Happy little news, all you Happy Little Dumplings fans; the girls behind your favourite market treat have been working hard to provide you with dumpling goodness in a more permanent and convenient location. The eatery recently launched their new home with a night of music, wine, and, of course, loads of dumplings.
If you've already visited the Happy Little Dumplings Bar in Bulimba, you don't have to travel too much further to satisfy your yum cha cravings; the new venue is just a block over on Princess Street. It's a small space located conveniently close to Oxford Street, but tucked away from the hustle and bustle. The decor is modern, inviting and just kitschy enough, the black, white and red palette providing a clean contrast to the Astro-turfed al fresco dining area and Hello Kitty-esque cuteness inside.
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But all the interior design in the world doesn't save a restaurant from tanking if the food is no good. Happy Little Dumplings meteoric rise from humble market stall to popular yum cha restaurant is proof positive that the girls know what they're doing in the kitchen. Ironically, they had no hospitality experience when they began.
We'd never done anything like that before," co-owner Candice Collier said. "So we rang my auntie Kesinee and said, 'Can you help?'" Thai food aficionados might know Auntie Kesinee, or her food at least, from Seven Hills restaurant Golden Buddha, where she serves as one of their chefs.
A sampling of their menu was on offer at the launch party, including pork belly and spicy duck varieties, plus my personal favourites, pork buns and prawn and coriander dumplings. Everything is made fresh on site.
Considering the success that Happy Little Dumplings has enjoyed in the past year, it may surprise you to learn that the idea came to Candice and her friend Melita Rayner while they were having a few drinks.
I'd just worked out that I'd spent more than two hundred dollars over a weekend in parking fees, going to the Valley for yum cha," Candice said. "After a few glasses of wine, we said, 'Let's do it.' We [opened our first market stall] a week later."
Since then, Happy Little Dumplings has become a Brisbane favourite. Candice and Melita recently featured on the front cover of Brisbane Times's foodie secrets issue, Happy Little Dumplings received a mention in the Tiger Airways on-flight magazine, and they have, of course, been reviewed by one of our writers.
Not content to rest on their laurels, the girls are currently working on the next stage. Plans include opening the bar on nights and introducing a gluten free range of dumplings. "At the moment they just fall apart when we steam them," Candice said. "But we'll get there."
One can only imagine that it was this type of determination that saw the idea germinate from a casual suggestion to a successful business.
Happy Little Dumplings is currently open during the day seven days a week.
Absolutely love the sound of the Happy Little Dumplings Bar!! I am yet to go as I will be waiting for the day they launch the gluten free dumplings.. I can not wait! Even if they fall apart, I would still appreciate them and eat them.. hehe.