Shanghai Street Dumpling (小街小笼馆)
342 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
03 9600 2250
There has been quite a lot of hype over the deliciousness of the dumplings served at Shanghai Street Dumpling It was only a matter of time before I planted my flag here too.
As evident in the photo above, even as early as 6pm on a friday, a longish queue had already started to form outside. That’s probably because it isn’t a big eatery, seating only 22-25 inside and maybe 8 more outside if it doesn’t rain.
But customer turnover is fast. As your place in the queue approaches the entrance, a waitress will hand you the menu, and she’d take your order a few minutes later, even before you’re seated! Cuter still, she’d write your description in Chinese on your order sheet so that staff inside can identify and coordinate who’s who. For Fakegf and I, she sort of described us as “黑男红女” (black boy red girl), according to what we were wearing… ha ha!
“Help Yourself” Teas
We were in the queue for about 35 mins. But once seated, your food arrives within 5 minutes. But first, you may want to pour yourself a free cup of tea from the cup rack and dispenser at the back. It’ll help wash down the oils…
Homemade traditional Shanghai XiaoLongBao (pork)-8pcs $9.80
The Xiao Long Bao came out steamingly hot here. Before they arrived, Fakegf made me laugh when she quipped “let’s hope it’ll turn out scrotal thin!”. But in the end, the last laugh was on me, because she promptly pointed out that it was ME who’d coined that phrase. What a key performance indicator… yeeeks!
NB: for an idea of how (scr**al) thin XLB skins should ideally be like, look at the photo of a Singapore version here.
Aaaa… leaky skin!
Well… like the rest of Melbourne, the XLBs at Shanghai Street Dumpling weren’t exactly thin-skinned. However, I liked how clean the soup inside tasted, better than Hutong’s murky-floury soup. The filling itself was alright. Overall, we enjoyed this basket, mainly because it came out sooo nice and hot!
But my one quibble was how you don’t get served fine strips of ginger as side condiments. Each table only has soy sauce, Chinese Vinegar, and a piquantly fresh chilli sauce.
生煎锅贴 Fried pork dumpling-15pcs $9.20
Well, when you’re at a dumpling place, it’s hard to go past these classic pork dumplings!
Once again, these dumplings came out just-out-of-the-fryer hot. It was honestly quite shiok (Singlish: uh-maa-ziing) to eat. Fakegf pondered over how thick the skins were, but in this case, I think that’s just the way these Chinese dumplings are like…?
This meal was essentially a 10 minute wipe-out. We were done almost as quickly we began, before the dumplings even had time to cool down. Quite satisfying!
Granted, such a carby-oily meal is something I’d only do occasionally, but when I do decide to have that calorie blowout, at least I know where I’d go to get a great feed of it. Next time, we’ll venture into other dishes on the menu, we saw other tables having fried fluffy mini buns that looked pretty good. Mmmm… a revisit soon, yes!