MELBOURNE | Secret Kitchen has been around since 2007, and in that time they’ve built a reputation as one of the best places in Melbourne for yum cha. Across three sittings each day, you can enjoy a vast selection of quality Cantonese dim sum, all prepared fresh on site each day.
When I visited recently to get some photos for What’s On Melbourne, I had a chat with marketing and communications manager Karen Lee about the restaurant. When a popular restaurant is approaching its 17th year, no small feat given the competitiveness of Melbourne’s restaurant scene and the trials and tribulations of the past few years, what is there for people to know about that they might not already know?
The answer to that question is that while yum cha is what Secret Kitchen is known for, and a big part of what they do, there’s a completely separate dinner menu. On this menu you’ll find an assortment of traditional and modern Cantonese dishes. Post photoshoot, I had to have a quick nibble of everything before moving on to my next menu. I hadn’t had breakfast that day and the food all looked and smelled so good.
Being a favourite of mine for yum cha, it’s no surprise that Secret Kitchen’s non-yum cha dishes are quality. It’s things like hand made dumplings, braised, and roasted meats (call ahead to ensure you can snag one of the roast goose), double boiled soups with rich broths, and a whole lot of fresh seafood dishes. Seafood is a specialty here – you’ll notice all of the fresh seafood in tanks as you walk in.
Also of note, is that while the menu is broadly Cantonese, there are several specialties from other Chinese regions. Things like XinJiang-style roasted lamb shank, and Szechuan spicy fish fillet.
It’s a big menu and one that, after those few bites I had after my photoshoot, I’m keen to explore more of. Maybe dinner rather than yum cha next time.
Secret Kitchen (Chinatown)
222 Exhibition Street
Telephone: (03) 9988 7778
E-mail: [email protected]
Mon – Fri: 11:30am – 3:00pm, 5:30pm to 10:00pm
Sat – Sun: 10:30am to 3:00pm, 5:30pm to 10:00pm