Shanghai Dumpling King – Erindale

Dumplings! Dumplings a mere five minute drive from my house! These words are music to my ears. Shanghai Dumpling King has opened in Erindale – as far as I know the first dumpling joint in Tuggeranong. Exciting times. I believe it opened on Monday night (I’ve heard mixed reports), and we headed there last night (Thursday) after work to check it out.

The laid-back restaurant and take-away is located in the newer area of the Erindale Food Mecca – next to Schnitzel Haus and La Piazza (or if you haven’t been for a while, the space that was formerly occupied by The Garden). There is a front counter, where you can order your take away, and about 7 or 8 tables off to the side. The space is open and minimalist, with lots of grey and black – it’s a very informal feel. Which suits us fine for a quick feed on a weeknight.

We arrived about 6pm to a pre-booked table, but I suspect they don’t make a habit of table bookings – everyone else has just wandered in. The menu is a mix of dumplings, yum cha type dishes, noodles and meat/rice dishes. I must admit that the way the front counter is set up with a big neon menu above it, reminds me of a food court.

We ordered three types of dumplings and share them all. The Xiao Long Bao Dumplings are first up.

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The dumplings are a good size to shove in your mouth (or rest on the spoon and still contain the soup) – I’ve had Xiao Long Bao too big and it’s gone everywhere! The soup is salty and savoury and is not too oily (a common issue with Xiao Long Bao I find). I believe the meat filling was pork, but I can’t actually remember.

Next we had the pan fried pork dumplings.

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These were a little overcooked on one side, and where a little dry – but nothing my chilli/soy/vinegar dipping sauce couldn’t hide. The pork filling was quite small, but had a good taste. Shanghai Dumpling King seems to use quite thick wrapper for their dumplings, so there’s a chewy (yet inexplicably dry) nature to their dumplings.

We were intrigued by the boiled chicken dumplings with peanut butter sauce, so naturally we had to have a go.

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Must admit this is not what I was expecting. I had expected a satay like sauce, but instead it is accompanied by a soy based sauce with shallots and coriander. One of my dining companions could taste the peanuts, but I really couldn’t. Even if there was not a particularly peanutty flavour, it was still really nice and it made me wish we’d gotten this dish first, so we could have used the sauce with our other dumplings. I can’t even remember the taste of the chicken part of the dumplings, it was pretty bland (ie, just chicken). I found the boiled version of the dumplings made the thicker wrapper even chewier too.

The service at Shanghai Dumpling King was quite lovely, all very friendly and polite. They were efficient and knew when to approach and when to leave you alone.

While it’s very exciting to have a dumpling place in Tuggers, I wasn’t blown away. This may be because we stuck to dumplings only, and dumplings are pretty hard to muck up. I will endeavour to return and try some of their other menu items (particularly interested in the “pork bellies”).

The good thing about Shanghai Dumpling House is that it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is. The food is okay and the dining area feels like a take-away restaurant. I will keep dreaming for a Dickson Dumpling House franchise to come out this way, but for now it’s great to have dumplings – which I get a hankering for quite often – close to home.

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9 thoughts on “Shanghai Dumpling King – Erindale

  1. I was very excited about a new dumpling house opening up on the Southside so was keen to try out the Shanghai Dumpling House at Erindale.
    I went to Shanghai Dumpling King Erindale last night (13 February) and I will NOT be returning EVER! we ordered our meal at 7pm (1 entrée of bbq pork steamed bun and 3 mains – beef dumplings, chicken dumplings with soup and minced pork & noodles), at 7.45 the pork and noodles arrived, I asked where the entrée was (and the rest of the meal for that matter).
    I was told “dumpling take very long time for cook” and the guy walked off.
    I then heard the microwave beep and nek minnit, the steamed buns arrived – very doughy but not too bad.
    Another 15 minutes goes by and the ‘beef dumplings’ arrive. One bite told me that they were NOT beef and they were very dry and chewy (how do you make steamed dumplings dry like that?). I called over a ‘waitress’ and I showed her what we received and that we wanted our beef dumplings and the rest of the meal!
    Off she scurried, at 8.30 I’d had enough of being ignored and I was very hungry by this stage, and very VERY cranky especially when I noticed that every other table in the restaurant was enjoying their meals – people who arrived 20 mins or so beforehand!
    I had also noticed the ‘wait staff’ wandering around with meals and not having any idea who they were for.
    We went to the counter and gave them our ‘bill’ and informed them that we were extremely disgusted with their service and we most certainly were not paying for anything and walked out.

    So disorganised, unprofessional, terrible services and what we did receive was nothing worth going back for.

    MASSIVE, BIG AND HUGE THUMBS DOWN!

    1. Oh Karen, that sounds like an awful experience. Our meals were on time (quick, even) but I agree with you on the chewy/dry assesment of the dumplings – very odd! I don’t think I’ll be returning anytime soon either, unless I’m feeling very lazy and can’t be bothered to make the trip to Dickson.

  2. I was actually one of the customers that were there on Friday the 13th too. My order was a little slow as well but some other customers were waiting too since it was an extremely busy night. I had heard a lady yelling ‘I’m not paying’ to the waitress and she even used the F word. Since it was a busy night for a small store, I believe there would’ve been a better way to compromise and not yell so loud so that all of the customers could hear it.

    I, myself, fairly enjoyed the steamed mini pork buns and tender pork noodles and will definitely be coming back to the restaurant again!

    1. Susan, that was me. Whilst not my greatest moment and normally I would deal with this matter with more poise and discretion, I was extremely angry that there was no attempt by any staff to address our absence of food…when I asked the THIRD time for my meal, I was treated with arrogance and disdain.

      I lost it when I saw people who had arrived a mere 20 minutes earlier ticking in to their meals which (according to the staff) “take very long time for cook”….I was willing to cut them some slack for ‘first week jitters’ and had everyone been in the same boat I wouldn’t have been quite so bothered by the experience.

      I think it would have been a bit rich for them to expect me to pay for a meal that never arrived.

  3. I’m looking forward to trying this place, mainly because: dumplings. It’s always a shame when service is not great (and dumpling skins are too thick) but I’m the kind of person that will try a place out even when I know not everyone has had a fantastic experience.

    I also wanted to pop by and let you know that I’ve nominated you for a Liebster award in my latest post. Please don’t feel obligated to participate, as I know it can be the kind of thing that people either love or hate. It’s been going around for a while, so you may have already been nominated in the past.

    1. I’m the same – I like to give places a go (even if I’ve heard bad reviews). Sometimes the restaurant is just having a bad night.

      Thanks for the nomination – I’ll take a look 🙂

  4. Hi too all who may think of going there – I was there tonight 26 April and never and I mean never I be returning the food was awful – we could not eat anything they brought out…

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