Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dumplings Plus (Melbourne)

Address: 269 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9663 8181
Trading Hours: Mon-Sun, 10am to 11pm

Beautifully decorated interior - a huge selling point for this newly established dumpling joint in the heart of the city of Melbourne (Swanston St is like the George St of Sydney, Australia).

To the back of the store, there is a glass window revealing a group of Asian ladies carefully folding these dumplings into form, and preparing them to be cooked as you see them below.

Above: A5 Hand Made Pork Dumplings (15pc) $8.00

The plate is actually bigger than it looks in that picture, so don't make the mistake of ordering 2 plates of dumplings to serve 2 people. In the picture above, those dumplings were just boiled in water - but the filling contains a tasty pork mince. Dumplings were not terribly overcooked so that they fell apart upon picking them up (it is already a battle using chopsticks). Great with vinegar...

Below: A6 Pan-friend Pork Dumplings (10pc) $8.50

I always prefer pan-fried dumplings because it always gives the dumpling a suprisingly chewy, sometimes crunchy texture. Quite different from the boiled version - this is great with a more soy-based sauce.

Below: B6 Northern Style Noodles with Minced Pork and Bean Sauce

I love richly-flavoured, potent noodles, so a bean sauce (mainly black bean) handmade noodle was definitely a trial item for me. Shredded cucumber gave the dish a coolness and added crunch to this dish, to offset the overpowering bean sauce noodle. Please ensure to mix ingredients well...

... voila! (see below)

I do complain that they never get these Taiwanese/regional Chinese dishes right, they are always lukewarm and I love a steaming hot noodle. Maybe they hold off because of the cucumber (cooked cucumber is pretty nasty, despite now much I love the stuff).

I recommend this place for Westerners who would like to be introduced to Taiwanese or regional Chinese cuisine. It is not bad, but I've had better - thats asking a lot for a restaurant located in such a prominent location. Very budget eatery, suitable for 2 or more people to share & trial a few dishes...

Drinks: Ice Lemon Tea $2.60 - generous glass! A little watery, but a bitter iced tea...