispy pumpkin on the outside with softer more luscious pumpkin filling in the middle, I was quite surprised to find a small centre of red bean paste. I am not always the biggest fan of red bean paste but it did complement the flavours of the pumpkin nicely. The only negative was that the pumpkin cakes were just a touch overdone.
Nothing startling but a good stop for a reasonably priced meal when you like something different, with flavours that are as much central Asian as the more familiar styles of Chinese food from the eastern part of the country.
Food - 7
Ambience - 6.5
Service - 6.5
Price - 7
306 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: 0430 432 729