The existence of a gin trolley illustrates what is so awesome about new look Sunday lunch at the Westend Pumphouse. It’s fun and delicious.
The Pumphouse has had a couple of make overs in its time but the introduction of a Chinese-Australian fusion trolley service is the best by far.
The Lovely Deputy and I were desperate for brekkie after the recent Glenorchy Fun Run.
We recited and dismissed a list of regulars until he suggested The Pumphouse.
Yum cha is best if you can linger – small plates enjoyed over a couple of hours. We weren’t up for a long haul lunch but having finally cracked 10 Ks in under an hour, I was celebratory and yum cha sounded perfect.
This Girl quickly settled in with a glass of Tasmanian sparkling Rose.
It was immediately clear that yum cha at The Pumphouse has been well received. There were large groups in every corner enjoying the experience. We were accommodated without a booking, midway through a siting, but there were only a few spare tables. Service was enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Trolleys appeared regularly and each plate was carefully explained.
Yum cha dishes are a combination of new and old; new takes on old dishes and modern interpretations of traditional plates. It wouldn’t be yum cha if there were no chicken feet. Spring rolls are fat with ingredients and served cut in half with their inners exposed. There are dumplings – like cheeseburger dumplings and the prawn toast uses Raspberry Fool’s sourdough. The aubergine is Szechuan.
For groups of adventure seekers you might choose a pig’s head, cut in a horizontal cross section with accompanying pickles. Along with custard tart, the dessert trolley has marshmallow which they’ll heat under a blowtorch until it goes gooey. Did I mention the gin trolley? Included as a ‘bit of fun’, the trolley features examples of Tassie’s growing premium gin market. I tried the Forty Spotted Rare Tasmanian Gin served with a piece of star anise, orange and tonic. A balanced drink. Fun and delicious.
Andy Third is the head chef and yum cha cook. He is originally from New Zealand and has been in Australia for 9 years, spending time in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Adelaide. He’s been in Hobart for two years.
“We were looking to start opening on Sundays, and didn’t want to just do brunch. I have always loved yum cha, both the food and the theatre of the service. Those are two thing we try to replicate. We try and mix up the dishes we offer each week, we keep a core and play around with the rest. Some of the dishes are traditional yum cha dishes or based on them, while others we like to play around with, while keeping true to the idea of a selection of small plates delivered to your table,” Andy told us.
What we ate:
- Pressed cucumber topped with salmon and roe
- Salt and pepper squid
- Peking duck
- Chocolate brownie topped with chocolate mousse.
“One thing that is both a disadvantage and an advantage is that none of us are Chinese. This means that we didn’t have aunties or grandmas that we could just ask to show us how to make things, but at the same time we are not bound by their expectations. I have travelled fairly extensively through Asia, and a lot of the food and ideas we have are based on that. At the Pumphouse, when we are discussing ideas to implement, we ask ourselves two questions. Will it be delicious? Will it be fun? Our yum cha service epitomises both of those things and we are only a couple of months into it. We plan to keep pushing and evolving, who knows where our brand of yum cha will end up. It will definitely be delicious and fun,” Andy told us.
All the yum cha dishes are hand made in house. Plates start from $7.50.
Sittings are 11 am and 1 pm, at The Westend Pumphouse, 105 Murray Street, Hobart (+61 3 6234 7339).
They’re on Facebook – The Westend Pumphouse.
Another yum cha favourite but more traditional – Yum cha at Me Wah.