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Ding Hao is a Chinese restaurant in chinatown that’s been around for so long it’s nearly an institution in Adelaide. Over the years, dinner there with friends has made a great night out more often than not as the restaurant serves a wide variety of dishes on their menu and the food is tasty and diverse.

Fried Eggplant with Prawn

Fried Eggplant with Prawn

Ding Hao also has a yum cha menu which they offer during the day for lunch. You can find the usual assortment of steamed buns, various dumplings, noodles and fried bits and pieces.

Rice Noodle Rolls with Prawn and Fried Radish Cake

Rice Noodle Rolls with Prawn and Fried Radish Cake

Now, for a restaurant which proclaims itself as the yum cha specialist in Adelaide (proudly embossed on their business card), one would expect something a little more…. how can I put it…’exotic?’ on offer. I was a little disappointed after a quick scan of the menu items… all the usual suspects and all a bit on the ordinary side.

Squid with Ginger and Shallot

Squid with Ginger and Shallot

The other thing I found frustrating was the careless service, staff behaviour left a lot to be desired. When arriving at a restaurant which states its opening time as 11am until late on the front door, there is an expectation that they remain open during said time frame. When customers arrive for lunch at 2pm, it is courtesy to inform them that the kitchen is closing in 5 minutes, not seat them, serve them drinks, then rush them through the ordering process before informing them of kitchen closures.

Stewed Ox Tripe and Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf

Stewed Ox Tripe and Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf

Adding to the thoughtlessness, staff were vacuuming around us 10 minutes after we arrived and placed an order. It was unprofessional!

Peanut combination Dumplings

Peanut combination Dumplings

So after heeding the advice of many a previous Ding Hao yum cha afficionados, I have to say, the experience was all a bit deflating. My hopes had built up and my expectations were dashed. Don’t get me wrong, the food was good and it was a nice lunch, but I had hoped for something a little more ‘challenging’ for my taste buds. The cost of lunch for two people was around $45 which makes for a decent cheap eat overall. Needless to say I probably won’t bother with their yum cha again, there are simply too many other yum cha restaurants in Adelaide offering much more interesting, tasty tidbits.

 
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