Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Three Gweilos at lunch

It's been a while since I had Yum Cha.

I worked in Hong Kong between 1977 and 1980 where there was a huge and noisy Yum Cha venue across the road from our office. We ate there regularly. Eating there was like sharing a meal and conversation with the entire crowd at the AFL Grand Final.

I was then transferred to Beijing from 1980 to 1982 where Yum Cha was not a common meal; at least I don't recall us eating this style of meal there.

Back in Sydney in the 1990s I once again found myself often eating Yum Cha especially when our office moved to near Central Railway and on the edge of Chinatown. We often ate at the Marigold which then was busy and noisy just like in Hong Kong. In those days there were always plenty of Gweilos amongst the many Asian diners.

I retired at the end of 2002 and can't recall having a Yum Cha since then until today. I met up with My and Me at the Marigold this morning expecting to be three Gweilos amongst a sea of Asian faces. However, contrary to my memories, the Gweilos outnumbered the 'locals' today and the vast dining room was not, as in the past, packed to the rafters.

Is it a sign of the financial times, or has the Marigold been overtaken in popularity by newer restaurants or is Yum Cha no longer as popular as it once was? Certainly our bill, although reasonable, was pricier than the cheap meal I remember from the past.


  1. Is Yum Cha what we in called Dim Sum in San Francisco? I ask because it looks the same from your photo (and yummy, too).

    Also, what are Gweilos?

  2. wcs - I suppose it is the same as Dim Sum. Diners select from steamed and fried dishes contained in baskets and on plates that circulate the room on trolleys.

    I have included a link to the Wikipedia definition of Gweilo in my posting. It means Ghost person in Cantonese and is the name Hong Kong Chinese used for Europeans.

  3. And I think I noticed the Gweilo was linked to what I assumed was a definition.

    Everyone I know has done yum cha, except I haven't. Guess you have to have something to look forward to.

  4. Thanks! I suppose I could have been less lazy and googled it all myself, but that takes all the fun out of interaction, even if it's just blog commenting...

  5. Andrew - it's good to have goals in life

    wcs - my pleasure