The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar

YES, this is yet another Melbourne food blog!

Lok Lok Dumpling Bar

510-512 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9663 1899

I’m usually pretty good with managing money, so much so that I reckon I can do a better job than Wayne Swan (not that that says much but anyway…). However, I made a big fail last financial year when I somehow forgot to factor in compulsory HECS-HELP repayments into my already-tight budget. Oops. Rather than do what any normal person would do and dip into their savings AND sacrifice their New Zealand road trip fund to pay for the shortfall, I decided to get a second job. Yep, like working full-time and doing postgraduate studies wasn’t demanding enough.

My second job – a casual inbound one – was meant to be a temporary three-month assignment that was supposed to wrap up as soon as this particular company’s campaign ended. However, four months later I’m still here. While I’ve now worked enough Saturday morning shifts to pay the tax man, I must admit that it’s nice to have extra money on hand and so I’m planning to stay here until I really get sick of it. Now, one thing that the team leaders at (second) work like to do on Saturdays is do food runs where a couple of people volunteer to grab food from outside, normally a fast food joint like McDonalds. However, we do get more interesting choices such as dumplings every now and then.

The closest dumpling house would have to be Lok Lok Dumpling Bar just opposite Queen Vic Market so we get our dumplings from there. Despite being abnormally obsessed with dumplings and despite being a frequent visitor to Queen Vic, I’d never actually tried Lok Lok until only very recently. Seriously, nothing beats getting dumplings delivered to your desk while you’re hardly working.

The first dumplings I tried here were their xiaolongbao (five for $5.80). They were all squished together in a plastic container when they arrived on my desk – and they were small, like literally the size of a Mt Franklin bottle cap. They also tasted like those frozen XLBs you can buy from your local Asian grocery store – it wouldn’t surprise me if they were. Oh, and there was virtually no soup in the dumplings. Disappointing.

Their ‘traditional North of Style pork dumplings’ were, thankfully, a bit better. That afternoon, I ordered six pieces ($5.80) but somehow, I managed to get something like 12. I initially thought that I had grabbed someone else’s order by mistake but no one owned up to ordering the same dumplings as me so, eh. They weren’t the best dumplings I’ve ever had for the skins were too gluggy and thick. Meanwhile, the fillings were tasty but perhaps suffered from having too much corn flour stirred into it.

Lok Lok won’t win any awards, especially in Melbourne and especially since I just found out that the Northern Chinese restaurant across the road from my work make better dumplings despite the fact that they actually don’t specialise in them (blog post pending). I definitely wouldn’t recommend the place nor would I voluntarily eat there myself. Still, I don’t think I would say ‘no’ if the next food run involves dumplings from Lok Lok (and if I haven’t packed lunch from home) because personally-delivered food is always best. I’d stay away from the XLBs now and give their non-dumplings dishes a go as I’ve been told that their duck fried rice ‘tastes pretty good.’

Lok Lok Dumpling Bar on Urbanspoon

14 Comments on Lok Lok Dumpling Bar

  1. Adrian Briones (@food_rehab)
    August 2, 2012 at 23:20 (4 years ago)

    Gosh, all this money talk, I just remembered I need to organise my tax return LOL
    I so need some dumplings in this cold weather so I might just give this place a go!

  2. Neeno
    August 2, 2012 at 23:42 (4 years ago)

    Gah. How disappointing!!!!! I’m lucky to work across from Shanghai Street “Dupling” (sic) House, La Trobe St- initially I thought that a place that didn’t even know how to spell their food could not be any good… BUT THEY R SOOOOOO GOOOOOOD.

    Look forward to your post on the “other” dumpling place. I’m always on the look out for good dumplings!!!!

    • libishski
      August 4, 2012 at 15:10 (4 years ago)

      I’ve been to the Little Bourke Street Shanghai Street restaurant but not the La Trobe Street one – gotta give them a try sometime!

  3. Choc Chip Uru
    August 3, 2012 at 06:10 (4 years ago)

    It is nice to have some extra cash but I like your philosophy – work there until you get sick of it 😀
    Then move on!
    A shame about the dumplings though!!! In this cold weather too!

    Choc Chip Uru

  4. Sophie Wang (@aecliss)
    August 3, 2012 at 09:45 (4 years ago)

    2 jobs and a postgrad???? Crazy (in a good way I guess).

    Sad to see the dumpling place wasn’t good, but why wouldn’t you guys just fill up on boreks? Mmmm, craving one now.

    • libishski
      August 3, 2012 at 18:53 (4 years ago)

      Well, one job’s a full-time one while the second one’s a casual one, and I’m only studying part-time so it’s not as bad as it sounds (but yes, still a little crazy!).

      Oh yes, boreks! We’ve been to the borek place several times – a review will be coming soon :)

  5. theragingcook
    August 3, 2012 at 11:04 (4 years ago)

    Hahahaha @ The Taxman… every boy grows up wanting to be Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Ironman… never Taxman. And yes, got cravings for that hot liquid XLB explosion in the mouth (no naughty jokes intended) despite this Lok Lok’s loklustre-ness hahaha

    • libishski
      August 3, 2012 at 18:51 (4 years ago)

      ‘No naughty jokes intended’ – yeaa-aaah, sure…

  6. Ming @ sweetandsourfork
    August 5, 2012 at 11:54 (4 years ago)

    Eep, those dumplings don’t look too good; I’ve been taking the tram past there for the last 8 years to get an edu-ma-cation, and I’ve always wondered what it was like… guess I won’t be trying it.

    • libishski
      August 5, 2012 at 18:43 (4 years ago)

      Lemme guess, Melbourne Uni or Monash Parvkille? :)

      • Ming @ sweetandsourfork
        August 7, 2012 at 17:42 (4 years ago)

        Monash Parkville, regrettably :p You’re a melbournite yes? If you were monash parkville I’d probably have come across you by now, the word of pharmacy is a teeny tiny one.

        • libishski
          August 10, 2012 at 18:18 (4 years ago)

          Yep, Melbourne. Haha yeah, my brother went to – and now works at – Monash Parkville and I’ve been there a few times. It IS a very small campus but I do like the nice community feel to it :)

  7. Esurientes
    August 13, 2012 at 13:17 (4 years ago)

    Hiya, I work really near Lok Lok as well, and was pretty underwhelmed by the first time I went. The XLB were nothing special. But since then I’ve discovered the Sichuan wontons in chilli soup, and they are the bomb. The skins are really silky and there’s a serious whack of chilli and a few bits of bok choy to convince yourself that you’re not only eating protein, carbs & salt for lunch. Because it’s so close to work, I often scoot over in my break for a bowl of chilli dumpys.

    • libishski
      August 14, 2012 at 21:44 (4 years ago)

      Awesome, thanks heaps for the recommendation – I’ll order the wontons in chilli oil soup the next time we do a work food run 😀


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