FOOD & DRINK Features
Melbourne’s Best Places to Get Dumplings
Dumpling devotees, grab some chopsticks and satisfy your dim sum cravings at these delicious restaurants. You’ll see they really put the yum in Yum Cha!
112 Little Bourke Street
This place is an absolute favourite amongst university students with its cheap prices, fast service, plentiful servings and BYO. We recommend either the fried pork and shrimp dumplings or their steamed vegetarian bundles of goodness. There are two levels to this institution and the atmosphere is always buzzing, but be prepared to wait a while to get in on a Friday evening. When you can get 15 dumplings for $7, who in their right mind would say no to that?!
Hu Tong/Man Tong
Level 1, Crown Entertainment Complex
There is something so thrilling about watching your dumplings being hand made just moments before you devour them. This Shanghainese dumpling shack provides meals that are made for sharing; however once you’ve tried one of their xiao long bao (soup dumplings) you are unlikely to want to split your basket with anyone else. Thankfully there are a few of these around Melbourne; there is one Hu Tong in the CBD, one in Prahran, and the same crew have opened up Man Tong in Southbank for something slightly more upmarket.
200 Bourke Street
This truly is the hidden gem of dumpling houses in Melbourne CBD. Located in an old shopping arcade you could be forgiven for walking right past it, but boy you’d regret it. Here they specialise in Shandong region dumplings, which have a cannoli-like appearance. At ShanDong Mama they specialise in seafood dishes and dumplings are made fresh daily. Try the DILL-icious Pork Fried Dumplings, filled with finely chopped pork mince, fresh dill, spring onions, ginger, dried shrimps and a dash of sesame oil.
Crown Towers, 8 Whiteman Street
Neil Perry’s interpretation of Chinese cuisine lends itself to some sophisticated dumplings and a yum cha lunch you’re not likely to forget. Rather than focussing on one Chinese region, Spice Temple pulls influences from Sichuan, Hunan, Xinjiang and other areas. Chow down on some Har Gow (steamed prawn dumplings) or for those who like a chili kick give the boiled pork dumplings with Sichuan sauce a go. Match you meal with with a zodiac sign cocktail, designed to calm the palate before that next burst of spice. Happy Year of the Sheep!
4 Cecil Place
If you want to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of a lunchtime yum cha rush, then David Zhou’s place is right for you. Try the sweet soft shell river prawns; they are bite sized, fried up and are meant to be eaten whole. Another highlight is the DIY Pork Belly Buns, where the sweet doughy buns are left empty for you to stuff in as much of the gelatinous pork belly as you please.
Writer & Photographer – Hannah. V