Dumplings are my favourite food group. Yes, in my diet they’re a whole food group of small bite sized juicy deliciousness within a soft, preferably thin dumpling skin which is then dipped into a bowl of soy sauce and freshly chopped ginger…
Oh my, my mouth is already watering.
On my quest to find the perfect dumpling I’ve tried many of Melbourne’s fine Chinese establishments but there is one which always has me coming back for more.
With an unassuming cream facade and plain green and red signage bearing both Chinese and English on Little Bourke Street, Shanghai Village doesn’t scream that it is the best – and possibly cheapest – Chinese restaurants in town.
It’s the place that locals invite friends, and then those people will share it with their friends.
It’s not flashy, in fact you could debate that the staff are lazy because often you have to collect your own water, tea, sauces and cutlery from the station in the corner.
But their food is amazing – especially their dumplings.
The turnip cakes are light and cripsy, the Chinese broccoli is crisp and fresh – but they aren’t the reason why you’re here.
Taking the first mouthful of the pork dumplings with chilli broth blows my mind. The dumplings explode in my mouth. Soft from the broth but intensified with flavour from sitting patiently for me to begin eating.
The chilli is quite strong, strong enough that it will knock any cold I might be catching away but it’s worth it for those delicious pork morsels wrapped tight in their skins.
My complaints would be that at times the standard dumplings can come out a little wetter or soggier than desired or the closing of the dumpling skins can be rushed. The food is also relatively plain – garnishes are neglected – but for the best Chinese food in Melbourne I’ll accept it for now.