Food and Drink


Shanghai Street’s Delish Dumplings

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Over the past year dumpling joints have been popping up with the regularity of St. Kilda football scandals, and are a lot easier on the stomach. First Dumplings Plus and now Shanghai Street Dumpling are adding new flavors and options to the CBD dumpling scene.

Featuring what has become de rigueur for any self-respecting dumpling joint, this tiny restaurant has a window up the back where diners can view the chef preparing an assembly line of dumplings-to-be. There’s also BYO with no corkage which is a big fat tick in my book.

The laminated menu provides the usual rice and noodle dishes, but it’s the dumplings I’m here for. With half the dumplings listed as homemade and half not I decide to hedge my bets, choosing the Steamed Pork (15 pieces, $8.00) and the Homemade Fried Vegetable (15 pieces, $7.80). Plus I couldn’t leave with trying to the wonderfully named Homemade Steamed Shanghai Juicy Mini-Buns (crab and prawn, 8 pieces, $10.80).

Our complimentary tea is poured and pretty soon the dumplings start arriving. First is the pork, piping hot and plentiful. Whipping up a mix of chili oil and soy I dip away…and don’t get my socks blown off. The filling is meaty enough but lacks zing and the dumplings a tad limp. Still, they’re not bad, just not great.

Next up are the mini-buns, eight neatly-wrapped parcels that are essentially mini-dumplings. Filled with a merry mix of crab and prawn they’re little pockets of happiness, and biting down I’m rewarded with a dainty burst of flavor and juices. Delightful.

Then the homemade dumplings are set down before me, and I suspect they’ve saved the best till last. Plumper and prouder than their pork cousins, what sets these homemade marvels apart is the lightness of the dough, which gives the mixed greens and mushroom filling central billing. They’re outstanding, some of the best I’ve had in Melbourne.

Before today Dumplings Plus was my favourite dumpling joint in the city. Today Shanghai Street edges closer to the top. 2011’s looking good for dumpling lovers in the city.

Shanghai Street Dumpling
342 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
11.30am – 8.00pm Mon – Sat
Closed Sundays