Good things really do come in small packages, and what better way to celebrate the lunar New Year than by chowing down on nature’s hot pocket, the dumpling!
Whether you’re spending the Chinese New Year ridding yourself of bad fortune, taking in the glow of some lanterns or celebrating the light and sound festivities, bao down to the call of the dumpling with out top picks for Melbourne dumpling houses.
184 High St, Windsor
The perfect pairing of modern-style dumplings and rustic décor, Charlie Dumpling encapsulates Prahran’s love affair with inspired street eats.
Led by Executive Chef, Dylan Roberts (formerly Claremont Tonic, Ezard, Cutler & Co,) this restaurant packs a sensory wallop with their innovative dumplings. Modern-twists such as the slow braised oxtail, pickled cauliflower and gravy dumpling, or the snapper, lime and chilli dumpling with black bean dressing have landed Charlie in the running for Melbourne’s best dumpling.
Plus, if you’re looking for a sweeter bite, don’t go past the milk chocolate dumpling with popping candy, raspberry gel and sherbet!
Din Tai Fung
Level 4, 287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Not your average dumpling house, Din Tai Fung pride themselves on the precision and delicacy of a heart surgeon when perfecting your xiao long bao aka: the risky but worth-it, soup-filled dumpling.
Each and every dumpling is packaged in meticulous fashion, weighing between 4.8 and 5.2 grams at conception and 20.8 and 21.2 grams after filling. Watch the dumpling masters at work while they create mouth-watering crab meat and roe dumplings, or their sought after Shanghai-style drunken chicken.
14-16 Market Lane, Melbourne
One of Melbourne’s most famous lane-way Chinese restaurants, these dumpling traditionalists definitely know their way around some buns.
Melbournian’s have long made the journey to HuTong for their traditional xiao long bao, chili wantons and spinach-stuffed dumplings. Don’t let the casual setting fool you, HuTong’s dumplings will have you dragon-dancing all the way home.
118 Little Collins St, Melbourne
Home of the acclaimed Wagyu cheeseburger dumping, Burma Lane is the queen of all things combination. From the duck and shiitake doughnut, to the beef tartar with quail egg and kohlrabi cream, this restaurant takes a unique spin on traditional, Burmese cuisine.
While these world-class inventors may not specialise in dumplings, their signature dumpling has already taken Melbourne by storm and thus, they are worthy of the top dumplings in Melbourne title. Keep your eye on their beef brisket bao!
By Jessie Castle