Bridging old and new traditions, Grand Dynasty is one of our most modern Chinese restaurants on the Gold Coast.
Ken Zeng, who co-owns the restaurant with business partner Alain Yue, is no stranger to hospitality. Having grown up in his family’s restaurants in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, Ken trained in hospitality before moving to Australia.
After several years working under the mentorship of veteran restaurateur Jack Shum (Royal Dynasty and Dumpling and Noodle, ex-Golden Fortune, Sky Broadbeach and Aussie China Kitchen), Ken was ready to open his own restaurant.
“I love hospitality,” Ken tells us. “Owning my own restaurant is a dream come true.”
While the dining room boasts traditionally auspicious red lanterns, walls lined with golden marble imported from Hong Kong and ornate decorations, the area fronting Victoria Square references traditional China in a thoroughly modern alfresco setting.
It’s a Chinese restaurant with a difference, adhering to Shum’s tried and tested formula of providing yum cha for lunch and à la carte for dinner with a focus on fresh live seafood.
Yet, Grand Dynasty steps up to bring a very modern touch to traditional Chinese dining environments with customer-focussed service, food freshly made to order and spicy Sichuan dishes joining the usual Cantonese cuisine.
Yum cha (literally meaning ‘drinking tea’) draws on the great Chinese tradition of weekly family dining, enjoying conversation and catching up on family business. It’s all about sticking together, a tradition carried forward and adapted to today’s business lunches, local workers and tourists dining alfresco on the freshest tastiest bites on the coast.
“Every one of our yum cha dishes is made by hand each morning by our three yum cha chefs,” Ken tells us. “Nothing is brought in frozen.”
He points out some of his favourites: roe-topped steamed prawn dumplings with large pieces of prawn still intact inside; the restaurant’s signature plate-size Grand Dynasty seafood soup dumpling which I pierce with a straw to drink the soup before demolishing the seafood filling and then the noodle; tender rice noodles; and juicy sumai stuffed with prawn and Chinese sausage, mushrooms and garlic chives, a dish from his hometown of Shenzhen.
As delicious as this freshly-made yum cha is, it’s a worthy entrée to the exceptional à la carte menu where seafood is king.
“Our Australian King Crab from Tasmania is loved by Chinese people, as are the lobster, abalone, scallops and local mudcrab,” Ken tells me. “They’re the best in the world,” he says, addressing the need to cater to the 500,000 Chinese tourists who visit the Gold Coast each year.
Fresh and live Australian seafood is a huge drawcard for the restaurant, particularly evident during times of celebration, such as Chinese New Year, when many Chinese are breaking with tradition to travel to the Gold Coast for the national holiday.
Other house specialties on the extensive menu include two-course Peking duck, the second course served with either duck fried rice or duck san choy bow, BBQ duck and BBQ pork cooked in house, many Contonese specialties as well as spicy Sichuan dishes such as King Prawns or chicken with Kung Pao sauce, Mapo tofu and other Sichuan chilli-hot dishes, as well as the best mango pancakes and jasmin jelly on the coast.
If the sheer scope of the menu makes your meal choice too difficult, opt for a $45 or $60pp banquet, available to groups of four or more.
However you dine at Grand Dynasty, one thing’s for certain: your first visit may be for a yum cha lunch, however the quality will bring you back for dinner. This is Chinese cuisine at its finest presented to fit into Gold Coast life here and now.
The Oasis, 75 Surf Parade, Broadbeach Ph: 07 5538 1688
Open: Mon – Sun 10:30am – 4pm Yum cha; 5pm – 10pm A la Carte