330 Clayton Road
Clayton VIC 3168
+61 3 9558 8831
With a lot on my plate at the moment, finding time to eat and blog has been rather difficult. But when the stress that comes with studying and the carb cravings that come with mixed footy training sessions for this year’s corporate games kick in, you can’t help but not ignore the voices in your brain demanding food that’s more substantial than Mi Goreng with day-old rice and packets of Cheezels. For some reason, I’ve been craving dumplings like a crazy pregnant woman lately. I’m not sure whether all the footy has made me more carb-dependant or whether the five plates of dumplings that I shared with Martin at Hu Tong on his last visit had anything to do with it but whether I think of dumplings, I go crazy. Well, okay, more crazy than usual.
Because I’ve seemingly exhausted most, if not every, dumpling restaurant in the CBD, the obvious next step was to suss out the little suburban dumpling restaurants that may not be as famous as the city giants such as Hu Tong and Shanghai Village but are certainly just as good. An example of one is Ping’s Dumpling Kitchen, in Clayton.
On the days when I used to actually attend classes, I would normally stop by Ping’s in between classes or after my last class of the day for a plate of pan-fried pork dumplings (15 pieces for $8.80). It’s a safe formula of thick, chewy dough covering a fragrant filling of pork, fresh coriander, spring onions and ginger that has won students such as myself over and over. I guess my only gripe is that sometimes the dumplings may arrive super-oily but given how good they taste, given how the skins are always nice and crunchy when I order these and given that I’m eating at a dumpling house and not a health food cafe, complaining about the dumplings being too oily seems pretty moot.
Once, I decided to be a little different and order a serving of shengjianbao (or Shanghai fried pork mini buns (5 pieces for $7.50)). I fell in love with these babies when I tried them for the first time at Auntie’s Dumplings so I was interested in seeing how Ping’s version would taste. A soft and doughy casing housed a lovely pork filling with a slightly sweet gelatine cube that melted into an aromatic soup during the cooking process while the bottom of each bun became as firm as a Victoria Secret’s model’s bottom. I know that this is the correct way of cooking a shengjianbao so you might find that my preference for Aunty’s Dumplings’ crunchy-all-over shengjianbao over these ones a tad sacrilegious. Still, I couldn’t fault them – they were, just like the pan-fried dumplings, fragrant, delicious and certainly worth the short bus ride from uni to Clayton Road.
Because I don’t actually attend classes at Clayton anymore (shush, don’t tell!), return trips to Ping’s have been extremely difficult. I, however, have been told that their Shanghai noodles and xiaolongbaos are worth a shot so I’ll be sure to come back at some point (maybe on the day when I need to rock up to faculty to hand in my course discontinuation form and tell this particular university to shove it!) and give them a go.