Posted: 3 Nov 2012

The power of the
prawn dumpling

Melbourne’s king of Middle Eastern cuisine is suffering from a massive food craving as he hits the road for his new SBS television series Shane Delia’s Spice Journey.

As soon as Shane returns from the Middle East, where he spends months filming his first stand-alone show, Shane has a seriously huge yum cha feast.

The 32-year-old chef immerses himself in Middle Eastern cuisine for the new series, so all he can think about is a perfect prawn dumpling – nothing like the food served at his own restaurant Maha.

If you’re out for yum cha, watch out for Shane’s cheeky face at one of his top five yum cha haunts:

1. Red Emperor

Red Emporer at Southgate is the one place where I know I will always get great service, beautiful food and a table to meet my mates who also have kids with prams. There are never any problems, or raised eyebrows from the staff. I have also come here with my crew from Maha and it’s perfect for big groups. With the option of a fixed rate for all the dumplings you can eat, I think my Maha crew definitely give that a good run for its money.

2. Hu Tong

When a late night, mid-week yum cha fix is in order, you’ll find me squeezing into a corner with my brother Dean at Hu Tong. Great dumplings, cool fit out and at an end of town I like hanging out in. Also close to a few cocktail bars for post-yum cha digestives.

3. Lucky Chan

The relocation of Lucky Chan to a new spot at Crown has had new life breathed into the restaurant. In the glitz and glam of the casino complex, it is a great place to spend a Sunday with the family. You can drive with easy valet parking, have yum cha and then see a movie, followed by a walk along the river with an ice cream – Melbourne at its best!

4. Shark Fin Inn

Saturday morning is special time for my daughter Jayda and I.  We do whatever she wants – it is up to her. Every now and then, all she wants to do is eat dumplings, always at the Shark Fin Inn in Chinatown. She like to sit next to the  fish tank so she can tap on the glass and drive the fish and the owners crazy!  She is also mad about the pork “football” shaped fried dumplings.

5. Spice Temple

When I’m having a business lunch meeting outside of Maha, Neil Perry’s Spice Temple at Crown is the perfect spot, with a mixture of refined classics along with a fun selection of new yum cha dishes, backed up by a great beverage list and good service. And what I really love about this place is the dessert – much better than the typical yum cha offerings of rubbery jelly or egg custard. You can actually have real desserts… not that I’m a sweet tooth. To be honest, I usually skip dessert. That’s an extra dumpling I could have eaten. But it’s always nice to know that the option is there at Spice Temple. Of course, quality comes at a price, and it’s not your usual yum cha price tag.

As well as his new SBS show, Shane is a regular guest on Channel 10’s Ready Steady Cook and Channel 9’s Mornings. Keep up with Shane’s antics on his Twitter account.

For more TOP FIVES take a look HERE.

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