Chinatown Dumpling Restaurant (CLOSED)

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

The other day, Adam and I were walking down Swanston Street when something caught our eye:

Chinatown Dumplings received a make-over!

What I found kind of amusing was the little turban-wearing ethnic-looking man they decided to use as their logo. WTF?! As Adam and I walked away, we wondered why they decided to use that man as a logo rather than say, something more seemingly appropriate such as an oriental-looking fella. We both figured that maybe the new owners were Uyghuric, an ethnic Chinese population that come from the Xinjiang region of China and that the restaurant was similar to that of 1+1 Dumplings, a restaurant in Footscray run by Uyghurs (yeah, what a name, right?!?!). Now, I went to 1+1 Dumplings last year but never got around to writing up a review (I can’t do it now because I forgot everything… bloody hell). Oh well, that gives me another excuse to go there soon!

So anyway, today we decided to try out the “new” Chinatown Dumpling Restaurant which was pretty deserted at 2:30pm. The menu itself has shrunk down considerably largely thanks to the omission of pork items (as you can see from the signs above, the place is ‘halal’).

Spicy lamb skewers @ $2 each (we had to order a minimum of four), a popular dish that flies out the door like hotcakes at 1+1 Dumplings (except that 1+1 Dumplings make better ones, according to Adam). Still, Chinatown Dumplings’ version was tasty thanks to all the cumin they marinated the very tender lamb with.

Beef dumplings (15 for $8.50). They weren’t as nice as pork dumplings. The meat just wasn’t tasty enough and what pissed me off the most was this…

Someone needs to teach these people to drain their dumplings before serving them. F*cking gross.

Steamed vegetarian dumplings (15 for $7.50). They were okay, nothing that other nearby places can’t do.

I don’t think I’ll be coming back again. Not only did the excessive oil thing turn me off, I think I just can’t have a meal in a dumpling house without my pork dumplings. If you must go here then, come only for the spicy lamb skewers and get your dumplings elsewhere.

I eat too much.


  1. DivisionSix6
    February 9, 2010

    “Ah Fan Ti” that’s how you pronounce those three words if I’m not mistaken.Uighur dumplings hrmmmmmmmmmm *scratches head in doubt*Oh yeah, DivisionSix6 is going to be all about nibbles and noms now. I’m bringing back icesabre as a strictly venting blog.

  2. b3108
    February 9, 2010

    libby, did you realise that that restaurant’s chinese name (‘ah fan ti‘ / 《阿凡》) looks and sounds VERY similar to the chinese name for the film ‘avatar’ (‘ah fan da‘ / 《阿凡》)??? ‘guess they’re trying to cash in on something…i didn’t eat at stalactites for ages either. once in my later years at uni. can’t remember if i went there at all prior to that.

  3. gNAuQ
    February 9, 2010

    wow, u’ve never had stalactites til recent?? i used to hit that joint each and every time me and the boys came out of clubbing, hahahahi’ve tried out a spin/ rpm class below and if u hate bikes then u’ll hate the class mainly cos its uncomfy, and unless ur looking to build stronger and tone ur legs then IMO just stick to cardio/ aerobic and light weights.

    February 11, 2010

    @DivisionSix6 – The Ughur dumplings at 1+1 Dumplings aren’t bad… not as crispy as JG’s though.@b3108 – Hahaha thanks for that little bit of trivia… that’s hilarious!@gNAuQ – Yes, I know, I know. Shameful!Yeah, apart from the cardio I’m doing, I’m also aiming to do one pump (weights) class and one body balance/pilates class every week which, I think, should be enough 🙂 I might give RPM a go sometime though, just to see what it’s like and if I don’t like it, I won’t go ever again, heeeeh.

  5. alt
    March 25, 2010

    get over the oil being at the bottom of the plate! it’s not completely oil, its also the “juices” from the dumplings that have meat or vegetables inside them (meat ones include onion, otherwise it won’t taste good!)

    okay, slight rant over due to basically growing up eating foods like this (though harder on mum seeing as I’ve been vegetarian for the past 3 years!).

    any knowledge of uighur restaurants close to the cbd? I miss mum’s cooking!

    1. libishski
      March 26, 2010

      Okay, so there may have been a little bit of juice mixed in with the oil but there was still way too much oil to begin with!

      There is another Uyghur restaurant on the corner of Little Lonsdale and Swanston (a shop or two down from Don Don). While I’ve never been in there myself, a friend highly recommends it. 1+1 Dumplings on Hopkins St in Footscray is also recommended.

  6. […] 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 Northern Chinese noodle […]


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