Not too long ago I passed a quaint Wollongong eatery with a fun but ambiguous name. Intrigued, I soon came to find that with its bite or should I say nomm-sized treats it definitely lives up to its name. I had no idea from streetfront that I'd be setting foot into a teahouse teeming with dumplings. That's right, the exotic little world of Ziggy's is home to a variety of these oriental commodities, and to sip on the side, many a commodi-tea.
Vegetable Garlic Chive Dumplings
Through the doors, it's like funky new T2 store meets rustic China. Coloured in vibrant lanterns, red cushions, a piece of calligraphy taking over one of the walls, and with a library of tea behind the counter, you'll see quite the cultural fusion in this South Coast hub that's just over an hour's drive (or train trip) from the heart of Sydney. Bamboo and tiger grass add splashes of green, and a lush feel to match the vibes of this coastal location.
Taking a seat along the front window, we were soon overwhelmed by The Grand Tea List. As a tea lover, I was excited to see a passion for the warm and fuzzy drink reflected in this menu, more like a catalogue. Time permitting, the breakdown of the different types of teas - green, black, etc - would be worth the read. The level of detail doesn't stop here either. A description, serving style, and origin is given for each of the hand-sourced teas.
I have to confess I don't remember the name of it right now, but our first decision off this list was the tea "With a curious aftertaste". For now the name of this drink with an intriguing minty sensation shall remain a mystery. Skimming the list, the second share pot that caught our attention was off the Tisane (herbal drinks) list. Our light green bamboo beverage had a subtle, nutty aroma and was a lovely palate cleanser when it came to the nomms.
Our nomming commenced with a sweet Steamed Cha Siew (BBQ Pork) bun as it's always a favourite. Following this we saw Green Chive & Pork and Yellow Scallop & Prawn dumplings come to the table. These were fresh and authentic, and I found a dash of soy didn't go astray. Additionally we ordered the deliciously spicy and moorish Chilli Chicken Shumai. Not forgetting our greens, we also got a serve of the Vegetarian Garlic Chive which came in a pastry as green as the plants before us.
Steamed Cha Siew bun, Yellow Scallop & Prawn dumplings, and Chicken Shumai
Nomms include, but aren't limited to, dumplings. With frittatas, toasties & melts, the cultural fusion here at Ziggy's also runs through the cuisine. I'm looking forward to trying a cheesy melt with bacon or chorizo for brekky sometime (as Ziggy's opens at 9am). If you're on the sweeter side, there are also desserts - banana bread, cheesecakes and other specials on the board.
I noticed a range of iced tea & hot chocolates too just before leaving. To name a few: Narnia (white chocolate and rose Turkish Delight), Jack Sparrow (dark chocolate, rum and raisin), and Captain Bligh (chocolate and coconut). Another visit to this unique venue that's a short drive from Sydney was already on the bucket list, but this along with the frosty winter air setting in has made it all the more necessary to do this asap.