All-You-Can-Eat Yum Cha at The Roving Marrow

11/29/2015 05:27:00 PM

Left: G & T (Gin and Kombucha)
Right: Bloody Mary
The Roving Marrow
418 Lygon Street
Carlton, VIC 3053
Ph: (03) 9347-7419
Roving Marrow Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I spent last Sunday afternoon indulging in a decadent boozy lunch at The Roving Marrow in Carlton. Specifically, it was their all-you-can-eat Yum Cha, washed down with unlimited Mumm champagne, Bloody Marys and their G & Tea cocktails (gin and kombucha). Fancy!

Here's the deal: for almost every Sunday until the end of February (and some Saturdays in December too - check the online booking page for details), $55 gets you the all-you-can-eat Yum Cha, and an extra $35 gets you the drinks package. Boom boom.

Back in October, I read an article on The Urban List announcing The Roving Marrow's upcoming all-you-can-eat Yum Cha, and I was super keen! At the time, there weren't any blog posts online writing up the all-you-can-eat Yum Cha experience (obviously), but from reading other online reviews, I saw that their regular menu looked pretty good, and I figured that the free-flowing French champagne definitely made it a sweet deal.

All-you-can-eat affairs are generally best if you have a) no dietary requirements and b) a big appetite, so I roped in my buddy Jimbo and booked that shit in. (I actually shouted him the lunch as a birthday present - happy birthday Jimbo!)

The way it works is that you get your table for ninety minutes, and the waitstaff bring out Chef Hayden McMillan's modern Australian dishes, served yum cha style on their custom-made trolley and trays, for you to choose from. I think the dishes rotate each week, so what you see below might be different from what you'll get if you do visit. The kitchen and waitstaff were pretty efficient at getting all the dishes out to the tables. (And they were certainly efficient at topping up our drinks!) We basically had one of everything that was on offer (two each of the chicken liver parfait canapĂ©), and it didn't feel rushed. I think technically you could ask for seconds of the dishes, but we didn't find that we needed extra. Let's take a look!

Beef tartare & crisps, G & Tea
The beef tartare was great - very fresh with a nice hint of spice. I loved the crisps too!

Regarding the drinks, both the Bloody Marys and the G & Teas were good, although I've realised that I don't personally like kombucha, as I find its fermented sourness a little overwhelming. (Obviously, if you like kombucha then this is the summer cocktail for you!) We had one cocktail each and then stuck to the champagne for the rest of the afternoon.

Left: Kingfish ceviche
Right: Prosciutto, grilled zucchini, carrot salad, olives
I enjoyed the kingfish ceviche, which came in a light, citrussy coconut milk marinade. This was supposed to be wrapped up in the lettuce leaves, sang choi bao style. The grilled vegetables were less memorable (though olives are always welcome), and I found the prosciutto a bit dry.


Chicken liver parfait with salted and caramelised peanuts
We both really liked the chicken liver parfait, much more than I expected to. The creamy parfait was served on a little crostini, and blanketed with a sweet and crisp peanut powder. (For any Malaysians out there, the peanut powder reminded me of kong th'ng / kacang tumbuk - yum!)

Braised pumpkin, bone marrow & master stock dumplings
The pumpkin dumplings were nice, with the sweetness of the pumpkin contrasting well against the richness of the bone marrow and master stock.

Heirloom carrots, haloumi & spiced dukkah
The carrot dish was another winner, with the lovely combination of sweet carrots against the squeaky saltiness of the haloumi and the earthy spice of the dukkah.

Chinese roasted pork belly, red pepper, cabbage & buttermilk
I was most excited about the roast pork belly, served with red cabbage, and it did not disappoint! The crackling was perfect (and y'all know I don't say that lightly), and the meat was super juicy and delicious.

I'm sorry to say I can't remember exactly what this vegetable dish was - I see there was a mixture of asparagus, corn and roast capsicum and a mound of foam - either way, it was perfectly pleasant and it was nice to get some lightness in amongst all the rich dishes.

King Reef barramundi, organic green lentils & umami butter
The fish was fresh and cooked just right - this was a simple dish, done well.

Cape Grim beef, sweet onion, turnip & radish
Yay - meat! The Cape Grim beef looked fantastic, and tasted just as good.

The desserts weren't quite as memorable as the savoury dishes - and google shows me that The Roving Marrow's regular desserts are a bit fancier than these - but both desserts were sweet, light and refreshing, and a good way to end the meal.
Mango sorbet, fresh mango, kaffir lime

Blood orange sorbet, chocolate mousse, honeycomb

And that was The Roving Marrow's all-you-can-eat Yum Cha! Some dishes were better than others, but overall it was fun and delicious and good value - a great way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Now I fear I've developed a taste for fabulous boozy brunches and lunches, and hope to do many more over the summer months. Any recommendations? Hit me up in the comments section.

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  1. That is great value for people that can consume it all. I think my husband would love it although they might not love his hungry presence! :P

  2. All you can eat yum cha already had my attention but then I find out it includes steak tartare and chicken liver parfait too? Sign me up!



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