Okay its been a while. So long in fact that the few notes I took on the night are mostly meaningless now. I mean, New York shoes, what could that refer to? Anyone? Now that I’m showing visible signs of ageing, I must take more meaningful notes – the old memory is not what it used to be. Either that or write things up sooner.
Anyway, what I do remember about this particular outing was that it was a lot of fun. Strop organised it as an excuse for us to go back to Luyu & Yum Yum for their dumplings which are both yummy and spectacularly presented. However, from my point of view the main draw for returning was actually their whisky sours variants. These are called King of Newtown on the cocktail list, come with a culturally appropriate sprinkling of tea leaves on top, and are delicious.
Strop decided that as Luyu & Yum Yum could accommodate their various dietary pecadillos, she would invite the Stropolina and her housemates, collectively known as Babetown along on this outing. As it turned out, the Eleanor part of Babetown was unable to attend due to breaking her wrist playing netball. So while she was stuck at home with only a handful of serious painkillers for company, the rest of the team kept Strop and me company in Newtown.
The Babetown-lite faction was made up of Katherine, Jess and the Stropolina. They were joined by Maddy, one of their mates, who helped maintain the symmetry of our table. Strop and I had carefully positioned our aging and wrinkled forms facing each other in the middle of the table, so that we would haved gorgeous young things on either side, ready to give us a polite and caring poke if we happened to exhibit any embarrassing symptoms of ageing. Such as falling asleep or dribbling.
Luyu &Yum Yum is a relative newcomer to King St. It moved in to the upstairs space that used to be occupied by Paju BBQ, and transformed what was a bit of a barn of a space into something much darker and sexier. At one end there is a glassed in kitchen full of sizzling woks and bamboo steamers, at the other end is a screened off space with tables for large parties. In between there is a bar and lots of tables which mostly seem to be occupied.
There are plenty of staff out on the floor and in the kitchen. All very friendly and efficient. First order of business was drinks, and I successfully managed to convince everyone to try a King of Newtown to start with. Everyone said they enjoyed them, but I did notice that a couple of Babetowners switched to other cocktails for the next round. Oh well, more sour whisky for me I suppose.
Luyu & Yum Yum is a high concept dumpling joint. The little steamy or crispy parcels are like the Faberge of dumplings. Artful and yummy, and likely to dump a burst of hot tasty soup in your mouth when you bite into them. Some are shaped like hedgehogs or white rabbits (complete with red eyes), some just look like dumplings. All are yummy.
Despite my wish to go off the reservation and try things that weren’t actually dumplings, Strop and Babetown were adamant that they were happy just to have lots of dumplings. And cocktails.
The room was quite noisy, so even the young people were cupping their hands around their ears in order to hear what was being said on the other side of the table. It was Friday night and I have a theory that people are louder on Friday nights after they have been let out of work for the weekend. The pent up pressure of a week’s worth of quiet desperation leads to a quick and noisy release. And there was music too, which appealed to Babetown and resulted in a little bit of seat dancing when they thought no one was looking. They decided the music selection sounded like the So Fresh 2001 compilation (back when they were ~13 year olds!).
I just remembered what the New York shoes note referred to. The Stropolina was telling a long and involved story about trying to buy some special designer shoes for her cousin’s eighteenth birthday when she was in New York recently – the point of which still escapes me. Oh well I suppose it’s some progress. What about Who’s Hannah? Anyone have any ideas what that might mean?
It’s great to see places like Luyu & Yum Yum opening up in King Street. Smart, fun and yummy, Asian with style and attitude. More of that please. Next time I go I want to try some of their teas, and the non-dumpling offerings.
Luyu & Yum Yum – Level 1, 196 King St, Newtown