- Date Visited: 1st of August, 2017
- Order: Pork and Chicken Dumpling, Prawn Gow Gee, Dim Sim, Five Spiced Pork Dumpling, BBQ Pork Bun, Sparkling Water
- Final bill: $72 AUD for 2
Tucked away underground, on York Street, is a unique shop that offers a variety of dumplings and Chinese dishes for you to enjoy.
As you walk downstairs, you will find yourself in a narrow entrance with a suit store on the left of Uncle Mings main entrance. This really adds to the experience and illusion that you are in China or Hong Kong where there are little real-estates and most shops/units are cramped together in one place.
Here is a quick clip of inside Uncle Mings. The only thing that may be out of place is the music playing in the background. However, I guess it does keep you entertained as you are eating, additionally the playlist has some classic hits.
As you enter, you are greeted by smiling waiters. Being our first time there, the waitress was happy to help us out. Eventually, we chose to sit down at one of the tables close to the bar and were immediately presented with the menu. It was hard to determine if the speed of service is always like this or if it was because we arrived after lunch hour (1:00 pm) when it was not as crowded.
The waitress was happy to answer any questions I had with any items on the menu and soon enough returned with our food. There was definitely no delay in getting our food.
The presentation was part of the whole package of Uncle Mings. The ambience, decoration, and lighting really make the food more appetizing. The food came in bamboo baskets as with any other dumpling stores. A nice touch that I found here was that they also topped the dumplings with some fresh herbs and spices which adds merits to the presentation.
What I realize about dumplings in Sydney is that there are a few major distributors of these dumplings. The majority of the stores, unless they have freshly made gourmet dumplings, use dumplings from these distributors and all they need to do is steam them before serving.
I am not entirely sure if this is what Uncle Mings serve, however, it definitely has a familiar taste. One dumpling which I have not tasted before at any other places is the five spices dumpling. With that being said, I really appreciate how Uncle Mings adds herbs or spices on top of the dumplings to enhance the flavour and aroma of the dumplings.
Most of the dumplings were steamed perfectly and were not too dry or too wet. The only thing I found could have improved was the shumai, otherwise known as dim sim. They were a bit too moist, not sure if this was because it was steamed for too long or how they were made. If you ever go to Yum Cha places, you will find that they use different shumai from the takeaway stores. Generally, the takeaway stores’ shumai are larger and have more moisture, so it crumbles upon the first bite. Whereas the better shumai would be smaller and more tightly packed so the meat has a nice, chewy consistency.
Other than the complaint about the shumai, I found the rest of the dumplings were as expected.
It does seem a bit more than your average Yum Cha or dumpling place, which average around $6.50 – $7.50 AUD for a basket of 4. However, keep in mind that the dumplings here come in sets of 5 for everything except the shumai which is huge in size! There are not many places around Wynyard that serve dumplings, so if you are in that area of the CBD, this would be your best bet, and to be honest, it’s not bad. If you gather a few people together and share a few dumplings, you can have a larger variety and it won’t cost as much.
As I do work in the city, this would most likely be my go-to place now since Pier Nine Chinese restaurant closed down. For quick Yum Cha food without the extra walking distance to other destinations such as Town Hall or Chinatown, this is a good choice. It is also a fun place for either team lunch or after work drinks where you can relax and enjoy the great ambience offered at Uncle Mings. I will definitely be back to this place in the near future!