Various lockdown hacks and escapes — 37 — the death of yum cha?

Anyone reading my blogs from 2000 to the present will have seen what a significant place yum cha has had in my life and those of my friends. For example: Back to August 2001 — yum cha ruled! and How David Bowie took me to yum cha in Chinatown….

Not just me, but many of us rejoiced in Sydney’s yum cha offerings — James O’Brien for example: “I had THE best Peking Duck last night at Sydney’s East Ocean restaurant.”

Peking Duck at East Ocean — James O’Brien 2016

Now it appears that COVID and the lockdowns are taking their toll.

Take the Golden Century for example. In 2019 SBS told us about its “small business secrets.”

And now SBS News reports: Farewell to Sydney Chinatown’s most iconic restaurant.

Late-night dining, heart-warming hospitality and the freshest of seafood are what we’ll remember about Sydney Chinatown’s most celebrated eatery, Golden Century, which went into administration this week after 30 years of service.

It comes as Sydney marks nearly two months of lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 disease, which requires restaurants to pause their dine-in service. 

Over the years, owners Eric and Linda Wong have been revered for the traditional Cantonese cuisine they served to families, city hustlers and overseas notables alike. Their restaurant was known as much for its encyclopaedic menu as it was for its list of high-profile guests, including Australian prime ministers, Lady Gaga, former US president George HW Bush and the Princess of Tonga.

So sad!

Zilver is one Micheal Xu has favoured in recent years — and we have been here quite often. Way back in Sydney’s Olympic Year of 2000 the crew around Ian Smith (the late Dowager Empress of Hong Kong) also gathered here more than once — though I seem to recall it was “Silver” then.

The Gong does not have a full-on yum cha restaurant — that needs a much greater turnover of customers than Wollongong has to offer. But we do have the nearest thing — and sometimes the offerings more than match Chinatown’s — in Ziggy’s House of Nomms! They are struggling on through lockdown with take-aways and a very active presence on Facebook.

Steen and Kevin from Ziggy’s