Food and Drink


A Challenger Emerges

Posted by


Melbourne’s mad about dumplings, and the undisputed king of the CBD heap is Camy Shanghai Dumpling. Sure it’s bustling, has big serves and is BYO but the food can be hit and miss at the best of times. Lucky for me Dumpling’s Plus is cranking out first rate, freshly made dumplings just around the corner.

In a large, double story shop on Swanston Street Dumpling’s Plus is packed when we visit, a window to the kitchen reveals a team of dedicated nonna’s hand-making the dumplings. They charge for tea here, but the rest of the menu is reasonably priced enough to make up for it.

We begin our dumpling discovery with home-made dumplings in hot chili sauce (15 pcs, $8.00) that arrive steamed and served atop a thick, syrupy chili sauce. The sweetness of the sauce enhances the pork dumplings, which are small and delicate enough to mean you can eat half a dozen without breaking a sweat.

Next up a pair of chive pancakes arrive ($8.50), our only miss-step of the meal. Doughy, greasy and more than a little stodgy, these pancakes are best avoided. I don’t bother finishing mine to save more stomach room for the main attraction – fried dumplings.

Ten bold, beautiful pork-filled parcels are slapped down in front of us; glistening, golden, straight from the fryer. Sure, steamed is good but nothing captures the majesty of a dumpling like oil and heat. Wrapped in crisp dough and stuffed with spiced pork, these dumplings are some the I’ve had in the city; splashed with soy and chili oil they become a thing of beauty. We finish our meal fighting over the remaining booty and ponder if the Plus in the Dumpling’s Plus may indeed refer to belt size.

The good news is that vego’s can enjoy the spoils too, with Dumpling’s Plus offering vegetarian dumplings made fresh (they’re just not on the menu, so ask your server for the day’s meat-free options). Be warned though, one serve is never enough.

Dumplings Plus
269 Swanston Street, Melbourne
9663 8181


Onsen Ma

We escape the grind with a soak and shiatsu at the new Japanese bath house in Meyers Place.

Milk Bar’s Bite-Sized Guide to Sugar Mountain

Our tips to getting the best out of the epic one day music marathon this weekend.

Earth lands in Melbourne

Legendary Seattle rock group Earth finally make it to Melbourne after a twenty year hiatus. Catch them live this week only.