Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Shanghai Street Dumpling

Melbourne has plenty of dumpling restaurants but few are both cheap and good quality. Shanghai Street Dumpling is one such rarity, but unsurprisingly is astonishingly busy at all hours of the day. Even straight after opening for dinner service at 5pm, when I'm usually stuck at work, there's a line out the door.

Shanghai Street Dumpling
These are definitely some dumplings worth waiting for. If you feel like skipping the crowds and enjoying food in the comfort and peacefulness of an apartment like a few friends and I did, I recommend you go down this path. I'm never a fan of hectic restaurants but I do like good, cheap food. Perfect balance struck.

Pan Fried Chicken & Prawn Dumplings, Vegetarian Wontons and Dumplings in Chilli Oil
I love the dumplings and wontons here; they absolutely burst with flavour and the skins are nice and thin. Pan-fried dumplings have a nice crispy outer layer. My only criticisms are that the chicken and prawn filling was perhaps slightly too salty, and that the chilli oil soup wasn't particularly spicy.

We also ordered a serve of pork Xiao Long Bao (and some uninteresting stir-fried Chinese greens).

Pork Xiao Long Bao and Oyster Sauce Chinese Greens
The skins aren't as perfect as Hu Tongs, but no-one expects them to be at such a low price point. The biggest tragedy? Being packed in a box meant that the skins burst when you tried to take a bao.  

Pork Xiao Long Bao and Oyster Sauce Chinese Greens
What little soup I did get was rich and left me wanting more. Perhaps this is greatest argument for eating in, or alternatively, eating an entire box yourself so you can slurp the juices out of the container at the end. 

Overall, the quality of the food is brilliant especially for how little the dishes cost. Shanghai Street Dumpling is very busy though so you can expect to wait at least 20 minutes if you're looking to dine-in. Service is typical for Chinatown, and the wait-staff's grasp of English isn't great. Their take-away option is efficient however, so multiple trips to get my fix of dumpling goodness every month certainly isn't out of the question.

Shanghai Street Dumpling
342 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
Mon-Sat Lunch 1130am-3pm, Dinner 430pm-830pm

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