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The 8 Best Dumpling Fixes In Melbourne

The 8 Best Dumpling Fixes In Melbourne

‘Dumpling’ is delightfully onomatopoeic, right? A comforting little dump of dough, a fat mamma in your bowl, that delivers in sheer belly-swelling love what it lacks in visual aesthetics. Because dumplings aren’t great looking, right? But Jesus, they’re delicious. And sometimes – after a long night – only dumplings will do. And trust us, Melbourne does them best.


#1 HuTong Dumpling Bar

Where: 14-16 Market Lane, Melbourne

Xiao Long Bao
(Photo: Charles Haynes/Flickr)

Tucked away in Market Lane, HuTong is the reigning CBD location for legit Shanghai dumplings. The décor is lush enough for a nice dinner with your mates, with a few banquet-size spaces upstairs, and the staff aren’t going to push you out of your chair the minute your chopsticks hit the plate. A truly excellent Xiao Long Bao is hard to come by in this country, but HuTong do a smashing job with those explosive little packages.


#2 Wonderbao Kitchen

Where: 19-37 A’Beckett Street, Melbourne

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(Photo: Alpha/Flickr)

Wonderbao is a cheat since their (much-beloved) specialties are those pillowy bao tacos filled with choice cuts of pork belly and crisp cucumber fingers. But their soft buns do qualify and they are worth the trek (Wonderbao being one of those delightful Melbourne hotspots that is located in a mysterious corner of a graffiti-clad laneway that is guarded by a magic wizard). The BBQ pork, egg custard and Chinese sausage bao are dense little clouds of excellence.


#3 Shanghai Village Dumplings

Where: 112 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

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(Photo: Danielle/Flickr)

Let’s be real – Shanghai is not on this list because of the quality of their dumplings. Theirs are the fast food offerings of the dumpling word, mass produced and slapped on the table with minimal service/ceremony, for rock bottom prices. But the very low prices have made Shanghai an institution, particularly amongst students and struggling hipster hobos. As a result, most evenings, there’s a queue for tables that reaches way out the front door. While Shanghai falls short on actual dumpling quality, they score big on atmosphere.


#4 North East China Family

Where: 302 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Located on Flinders Lane, on the east side of Elizabeth Street, North East China Family is the quiet achiever of Melbourne’s CBD dumpling eateries. They serve up fresh, plump, juicy-as-all-get-out dumplings of the pork, chicken and prawn and vegetarian variety, and a wide variety of other crazy delicious things. Try the potato, eggplant and capsicum casserole or the green beans with pork mince for a flavour party that will not quit.


#5 One Noodle Friendship

Where: 417-419 High St, Preston

A photo posted by @mariahbellesmith on


One Noodle Friendship is smack bang in the heart of Preston’s Asian food cornucopia, where the table dressings are minimal but the food quality is off the charts. Little Chinese ladies in hair nets are visible through the glass walls of the kitchen, pressing and plumping the thick-skinned dough balls to perfection, and you can watch as the dumplings go from hand to steamer and onto your plate. They don’t mess around with the fried variety either – expect fully immersed, all-around crispness that will destroy your waistline but make your tastebuds very happy.


#6 David’s

Where: 4 Cecil Place, Prahran

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(Photo: David’s Restaurant/Facebook)

Established in 1989, this off-Chapel institution is another antipodean epicentre of Shanghai cuisine. At an average price of $9 for four pieces, their dumplings aren’t cheap, but they certainly are fancy. Go off the beaten track with the green prawn and bamboo dumplings or try the golden parcels of minced chicken and Asian herbs. The real crowning glory of all David’s dough balls are in the dessert menu, however – the white chocolate dumplings with peanut and coconut praline are singular and divine.


#7 ShanDong MaMa

Where: Shop 7 200 Bourke Street, Melbourne

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(Photo: ShanDong MaMa/Facebook)

ShanDong specialises in Jiaodong-style dumplings, which includes silky-skinned mackerel and pork parcels that slide happily down your gullet. Tucked away in a Chinatown arcade, Shandong has higher prices than your average wooden table, white walled eatery, but the food is hand made with love and care, and they have no shortage of fans.


#8 Borsch, Vodka and Tears

Where: 173 Chapel Street Windsor

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(Photo: Alpha/Flickr)

A gentle reminder that heart-warming dough pillows are made all over the world – Japan, Mongolia, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, England and of course Poland, where pierogi are king. Windsor is the place the get quality pierogi in Melbourne, at the poetically named Borsch, Vodka and Tears. In addition to some 5000 varieties of vodka, they serve up pierogi of all flavours, including fried onion, raspberry vinegar, and porcini mushroom and sauerkraut.

 (Lead image: David’s/Facebook)

Head to Melbourne with Qantas to get your fill.

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