Chinatown Dumpling Restaurant (CLOSED)

Shop 3, 254 Swanston St
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9663 3893

I was in the city for most of Saturday morning and afternoon to get a few things done. Adam met me for lunch during his break from work and off we went for some greasy goodness in the form of fried pork dumplings at Chinatown Dumplings, a place we’ve seen 10 billion times but surprisingly have never set foot in before.

Situated on Swanston St, Chinatown Dumplings’ name is a little odd in that it’s, technically speaking, not actually IN Chinatown proper. But what’s a little geographical naming error got to do with anything, we asked ourselves, as we walked into a (relatively) clean, tiny space with an open kitchen. Although it was late in the afternoon – 2pm, there were still a few diners eating, including a freaky couple consisting of a geriatric white guy and a fobby mainlander who couldn’t be older than 19. Hmmmm. Menus and tea cups were promptly placed in front of us as well as bowls straight from the industrial dishwasher … which contained about 100ml of hot water and soap still inside… ugh.

Not to worry (after all, we were used to seeing bowls still filled with water and soap from the dumpling place behind where we were sitting). We set about ordering three dishes and no sooner than I had opened up my newspaper did the first dish come out.

Shanghai fried noodles ($7). Nothing special about it and certainly I’ve had better ones too. I’ve been quite disappointed with the quality of Shanghai fried noodles recently as the stuff many restaurants try to pass of as Shanghai fried noodles are usually cold, limp, oily and very bland. While this one tasted much better (it was hot!) and had a bit of capsicum for a bit of kick, there was still something lacking. As of present, the best Shanghai fried noodles I’ve had are the ones in Shanghai Gourmet in Springvale. For some reason, they use udon noodles rather than the much thinner Hokkien-style ones they use at order places which makes the dish, oddly, taste that little bit better… (note: the noodles may look huge in the photo but they ARE the Hokkien-sized ones, not the udon-sized ones I was referring to)

Pan-fried pork dumplings (15 pieces for $7). They came hot, they came not-so-oily and each bite delivered a small squirt of broth much to my delight. While not as crunchy as many other dumpling houses, they were still pleasant. Adam also agreed with me and said that they were one of the best ones he’s tried in a long, long time.

Steamed chicken and prawn dumplings (12 for $7). Again, another nice dish. I’ve only ever had this one at Bob’s Kitchen in Glen Waverley before so there’s not much I could compare it with. Suffice to say that while BK’s version was full of MSG, CD’s ones were full of REAL taste.

$21 for three dishes which came out pretty quickly and made us both full. Not bad huh? While nothing special, I will definitely come back here again. Our visit to Chinatown Dumplings showed that dumplings do not have to be too oily, too bland or too smelly. Yet, places such as Camy’s and Hu Tong get it oh-so-wrong… why why why?!


I eat too much.


  1. icesabre
    March 2, 2009

    Yummy yummy yummy I got Dumplings in my tummy…

    Hrmm, maybe I should have dumplings pre-Uni classes tomorrow night…

  2. fipar20
    March 2, 2009

    15 pieces for $7?? O_o
    Only if china town wasn’t that far away then I would be able to grab some of that for lunch. Food on Collins st is rather expensive… =_=

    March 2, 2009

    @icesabre – 

    Dumplings while you frantically READ your stuff before class… hahaha.

    @fipar20 – 

    Yeah, I know, real cheap! You’re probably not far from Cafe Vue, their red lunch boxes are pretty decent but otherwise, I guess it’s bring your lunch from home for you (which is what I do, only because the cafes and restaurants down my end are so crap!)

  4. peach_water
    March 2, 2009

    Oh my goodness! $7 only? I guess I can go and have a plate soon considering I always walk pass there! YAY!

  5. GODandShopping
    March 2, 2009

    OHHH! OHHH! I’ve SEEN that girl. Or a similar version. I was at Starbucks (for the ambiance… lol) opposite QV at the back where the study tables were… anyway there was this young asian fobby chick and this old fat balding mafia looking dude with bling comes and sits next to her and chatting to her.. I thought he was a lost tourist. Next thing you know he starts kissing her hand and I’m there going GAAAAHHH! MY EYES MY EYES… lol well not really but you get the idea…

    Actually for some reason I find the gay version a lot more disturbing due to the blatant gold digging I guess… I’m gonna go throw up now

  6. […] wasn’t a Thai or Vietnamese place, we saw a spanking brand, new restaurant in place of the old Chinatown Dumpling Restaurant, Noodle Kingdom. Probably the third or so franchise in the ever-popular […]


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