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Camy Shanghai Dumpling Restaurant

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by Emile Corbeau (subscribe)
Business and Arts writer. Contact: meitsuki@live.com
Published September 17th 2011
Located in one of the small lanes of Chinatown, this is one of the most popular dumplings places in Melbourne. During the weekend, it is typical to see a long queue of people lining up outside its doors. There is one main reason why this place is so popular, and that is their $12 all you can eat banquet; giving you a variety of dishes as displayed in the menu picture below:

All you can eat banquet menu


If you come during their busy times, then expect to be seated in congested, overcrowded tables with almost no room to move without having to ask others to let you through, and once you are seated you are practically stuck there until you leave.

Fried pumpkin cakes


In terms of the food, it is not great, you really get what you pay for; their dumplings are quite tasty, and many people find them to be better than a lot of other places, though personally I found it too oily, and after a few dishes, all you can taste is oil masked by soy sauce. The all you can eat dishes are cooked in a very simple manner, either directly steamed or fried with no sauce or flavouring added. However, you can add soy sauce or chilli sauce yourself.

The only dish that comes with sauce is the noodles, but only with soy sauce. Overall, the food is okay; though do not expect anything high quality. They do offer an order menu besides their all you can eat banquet menu. I think the reason they have the banquet menu is just to make it easier for them during busy hours, as they do not have to cater for individual needs and instead place the same dishes everywhere.

Being so busy, it is not surprising that their staff are stressed and constantly hurried to work nonstop, they move around tables laying dishes everywhere and barely having time to clean. The amount of service you get is almost non-existent; you are merely treated like a hungry person who wants to eat and nothing else.

Entrance


If you are after a cheap all you can eat dumplings place and do not mind the excessive amount of people and lack of service, then give this place a try, if only just for the experience of it, which is at least interesting.
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Why? Cheap tasty dumplings
When: Preferably during lunch on weekdays when they are not so busy
Where: 23 Tattersalls Lane, Melbourne
Cost: 12$ for all you can eat
Comments
I'm so glad you didn't give this a rave review! I have a heap of friends who love this place, and will go there no matter what just because it's cheap. It takes a lot of convincing to show them that "cheap" and "good" are very, very different things.
By Sam van Zweden - senior reviewer
Monday, 19th of September @ 11:51 pm
Harsh. Greatest place in the world.
It's BYO, it's fun and the dumplings are delicious. The all you can eat menu isn't the cat's pyjamas but if you stick to selecting your favourite dumplings instead it's fantastic.
By paul30 - reader
Tuesday, 20th of September @ 12:10 am
Well yes, their dumplings are pretty good, as I said, many people find them better than other places...though there are better and when they are really busy such as dinner time Thursday to Sunday, they just give everyone a bit of everything, being picky with extremely busy staff will just get them cranky at you. I suggested that if people want to go to this place, then go during weekday lunchtime when it's not so busy. If you are just after the dumplings and don't mind other things then this place is good. Personally I look for the overall experience, and wrote the review as such.
By Anonymous
Tuesday, 20th of September @ 01:29 am
If you go with a bunch of friends and have a few beers, the all you can eat menu can be a real hoot.

But I agree, the dumplings aren't the best in China Town. And most of the 'all you can eat' menu is pretty simple and oily.

The line on the weekend can get really long so either get in early or avoid completely.
By Kallen Johnstone - senior reviewer
Tuesday, 20th of September @ 08:03 am
Great review, I've been to Camy's so many times and never realised that there was an all you can eat menu! Is it available only during certain times of the day?

I have tried most of the items on that menu though. The dumplings themselves and the pumpkin cake are worth ordering. The fried rice I tried here last time had a terrible burnt taste to it.

Haha I agree with what you said about being treated as a hungry person. But you don't enter this sort of place if service is what you're looking for.
By Winnie - senior reviewer
Wednesday, 21st of September @ 10:43 am
Hi Winnie,

Thank you sharing your experience. As far as I know, the all you can eat is available all the time. I hear that you get better service downstairs than upstairs too.
By Emile Corbeau - senior reviewer
Wednesday, 21st of September @ 11:30 am
i agree totally with what you've said in ur review. i used to go there alot back when i was at uni because it was close by and like you said very cheap until one time i went with some friend and two of us got food poisoning and was really sick that night. Also tried their dumplings, not great at all.
By Anonymous
Sunday, 25th of September @ 11:21 am
when a friend and myself turned up for a much anticipated mid week lunch. we were told the $12 dumplings were not available because there was only two of us....very disappointed
By krist - reader
Wednesday, 28th of September @ 09:16 am
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