There's few places left in Melbourne's Chinatown where you can snag yourself a meal (that actually fills you up) for under $20. One of the last remaining is Camy Shanghai Restaurant in Tattersalls Lane. To make sure you get in and out unscathed and uncomfortably full, follow this five-step survival guide.
1). Don't be put off by the line; these guys turn tables faster than you can imagine. Just don't try to make a booking or get seated without your whole party there.
2). Go for the "Eat All You Can Eat" when you're in a big group, or just pick a few favourites if you're a party of two. All the classics are there – pork buns, fried rice, udon noodles in oyster sauce, pan-fried beef and special Shanghai dumplings that (literally) pop in your mouth.
Eat All You Can Eat menu.
3). My vegetarian friends, fear not. There's plenty on the menu for you to tuck into – red bean buns, pan-fried pumpkin dumplings, steamed mushroom and spinach dumplings and those delicious Asian greens.
4). Don't bother asking for a wine glass. Or a water glass. Or any kind of glass, actually. Get yourself to the crockery station (a little wooden hutch on each level) and grab a few plastic cups. This is no frills at its best, after all. Here you'll also find their version of napkins (tissues) and all the condiments you need – soy sauce, vinegar and red sauce. Yeah, we're not quite sure what's in it either.
5). These guys don't split bills, so make sure everyone in your party has enough cash to pay their way. Nobody wants to be that guy.
6). Lastly, if it's your friend's birthday, have a chat to a member of the wait staff. They'll arrange a very special (and only a little bit creepy) 'Happy Birthday' song to be played over the loud speakers. Just sit back and enjoy as the whole restaurant joins in.
Don't think too much, just enjoy the dumpling ride.
Camy Shanghai Restaurant 23-25 Tattersalls Lane Melbourne, VIC, 3000
Lunch and dinner (11:30am until late), Monday-Sunday.