Photo by Drumplings
All Things Dumplings
By Shanna De Brincat
The definition of a Melbournian can be summed up by three simple things – their love for good coffee, knowing that going out for brunch doesn’t only mean eggs on toast but also smashed avo, smashed pumpkin, goats cheese, fritters, and of course the brunch menu needs to be accessible all day (otherwise is it even really brunch?).
And finally… their love for dumplings!
With the current restrictions we are all missing some of our favourite dumpling establishments and the withdrawal symptoms are starting to show. Well fear not! We have you covered with some of our favourite dumpling experiences, all from the comfort of your own home.
ORIENTAL TEA HOUSE
After first opening in 2003, Oriental Teahouse have built a reputation for providing an authentic teahouse experience inspired by traditional Chinese teahouses on the bustling streets of Shanghai. Their dine in menu offers a large variety of dumplings to suit any palate, bao, meat or plant-based share plates and as expected, a vast selection of teas. Oriental Teahouse have reopened with limited seating however if you miss out, they are currently offering chef-made dumpling packs or Build Your Own Dumplings where you can pick up from Lt Collins St or Chapel St. If you’re lucky enough to live within close proximity you can also request delivery. The options include wagyu beef, pork and coriander, prawn and mushroom or vegetarian and come with 30 pieces prepared to fill, roll and cook yourself, filling your kitchen with the fragrant aromas of a Shanghai teahouse.
For a unique dumpling experience, this place is a must! Founded by Deon St.Mor, whose passion is to create sensory experiences to remember, Drumplings merges the joy of dumplings with flavours from all around the world. If you can’t decide whether you’re in the mood for a burger or dumplings, why not try both with their cheeseburger dumplings?! Or how about, mac and cheese or pepperoni pizza or mushroom truffle? The possibilities are endless! You can shop these Drumplings cook at home packs here. Sold in bags of 24 frozen pieces, all you need to do is steam and serve. With a large selection available to take home, they are sure to satisfy any craving.
If you’ve ever wandered through Chinatown in Melbourne’s CBD, you’re likely to have come across the line up of eager patrons waiting for a table at Shanghai Street. You may have wondered what the fuss is all about, whether the wait is worth it, or whether you should join the queue – well the answer is a big YES! The line tends to move rather quickly and not only is there a selection of traditional Jiangnan-style xiao long bao, dumplings and wontons, but also a variety of larger dishes including noodles, claypots and stir fried meats. Opening their first restaurant on Lt Bourke St in 2010, Shanghai Street now have multiple locations in the city and one location on Chapel St, Windsor. Currently only their Chapel St venue is open for dining in however, all city locations are providing takeaway and delivery options, meaning you can enjoy an authentic Shanghai cuisine at home.
HU TONG DUMPLING BAR
Another favourite in Melbourne’s dumpling scene is Hu Tong Dumpling Bar. The name hutong is a type of narrow alleyway commonly found in Northern Chinese cities, in particular Beijing, so it is no surprise that the first Hu Tong Dumpling Bar to be opened can be found down one of Melbourne’s famous Chinatown laneways, Market Lane. Their aim is to bring you traditional home-style cooking and with their two locations (Chinatown and Prahan) now open for limited bookings, we can experience the delicious flavours this establishment offers. A glass window separates the kitchen allowing you to see all the action, encouraging patrons to watch on as the chefs demonstrate their craft. They are also offering take away or deliveries including freshly cooked meals or frozen packs, so you can enjoy dishes from this award-winning restaurant no matter where you are.
Please be patient as venues pivot to new rules and regulations as instructed by the Government.