I love going out for a yum cha feast. It’s been a family favourite outing for as long as I can remember. Then, a couple of years ago my doctor told me to stop eating gluten as it was affecting my health. Homemade meals are no problem, as you are in control. Eating out can be a little harder. You are faced with limited options.
After spending a while feeling put out about the limitation on my choices, I realised that I could get around eating gluten for most meals without too much inconvenience. Except for yum cha. There I felt that limitation pinching mightily. So I stopped going.
A while back I tried to search for gluten free yum cha places in Sydney, but without any luck. Recently I searched again, and a place came up in Melbourne. I called the restaurant and they confirmed that yes, they actually do offer gluten free yum cha – all you have to do is book. They make their dim sum in house – so they can control what is used to make them.
The restaurant is the Red Emperor in the Southgate Restaurant and Shopping Precinct. They have a menu that you can download to see the different types of dim sum. Plenty of choice for vegetarian and gluten free options.
My husband and I travelled down to Melbourne for a short getaway trip in January and we made a booking for yum cha. When we arrived, we were seated on the terrace with a nice view of the river and city behind that. There was even a bottle of gluten free soy sauce on the table for me to use. My husband eats gluten, and the waitresses bringing the trolleys around were very helpful, making sure they confirmed that I wasn’t going to eat the ones with gluten in them before they would put them on the table for my husband.
The flavours were really nice and although a gluten free dumpling is not as robust as a normal one, they still held together well. I will definitely be heading back there again next time I am in Melbourne.