Another dumpling date for two

Shanghai Street Dumpling

342 Little Bourke Street, CBD (just off corner of Elizabeth)


She says:
Last Monday night we went to Shanghai Street Dumplings for dinner. The tiny restaurant is on Little Bourke, tucked off Elizabeth between a pie face and a sushi place. The restaurant is really small, it was lucky we got there at about 5.45 because while we only waited for 5 minutes everyone who get there after us was looking at at least 15-20. By my count the restaurant seats 22 inside and 8 outside. With rain and general hideousness outside they were down to 22 seats. With what looked to be 7 staff Shanghai Street has perhaps the highest staff-to-seat ratio I’ve seen outside of Vue de Monde.

It may just be because it’s so small, but Shanghai Street is popular. We were there from about 5.45 – 7 on a Monday night and at all times after we sat down there were between 8 and 16 people lined up outside waiting for a table. In the rain.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned that Gerard doesn’t eat seafood. Normally I don’t really mind, it’s only when we go somewhere by ourselves and share food and there’s a seafood dish I’m dying to try that it makes me cry a little on the inside. This was one of those times. I’m sure everyone is familiar with the amazing soupy goodness that are xiao long bao. I’m a huge fan of these (other’s I’ve blogged about are HuTong’s and Gourmet Dumpling Restaurant). Being such a huge fan I almost died when I saw the menu and realised that Shanghai Street serves not 1, but 4 different types. That’s right, the skin-nibbling, soup-sucking party isn’t restricted to pork at Shanghai Street. The menu offers pork, crab & pork, chicken & prawn and vegetable. It took everything I have to not order a plate of each of the crab & pork and chicken & prawn for myself. As soon as I can get someone else to go back with me, I’m going to try them all.

Tiny town

He says: 
After a rather tiring day at work, I wasn’t particularly interested in a dumpling centric culinary adventure that wasn’t our usual table at North East China Family. Marg however, was adamant that we had to go to Shanghai Dumpling Restaurant. She’d heard good things. That always worries me a little…

Shanghai Street Dumplings is an unassuming little restaurant, nestled down Little Bourke Street, with the only thing differentiating it from other similar shops is the queue of people milling out the front. After some awkward queuing in the rain, we were eventually seated at the bar within the front window, with a prime view of those unfortunate enough to not arrive earlier.

After some confusion with the ordering, and the usual sloppy service that comes with cheap inner city dumplings, we were all good to go .

We ate:
We went for a pure dumpling meal and started with the homemade boiled peking dumpling (pork – 15 for $8.30). The filling was really fresh and had a good hit of ginger with the pork. The skins were a little soggy but overall these weren’t bad.


Next up we had a serve of the homemade shanghai fried pork mini buns (6 for $8.50). These were easily the highlight of the meal. A bit like a bigger XLB (although pretty light on with soup) with crispy pan fried bottoms. Again the filling was juicy and very fresh tasting. They were delicious, I’ll definitely be going back for these.

Fried pork mini bun

I only had one problem, they were too big for me to eat in a normal XLB style and so I ended up double stabbing, not a great look, but still tasty tasty.

Fried pork mini bun

Finally we had the homemade traditional steamed shanghai xiao long bao (pork – 8 for $8.80) – when I say finally I mean it, they forgot these in our initial order and we ended up getting them about 20 minutes after finishing our other dishes. These weren’t bad but I was a little disappointed. As with all the other dumplings we tried the filling was the highlight. The problem with these was that there really wasn’t a lot of soup in them, which is pretty disappointing for a XLB. In fact the first 2 that I ate didn’t have any discernible soup content at all. As you can see from the photo below a lot of them were really flat, not enough soup fluffing them up.


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