Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

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Melbourne Food Review: Dumpling King Chinese Restaurant

We made a trek up to Box Hill one fine afternoon, as I was going through my dumpling phase, I decided ‘Hey, they call themselves Dumpling King! Surely, there must be some good dumplings there!’

Unfortunately, the dumplings were average. But we discovered a new treasure.

We went into a restaurant that looked quite shabby on the outside, surprisingly the decor exceeded my expectations. I read a few reviews of the place that complained about the interior. But then again I have always been a sucker for old brick walls and warm wooden colour scheme. Or maybe my expectations were low or perhaps they changed since those reviews. Who knew?

We browsed through the menu. The first thing we noticed in that in the dumpling/noodle categories, there were two prices for the same dishes: one for lunch and one for dinner. Since we were there at lunch, we didn’t mind so much. But I’m pretty sure I would have been grumpy if I had to pay a dollar or so more for the same thing because of the time difference.

We decided on the standard boiled dumplings (of course), steamed chicken dumplings and Beijing Style Noodles with Meat Sauce. I earlier had this noodle dish in Singapore at the famous Qun Zhong Eating House on Neil Rd and found that I was craving for more.

(Beijing style noodles with minced meat sauce – $8.80 at lunch)

Surprisingly, or maybe not surprisingly considering this always happened to us  in most dumpling restaurants, despite the dumplings being marked as entrée, the dumplings always arrived last. Our noodles rocked up first and as we were starving. We were given bowls so we both heaped some noodles onto our little bowls and dug in.

The noodles were delicious! They boasted homemade noodles at Dumpling King and while I generally don’t really like Chinese-style wheat ‘homemade’ noodles (not a fan of the texture), I was in love with this one. The sauce was on the salty side at first but once combined with the noodles and crunchy cucumber it was perfect. I honestly thought this very same noodles at Qun Zhong in Singapore were unmatched but Dumpling King’s version is even better!

We were both very impressed with the noodles and just for the virtue of this dish, we are going back.

(Beijing style boiled dumplings – 12 for $7.80 at lunch)

Our boiling dumplings arrive. I have to say I was rather disappointed. The dumpling skin was much too thick for my liking and I found that it sort of ruined the dumplings because the too-much pastry distracts from the filling. The filling was pork and garlic chives which had nice flavours but was rather wet and oily when you bit into it.

(the inside of a boiled dumpling)

We also ordered the steamed chicken dumplings which came in a bamboo basket.

(steamed chicken dumplings – 4 for $5.80 at lunch)

I didn’t find anything special with the steamed chicken dumplings although Josh rather thought they were ‘interesting’. That’s his code for something that tastes unlike what he expects it to taste in a good way. Again, the thick dumpling skin ruined it for me.

(inside of a steamed chicken dumpling)

Can’t say I was too impressed with the dumplings. The service was quite average (but then I find most Chinese restaurants have rather dismal service, why!?!) but the noodles! Oh the noodles! I’m going back for the noodles.

Dumpling King Chinese Restaurant, 572 Station St., Box Hill

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