The 8 Best Dumpling Fixes In Sydney
Sheer belly-swelling goodness.
Cheap, tasty and quick – dumplings are the perfect food for people on the run. Hot and delicious flavour explosions, pre-packaged into a perfect little mouthful, it’s impossible not to love the dumpling in some form. In a city that prides itself on its Asian cuisine, a list of the best dumplings is always going to be contentious, but for our money these are the best dumpling fixes Sydney has to offer.
#1 Chinese Noodle Restaurant
Where: Shop 7, 8 Quay Street, Haymarket
Don’t let the name fool you – Chinese Noodle Restaurant is all about the dumplings. Whether you order them steamed, boiled or pan-fried, these hearty northern-Chinese style soupy beauties are incredibly good value at around $10AUD for a huge serve. The pork and chive filled dumplings are a must-order at this tiny, chaotic restaurant with the fake grape-covered ceiling and quirky violin-playing owner. The special braised eggplant and Beijing shredded pork pancakes are notable menu additions. It’s not exactly glamorous but you’ll leave full and happy. To make your dollars go even further remember it’s BYO for beer and wine, but cash only.
#2 Din Tai Fung
Where: Shop 1104, Level 1, 644 George Street, Sydney (with branches also at Miranda, Chippendale, Chatswood, Westfield Sydney, The Star Casino and North Sydney)
Dumplings or tiny works of art? Din Tai Fung‘s signature Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings) have at least 18 delicate pleats on the top, and are filled to weigh exactly between 20.8g and 21.2 grams. While it’s tempting to simply stare at these translucent masterpieces, it’s more fun to bite in and slurp out the hot, salty and gingery pork soup insides. Less famous but equally delicious, the shrimp and pork wonton noodles dipped in spicy sauce will leave your lips tingling with Szechuan pepper goodness. A refreshing mint and lychee freeze can help you deal with that delicious burn.
#3 Sea Bay
Where: 372 Pitt Street, Sydney
Vegetarians rejoice! The pumpkin dumplings at Sea Bay are next level delicious, and also cheap as chips. This hugely popular restaurant has been pumping out excellent dumplings for over a quarter of a century and there’s a reason they’re always packed. Huge serves, fast service and complimentary green tea – what’s not to love? Meat-eaters will adore the pan fried pork and vegetable dumplings or toothsome hand-pulled noodles with lamb and vegetables. If you’re feeling adventurous try a serve of the jellyfish or pig’s ear salads.
#4 East Ocean
Where: Level 1, 421 – 429 Sussex Street, Haymarket
Sydney takes its yum cha seriously, and East Ocean does it incredibly well. There’s no better way to shake off the excesses of a big night out than with steaming baskets of dumplings shared with mates the next morning. Service here can be a little abrupt, but the trolleys come around regularly or you can simply order off the menu. In no time at all you’ll be digging into your favourites like garlic chive and seafood dumplings or pork siu mai. Platters of roast barbeque pork or duck are good if you’re with a big crowd, but make sure you get a plate of mango pancakes just for yourself. The egg custard tarts here are also a winner. Go before midday on weekends unless you don’t mind waiting.
#5 Tim Ho Wan
Where: 436 Victoria Road, Chatswood
Sydney’s new kid on the (dumpling) block has by far the longest queues but is it worth the wait? Short answer: yes. This first antipodean outpost of the Michelin-starred Hong Kong dim sum chain Tim Ho Wan lives up to the hype and then some. The plump and juicy prawn dumplings, airy steamed egg cake and divine spinach and shrimp dumplings are all cooked-to-order instead of wheeled around on trolleys. The go-to dish though is of course their world-famous baked char siu pork buns. Jam-packed with sticky sweet barbeque pork and with a crunchy sugary crust that’s completely different to your standard steamed pork buns, these babies are what will get you back into that long long queue.
#6 Shanghai Night
Where: 275 Liverpool Road, Ashfield
Ashfield’s main drag has a cluster of close to half-a-dozen excellent dumpling joints (most with remarkably similar names) but Shanghai Night‘s soup dumplings and crispy pan-fried pork buns reign supreme. Gingery and salty-sweet, we sometimes have daydreams about their Xiao Long Bao. It’s a no-fuss kind of place, with boxes of tissues on the tables to wipe up spills, but with food this good who needs tablecloths? It’s genuinely hard to spend more than $15AUD a head here and they’ll pack up any leftovers for you for free.
#7 Harajuku Gyoza
Where: 9-15 Bayswater Road, Potts Point
Do you prefer your dumplings crispy or juicy? This cute Japanese eatery allows you to customise your order to ensure maximum flavour-overload. Pick between grilled or poached gyoza then decide on a filling – the kimchi pork, duck and prawn are our favourites. Sides like chicken karaage and edamame, and big filling bowls of don or ramen are also available. The staff are loud, fun and friendly, plus they’ve got Kirin beer on tap as well as a super-kawaii fit out. And who says dumplings have to be savoury? Try the salted caramel or peanut butter white chocolate dessert gyoza and you won’t be able to stop smiling.
#8 Wangwang Shanghai Silver Star
Where: 476 Anzac Parade, Kingsford
Hungry university students have kept this place busy for years, but now the secret is out. Huge serves of incredible dumplings, at unbelievably cheap prices. Some varieties like the Shanghai Steamed moneybag (filled with salty-sweet glutinous rice and Chinese sausage) are priced per dumpling, while others just come as a giant serve. Their fried offerings like shallot pancakes or crispy radish pastries aren’t too oily and also taste amazing. So sit back, order an enormous plate of pork and chive dumplings and smile as you get your change from $10.
(Lead image: Din Tai Fung/Facebook)