Today I have a hankering for dumplings and it inspired me to reflect on a very successful visit to the Shark Fin Inn in Little Bourke St last week. I think it is one of the best dining options when dealing with a toddler or even smaller little people! Or do I just tell myself that because I like to go to yum cha regardless?
A friend had proposed an 11am Sunday yum cha sitting following his going away party on the Saturday night. For him, this turned out to be a bad decision as he was out on the town until 6am but for us it was perfect! Kids seem to be pretty much ready for lunch by 11.30am (which it was closer to by the time we all got in there and seated).
There are a few aspects that make yum cha perfect kid food. Firstly, the food is there instantly which is an important first step for feeding kids (it's the same reason that all my handbags now have boxes of sultanas in them). Secondly, kids can pick whatever takes their fancy which for Leo is mostly prawn dumplings. Thirdly, you don't get any weird looks if you bring you're own kids food in as well. I tend to bring some chopped up fruit so when there is a slow patch where nothing is taking the toddler's fancy we can keep his interest going. Finally, if it all seems to be wearing thin, you can easily pack up and go at any point and it doesn't really affect anyone else - others can keep grazing or hang around for dessert without it feeling weird.
So if you're organising a lunch with multiple kiddies or just looking for an easy outing with a smaller group, (oor like me you are jjust crazy for dumplings) I would strongly recommend hitting Chinatown!