Shanghai Village Dumpling is that little haven of cheap dumplings in Chinatown that most Melburnians have heard so much about. And having had their fried dumplings, I'm adding my voice to the chorus of happy dumpling eaters recommending you try them.
The entrance to Shanghai Village is easy to miss, being a little archway in the middle of bustling Chinatown. A Chinese sign above the door, with "SHANGHAI VILLAGE B.Y.O." printed in English, is easy to miss among the vibrant reds that dominate Little Bourke Street.
Yet once you open the nondescript door, you are meet with a wall of sound as happy customers chat over platters of fried dumplings. The interior is a vibrant pink, certainly not modern, with tables crammed wherever they fit.
I ordered noodle soup with vegetarian duck. Yes, vegetarian duck- it's made out of tofu, and there is no actual duck involved. Sadly it was not suited to my tastes- intentionally served cold, it was not the most appetising dish. However, the big bowl of soup with noodles certainly did the trick. It was quite a plain soup, with the only vegetable being spring onion, but flavoursome nonetheless.
Delicious spring rolls and noodle soup with vegetarian 'duck' from Shanghai Village Dumpling.
Of course, we ordered a plate of vegetarian fried dumplings. At under a tenner for sixteen dumplings, it was fantastic value, even if we couldn't manage to eat all of the dumplings. They were crunchy and had a strong garlic flavour, with plenty of green vegetables, although they were quite oily. At another dumpling eatery (which will remain nameless), I once ordered vegetarian dumplings and they were filled with pumpkin and potato- which made them very squishy and bland. But there were no out of place vegies at Shanghai Village. The trio of vegetarian spring rolls we ordered also went down a treat.
The dumplings that Shanghai Village Dumpling is so famous for.
The affordability of Shanghai Village Dumpling cannot be emphasised enough. We ordered up a storm -far more than we could eat- and the total came to about $25. It's easy to see why the little place in Chinatown is talked about so much.
Everything we ordered from Shanghai Village Dumpling -between two people!- came to less than $25.