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5 Fastest Dumpling Houses in Melbourne

Home > Melbourne > Dinner | Dumpling Bars | Food and Wine | Restaurants | Lists
by X (subscribe)
Published October 11th 2012
Three minutes is awfully short
When I think of dumplings I think of three words: fast, cheap and convenient. Taste, unfortunately, comes a lonely fourth. Sure dumplings can be tasty morsels of pre-packaged meat, but they don't come close to a burger or curry.

But that's okay because dumplings still fill an important niche in our busy metropolitan lives. In between movie dates and drinking at bars, we flood dumpling houses, scoffing enough food to keep us going for the night.

Speed (and arguably salt) are what make dumpling houses awesome. When the birthday girl is stomping her feet at your tardiness, quickly turning Hulk-like, every second away from her party is one second closer to 'me smashey'.

Universal Pictures

With that image in mind, me and my posse of bottom feeders went to see just which dumpling houses you are best visiting to receive a quick dinner.

Camy Shanghai Dumpling
25 Tattersalls Ln
Cost: 4.50- 15
Fried 3.03 minutes
Steamed 3.25 minutes

This place is best known for playing 'Happy Birthday' at random intervals. I don't know why they do this but it gives the joint the feel of a German Drinking Hall. At 3 minutes for dumplings (fried or steamed) this place seems like the ultimate eat-on-the-go joint. But Saturday revellers be warned, on Saturday night it becomes a $15 all you can eat dumpling house with a giant queue.

Shanghai Village
112 Little Bourke St
Cost: 5-16
Fried/Steamed both 12.11 minutes

Being seated at Shanghai Village was like being whisked through a blur of narrow stairways and big eating rooms. At 12.11 minutes for both fried and steamed, this place was one of the slower dumpling houses. It also had the worst dumplings and made us feel sick. On a good note, the Saturday crowd was strangely attractive. So if you are not concerned about time pressures, or taste, you can enjoy the eye candy.

Dumpling Plus
269 Swanston St
Cost: 9-18
Fried: 3.46 minutes
Steamed: 12.11 minutes

Dumpling Plus is perfect for a quick meal before the movies or the Toff. Entering this place was another kaleidoscopic adventure of stairs and unending hallways, but the dumplings were tasty and came relatively fast (although there was a big variation between the plate times).

China Red
206 Bourke St, Shop 6
Cost: 8- 18
Fried: 7.40 minutes
Steamed: 6.32 minutes

China Red has gone for a futuristic 'order on a computer approach'. Which is kind of cool and means that when it is busy, the waiting staff are under less pressure. The dumplings here were decent and fast. China Red is also near Roxanne Parlour and Euro Trash Bar

North East Family House
302 Flinders Ln
Cost: 8-18
Steamed: 14.21 minutes
Fried: 20 minutes

This was one of the more sophisticated looking dumpling houses. The dumplings here took the longest, were the most expensive, but also tasted the best. This is less a cheap, fast meal joint, and more of a cute restaurant. It is also not as close as the other dumpling houses to any big bars.
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Why? Dumplings fill an important niche in our busy metropolitan lives!
Where: In and around Melbourne
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