With Melbourne's Chinatown offering so many Asian restaurants along and off Little Bourke Street, at first you may not consider Swanston Street when it comes time for a Dumpling fix. However, you should.
Dumplings Plus is located at 269 Swanston Street. It seems so tiny and crowded that you may wonder why the staff wave you in so enthusiastically. And just when you're thinking, "this place is packed, no chance", they point you to a set of stairs in the corner of the room. The stairs lead up to another teeming dining area but a short walk to the back of the room reveals yet another set of stairs, which take you to a third dining room.
Dumplings Plus - let the bright lights..or google maps... guide you there
Like many dumpling restaurants in the city, Dumplings Plus is a bit of a maze and incredibly squashy (think sardines). The atmosphere, however, is vibrant. Even though you feel like you've been seated too close to a complete stranger - you can't hear a word they're saying - because everyone in the room is talking loudly at the same time. The downside of that is you can't hear yourself either. But that's okay because it's all part of the experience. The service is spot on - the food comes out within minutes. It's fresh, it's delicious and it's cheap. What more could you want?
A generous serve of fried rice will only set you back $8
A plate of ten dumplings is $9.20, a huge plate of fried rice, $8 and a beer is a standard $7 - $8. The best thing on the menu? The chilli pork dumplings, which come floating in a generous amount of chilli oil. The only bad thing is not knowing when to stop. And accidentally pouring black vinegar in everyone's bowls instead of soy sauce.