SENG KEE YUM CHA
Market Plaza Food Court
Adelaide Central Markets
95 Grote Street
South Australia 5000
Seng Kee Yum Cha is located in the Adelaide Central Market food hall on the Southern wall, on the left walking towards Moonta Street, the main China town drag.
OPEN : Monday to Saturday
from 11.00 am – until about 2.00 pm [ you may be lucky enough to sneak in something after 2.00 pm but expect choice to be limited]
AO 26 APRIL 2023
I think Seng Kee Yum Cha is the best daily dim sum of this type in Adelaide.
Certainly the surroundings are humble and it is not the type of establishment where it is fair to hang around…but! AO
When feeling nostalgic for the street food of Shanghai Seng Kee Yum Cha is my go to. Owners hail from Shanghai and their handmade dumplings and other dishes are perfect. Mrs Seng Kee Yum Cha, Connie, at the front, this tiny eatery probably has more regulars that any other in Adelaide.
Tripe, chicken feet, maybe some crunchy squid or a dumpling or three and a melt–in–the–mouth egg tart. Connie’s egg tarts are the only ones that come close to my favourite egg tart shop in Shanghai. The always sell out and for good reason.
Years ago I sat next to a tiny tot, about four, who on her plate had two chicken feet and an egg custard tart. Mummy was quite strict [we love that] and I knew for certain she had been told to eat the chicken feet first and the egg custard tart last. In honour of her mother’s great parenting, I refrained from my usual habit of gobbling my egg custard tart first.
Exquisitely behaved, I informed her that she was eating my favourites, which brought a sweet shy smile and she looked knowingly at my chicken feet, tripe and custard tart. To my knowledge Seng Kee Yum Cha is the only food hall eatery that does such an excellent range of dumplings, lotus rice with meat and mushrooms, chicken feet, tripe, traditional steamed pork ribs, tofu wrapped parcels and those melt–in–the mouth flaky egg custard tarts. They also do a sort of fried squid/octopus tentacles that many Westerners might not get. It is rather chewy and firm but just the type of texture celebrated in the Chinese kitchen. One of the very enjoyable things about the dumplings, apart from the fact they are made in-house, is the length and breadth of Chinese flavours and textures.
Special treats are the torpedo shaped, pork filled fried dumplings. They are wrapped in a glutinous rice wrapper and deep-fried…very naughty but very nice. The other is the baked flaked pastry parcels filled again with pork that are just so tasty and so melt in the mouth I could eat half a dozen and still want more.
No amount of cajoling has extracted a recipe for that pastry. Equally the sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf with its silky sticky surprising texture with a small piece of Chinese sausage, a piece of dried Chinese mushroom and a piece of meat either pork or chicken, sometimes with a bone. I especially love this rice because it is such an excellent example of less is more, where the Chinese kitchen uses a tiny amount of the more expensive ingredients in the cleverest way to flavour and enrich the entire dish.
My family love the crystal prawn dumplings, dim sims and pork buns, but it is only my brother and sister-in-law who can be enticed to eat what the rest of the family and some friends call ‘weird stuff’.
We have done a couple of very fun parties where we’ve set up huge steamers, made a variety of sauces and added the mandatory commercial Mao Gan La with peanuts. I have dozens of small bamboo steamers and the greaseproof paper inserts can be purchased at any Chinese grocer. The best bit is we organise the dumplings with Seng Kee and provide the airtight storage containers to pack them in, in a single layer.
Made fresh the same day they are fantastic. So, if you’re looking for something a little different for a party that doesn’t cost and arm and a leg, and 99% of guests will love, a dumpling party from Seng Kee Yum Cha comes highly recommended.
Because of the traditional nature of the food some, like chicken feet and tripe, may not be to everyone’s liking but the dumplings and dishes are clearly displayed to make your choices easy. If you want to make sure that you get one of those scrumptious torpedos or melt in the mouth meat pastries or a custard tart it’s a good idea to get there around 12, especially on Fridays.
They also do the Black Chicken Soup thought to be magical for poor health. I have never eaten it at Seng Kee, but I have in China…pretty tasty!