Dumplings & Noodle Lunch @ Yu - Burswood, Perth

A friend remarked that I hadn't blogged for a while. I apologize to my readers for the long silence as I usually blog on weekends but have been really busy lately.

The temple-like decor @ Yu, Burswood

I was in Perth, Australia last weekend to attend a friend's wedding. Naturally, I took the opportunity to check out the food scene. I had read about Yu Restaurant, located within the Burswood Entertainment Complex in Perth, Australia. Apparently, they had spent A$3 million on their renovations and pride themselves as being one of the premier Chinese fine-dining restaurants in Perth. Even the guy at the Front Desk of the Intercontinental Burswood said that it was good.

Inside Yu - Burswood
I was surprised to note that entrance looked like a Chinese temple with coils of incense hanging from the ceiling. Perhaps as homage to the Laughing Buddha (deity of abundance and good fortune)? It felt Zen crossing the bridge over glossy dark tiles with spotlights embedded in them till one steps into the bright red lounge. The plush reception looked enticing but the egg-shaped lamps seemed a little out of place.

The next thing I noted was the exorbitant prices quoted on the a la carte menu! I can't imagine paying A$9 (about US$6.40) for a piece of Peking Duck (minimum order of 4 pieces)! Even St. Regis Singapore only charges about S$55 (about US$36.50) for a whole Peking Duck which equates to about 12 - 16 pieces. I could eat at any nice Chinese restaurant in Singapore for a much lower price! Besides, there weren't many Chinese amongst the 15 or so guests that I saw, which usually doesn't bode well. The 3 course Dumplings & Noodle Lunch deal at A$30 (about US$21.45) seemed relatively reasonable so I gave it a try.

Steamed Assorted Dumplings @ Yu, Burswood
Steamed Assorted Dumplings (a la carte price: A$13.50)

The first course was an assorted Dim Sum Basket. No explanation was given about what variety of dumplings were served. Other than the distinctive Siew Mai and Har Gao, I guessed what the others were from their shapes and colour. Counter clockwise from top left: Siew Mai (pork dumpling), Har Gao (prawn dumpling), Prawn & Carrot Dumpling and Sharks Fin Dumpling (based on the shape of the dumpling).

Closer look at the steamed dumplings @ Yu, Burswood

Upon closer inspection of the Dim Sum, I couldn't help but notice that the dumplings were not well-shaped (a sign that they had been made by inexperienced hands). The skin of the Har Gao (Prawn Dumpling) was too thick and it didn't help that the prawns were not well-seasoned. The other 3 dumplings were bland and non-distinctive in flavour (ie. all tasted the same). This ranks highly as one of the worst Dim Sum I ever had.

Rice Noodles (Hor Fun) with Beef Slices in an Egg Sauce 滑蛋牛肉河
Rice Noodles (Hor Fun) with Beef in an Egg Sauce 滑蛋牛肉河
Guests are given a choice from 3 carb dishes (the other choices were Stir-Fried Singaporean Fried Bee Hoon & Yang Chow Fried Rice) for their main course. The rice noodles were bland and lumpy. The sauce added a hint of flavour but in general, this dish was another epic failure. There was no "wok-hei" at all and I found myself homesick for the ones served at Zi Char stalls or Crystal Jade Kitchen in Singapore.

Chili Oil @ Yu, Burswood
Thankfully there was some chili oil on hand to make the noodles more palatable.

Mango Pudding served with Canned Lychee & Raspberry Coulis @ Yu, Burswood
Mango Pudding served with Canned Lychee & Raspberry Coulis
(a la carte price: A$8)
Dessert was a mildly-flavoured Mango Pudding (read: not much Mango in that pudding) served with some canned Lychee and Raspberry Coulis. I guess one can't ask much from a fine dining restaurant with a budget lunch but the plating above looks like what one gets from a canteen. Overall, this was a very disappointing experience. Some Perth residents that I chatted with later also spoke of disappointing and expensive dining experiences but one summed it up really well, "It's Burswood."
Bolton Avenue & Great Eastern Highway,
Perth 6100,
Restaurant Reservations: +61 8 9362-7551
Telephone: +61 8 9632-8238

Driving directions from Perth International Airport (18km):
Go South on Horrie Miller Drive. Right into Tonkin Highway.
Left into Leach Highway. Right into Orrong Road.
Left into Great Eastern Highway & Right into Bolton Avenue.

Driving directions from Perth Domestic Airport (8km):
Go West on Brearly Avenue.
Left at Great Eastern Highway & Right into Bolton Avenue.