The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar

YES, this is yet another Melbourne food blog!

Panstickers (NOW CLOSED)

Shop 2, 551 Little Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9670 8881
http://www.panstickers.com.au

A McDonalds-like kiosk that serves dumplings in pizza boxes? Sounds awesome to me! And the best bit? It’s only half a block from my work.

Panstickers is the newest dumpling joint in the city, as far as I know. They haven’t been open for very long and I probably would not have heard of it had it not been for my colleague, Sean, who often walks up and down Little Lonsdale Street several lunchtimes a week looking for a meal that’s more exciting than his usual sardines and spinach.

Walking into Panstickers is like walking into a McDonalds restaurant. Behind the counter, there is an illuminated board displaying the available items for sale. It’s pretty much dumplings, dumplings and more dumplings. The dumplings come in boxes of nine, twelve or fifteen and each box comes with sauce and topping (and by topping, I mean chopped spring onions or furikake. For those wanting a bit more, however, the option of purchasing a combo box, which includes a drink and a side dish, is also available. Just like Maccas.

On my first visit, I ordered a box of Grandma’s Secret dumplings (nine for $6.95). The dumplings, which contained pork and Chinese pickles, were decidedly less dirty than they sounded (… am I the only person who thought the name sounded dirty?). I had them fried and brought them back to my office with a tub of vinegar.

The dumplings were slightly smaller than what I’m used to. While I liked the texture of their delicate skins, I was less impressed by the filling. It didn’t have the amount of flavour that you find in dumplings at other places. I felt like I was literally just eating cooked minced pork. Hell, I couldn’t even taste the piquancy of the Chinese pickles.

Furthermore, the filling was very coarse and crumbly – like they forgot to add cornflour or used lean pork mince instead of the good fatty stuff. They were also pretty damn oily.

Still, I decided to give them another chance this afternoon after my mid-week lunchtime city driving lesson. I decided to go steamed this time, and with the Old Peking dumplings. Although the menu says that $6.95 will give me nine pieces, I actually got twelve which was a delightful surprise. Again I helped myself to a tub of vinegar and again, I brought the dumplings back to the office so I could eat my lunch while reading The Age online.

The Old Peking dumplings contained pork and green beans, but I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between them and the Grandma’s Secret dumplings. Both versions looked and tasted homogenous, just like the burgers at McDonalds. I did, however, enjoy the steamed dumplings better than the fried ones though because they had less oil and also because they were less crumbly.

While I do welcome a dumpling kiosk near my work and while I do love the whole dumplings-in-pizza-boxes concept, these are not the best dumplings I’ve ever had. This is because they are slightly pricy for what they are (taste-wise and size-wise). The thing is, the area around my work sucks when it comes to good food options so Panstickers will get customers by default. I, for one, will certainly be coming back every time a dumpling craving strikes (which is pretty much every second day). I will definitely try one of the non-pork options to see if they are any better, though I’m not too keen on the idea of the Aussie dumpling which contains ‘Aussie sausage’ (whatever that is) and bacon.

Panstickers on Urbanspoon

12 Comments on Panstickers (NOW CLOSED)

  1. theragingcook
    July 11, 2012 at 21:16 (2 years ago)

    Duuuuumplings!!!! Oh f*** me Aussie Sausage? Please don’t bastardise fumplings the way they nastardised Banh Mi lol

    Reply
    • 3hannsomthai78
      July 11, 2012 at 22:08 (2 years ago)

      Dumpthling to ask. Haha .sorry I-Hua. thats a dumpthling to write. im gonna stop right now!
      Dumplings..overated, overpriced(everywhere) undersized and labour intensive!
      missing DTF much?

      Reply
      • libishski
        July 12, 2012 at 23:18 (2 years ago)

        Dumplings are the best thing ever! Labour-intensive, yes, but they are so very rewarding :)

        Reply
  2. Cakewhiz
    July 12, 2012 at 02:40 (2 years ago)

    I loveeeee dumplings but these look pretty small :S
    However, the packaging is unique and quite eye- catching!

    Reply
  3. Miss T
    July 12, 2012 at 04:51 (2 years ago)

    Pan stickers? arent they pot stickers? and everyone knows that grandmas secret recipe is a shot of a lithium and a few seated rounds of ‘I’m a little teapot’. Sounds like it rubbed off.

    Reply
    • libishski
      July 12, 2012 at 23:27 (2 years ago)

      Yeah, that’s what I thought too… pot stickers.

      Lithium… ah, so that’s what was missing!

      Reply
  4. Choc Chip Uru
    July 12, 2012 at 06:26 (2 years ago)

    Wow I’m sorry this dumpling experience did not go well for you my friend!
    Next time no McDonald’s dumplings :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Reply
  5. Daisy@Nevertoosweet
    July 12, 2012 at 14:56 (2 years ago)

    Oh Damn i was actually really excited when I first saw your pictures…but then the way you describe it…it’s really not that great and I dun like it when place sell mediocre food sighh good try though…. to make it creative lol

    Reply
  6. Martypantz
    July 12, 2012 at 20:04 (2 years ago)

    Nice nails there, Lib.

    Reply
  7. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    July 12, 2012 at 21:36 (2 years ago)

    Hehe we’re in trouble if one opens up in Sydney! Mr NQN will be lining up there every night! On the plus side, I would no longer have to cook! :P

    Reply
  8. Ames
    July 17, 2012 at 22:55 (2 years ago)

    Aww pity they weren’t as good as they should have been given the innovation… might try them once for the novelty though :)

    Reply

Leave a reply