If you love your dumplings (here, here you're not alone) then you are at the right restaurant. Dumplings Plus is that kind of simple, casual dining dumplings galore experience in the city. Situated in one of the most central locations in the city - Dumplings Plus really feels like a busy, street-food vibe accepted by uni students, locals and visitors to Melbourne alike. The food can be a bit hit and miss, although on this occasion I might have gotten lucky in the dumplings stakes.
Expect noise and more noise. This is not the type of establishment you would dine at if you wanted something memorable. Dumplings Plus makes way for a cheap feed, especially if you are either hungry or hungover. It is great to eat upstairs, however the upstairs dining area closes relatively early.
The staff uniform tends to bring back memories of going to McDonald's in the 1990s. That's right the stripe patterned shirts and the buckle ties. The staff are super keen to take your order. Your dumplings are delivered to your table just as quickly. The experience feels like a simple yum cha experience. Once again, nothing flash.
The pork dumplings were a little too greasy for my liking, although they were pan fried after all. But never judge a book by its cover, they tasted phenomenal. Strong flavours, and a subtle meaty taste without putting you off pork forever.
The steamed pork dumplings were just as tasty as its pan-fried counterpart, yet not as filling. The temperature was just right. In Melbourne I have enjoyed the tastiest dumpings, yet they were too cold. It is usually from one extreme to another, however at Dumplings Plus I feel they have nailed the temperature down pat.
That is some spicy chilli paste underneath...wow...
The prawn steamed dumplings were my favourite. This dish was the dish of the night, until the friend I was eating with wanted something a little on the sweeter side. With food like this, it can be quite difficult to leave without the sweet sensation aftertaste in your mouth.
The prawns were juicy. They were also cooked and steamed at the right temperature. The problem was I wanted more, yet I was feeling a little bloated. This is where the custard puff was just splendid.
The pastry was quite chewy, yet the custard filling wasn't too lumpy with the right amount of sugar without being too overpowering. A glass of water was needed afterwards. Their jasmine tea is not too bad either.
The acid test: yes I will return to Dumplings Plus, however there are a few more dumplings places that are also worth a visit at least once. There are also more favourable and worthy dumplings restaurants on my hit list to return to next. Not an establishment you would want to return to in a hurry unless you are tired of nightclub snacks, or your friends want dumplings on this end of town.