The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar

YES, this is yet another Melbourne food blog!

Review: Yum Cha Robina (Gold Coast, QLD)

Shop 1015-1016
Lido Promenade, Robina Town Centre
Robina Town Centre Drive
Robina QLD 4230
+61 7 5580 8181

Gold Coast isn’t exactly known for being the yum cha capital of Australia (on the other hand, if you’re looking for ridiculous sleeve tatts and fake tans…). So if you’re craving siu mai on your Gold Coast trip, you’re better off waiting until you get home. Having said that though, Marty and I had yum cha at the innovatively-named Yum Cha Robina one Sunday – and we were pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t bad. In fact, it was great. Definitely the best yum cha meal I’ve had on the Gold Coast (however, my only two previous yum cha experiences were these ones which doesn’t say much).

At 1:15pm on Sunday, the restaurant was packed so we were told to wait. Thankfully, we only had to wait 5 minutes before a waitress ushered us to an outside table overlooking the small lake in the middle of the promenade. I would have taken a photo of the lake but the sun was too bright and by then, a nice little queue had formed, thus blocking our view.

Pork and prawn dumplings

Pork and prawn dumplings

I mistook these pork and prawn dumplings for shark fin dumplings, but I wasn’t too pissed off – they were plump and full of flavour.

Scallop and prawn dumplings

Scallop and prawn dumplings

The scallop and prawn dumplings were tasty but the skins were perhaps a bit too soggy thanks to spending so much time in the steamer.

Xiaolongbao (soup dumplings)

Xiaolongbao (soup dumplings)

Deep down, I know that xiaolongbao dumplings are usually best avoided at yum cha restaurants. However, I never seem to learn my lesson so before I knew it, I was ordering a steamer of XLBs.

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As expected, there was no soup in it but at least the pork filling was nice and hearty.

Egg custard bun

Egg custard bun

I’m going through a salted egg custard bun phase at the moment so it was imperative that we order these. I just love the harmonious balance between salty and sweet, enveloped in a lovely fluffy white bun and these did not disappoint.

Ginger tripe

Ginger tripe

Marty isn’t a fan of ginger tripe (actually, hardly anyone I know likes them) so I was glad to enjoy these on my own. The tripe dish was a solid performer – a decent portion size combined with lovely flavours.

Zhaliang (Chinese dough stick wrapped in rice noodle rolls)

Zhaliang (Chinese dough stick wrapped in rice noodle rolls)

Zhaliang is normally ordered separately at yum cha – as in, they don’t come at ya via the yum cha trolleys. My dad, despite being Chinese, could never pronounce this dish properly so he was always struggling whenever we wanted to order this dish. Thankfully, the folks at Yum Cha Robina provide a menu on each table so we can point to whatever we feel like ordering in addition to whatever we take from the trolley.

Anyway, the zhaliang here was pretty good and bonus points for the dough stick remaining super crunchy even after being drenched in all that sauce. That said, most places also chuck in a few Chinese broccoli pieces wrapped in rice noodle rolls and Yum Cha Robina didn’t.

Har gow (prawn dumplings)

Har gow (prawn dumplings)

The last things to arrive were the har gow, my favourite yum cha dish of them all. The filling was lovely, though the dumplings themselves were smaller than what I’m normally used to.

We were sad that we didn’t get to order any more dishes. I would have normally added more fried dishes to the table but we both had very limited appetites that day so we didn’t. All up, I thought it was a very decent meal and it wasn’t overly expensive (yum cha dishes ranged from $3.80 for a small to $6.80 for a ‘special’). Without having been to Dragon Cove in Sanctuary Cove, I’d have to say that this is probably Gold Coast’s finest yum cha restaurant.

Yum Cha Cuisine on Urbanspoon

6 Comments on Review: Yum Cha Robina (Gold Coast, QLD)

  1. iisneeno
    December 13, 2013 at 11:32 (11 months ago)

    I love the ginger tripe!!

    Reply
  2. hungry
    December 27, 2013 at 14:48 (10 months ago)

    Hi, I found your comments and pictures helpful, thanks.
    I must eat gluten free, and have a great deal of difficulty trying to do this at all restaurants. I love Yum Cha. I went to Robina Yum Cha, asked advice on which menu dishes were gluten free and ordered accordingly. I was concerned that some that arrived were not gluten free, so asked again to be sure and this time was told they were NOT. In fact, they said, everything that ended up on my table was NOT. So, what was I supposed to do with all this food I’d ordered based as they’d said it WAS gluten free, and now found I couldn’t eat any? I asked. They shrugged their shoulders and walked off. So, I found myself having nothing to eat, and a whole lot of dishes to pay for. I had said I shouldn’t be charged as I was falsely told they were gluten free dishes, but to no avail.
    I took the food home for my dogs!
    I can’t say if their food is nice or not, it sure looks good, but definitely don’t recommend to anyone with food allergies, based on my expensive [hungry] experience.

    I do highly recommend “Top One Restaurant” yum cha at Australia Fair. Lots of trolleys of food, big variety, and YES they will help you selecting gluten free food from their trolleys. Just ask, you may need to wait for a staff member with better English, but they always help. I’ve enjoyed many meals here, never disappoints.
    If anyone can recommend any good gluten free & dairy free restaurants, please advise.
    Sick of asking when phoning in to pre book, get told yes can cater for you, then find out all they can offer is salad [minus croutons, cheese, and dressing…lettuce!] and risotto…oops sorry that’s got cream & cheese, …sorry all food is pre- prepared/bought already prepared, all with sauces already on it! Seems most of the restaurants I end up at only have chefs that can re-heat previously cooked food [ordered in from elsewhere!].

    Reply
    • libishski
      January 4, 2014 at 12:21 (10 months ago)

      The problem with a lot of Asian restaurants is that they don’t have a lot of gluten or dairy free options, especially on the ‘Coast. Hopefully this will change soon as awareness increases. Sorry to hear that you didn’t have the best experience at Yum Cha Robina! I can imagine how frustrating it is to be told one thing and then another; either way, you shouldn’t have been charged for those dishes when they were the ones that stuffed up in the first place!

      I was at Australia Fair over the weekend but didn’t see your comment until I arrived back in Melbourne. Such a shame as I would have loved to try Top One Restaurant – maybe next time!

      Reply
  3. Annoyed
    January 21, 2014 at 08:34 (9 months ago)

    “Gold Coast isn’t exactly known for being the yum cha capital of Australia (on the other hand, if you’re looking for ridiculous sleeve tatts and fake tans…). So if you’re craving siu mai on your Gold Coast trip, you’re better off waiting until you get home. Having said that though, Marty and I had yum cha at the innovatively-named Yum Cha Robina one Sunday – and we were pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t bad.”

    You kind of went in expecting it to be crap hey? Why is that? Just because it’s the Gold Coast and not Melbourne? The Gold Coast is known for amazing food outlets and restaurants – your snobbish, Melbourne biased isn’t welcome here.

    Reply
    • libishski
      January 22, 2014 at 00:00 (9 months ago)

      Hey there, I never said that ALL restaurants on the Gold Coast were terrible, just the yum cha restaurants as I’ve never had good yum cha on the Gold Coast (if you – or anyone – can point me in the right direction though, I would be happy to have my mind changed!).

      I’ve been a frequent visitor to the Gold Coast for almost three years now (why would I visit so often if I was such a Melbourne snob, hey? :) ) and can definitely say that there are things that Gold Coast do better than Melbourne such as cheap and honest Korean food (Southport) and ramen! Unfortunately, I (and heaps of people including long term GC residents) can’t say the same thing about yum cha there…

      Reply

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