The round-up: Brisbane’s best dumplings
Group dining often comes with a few pitfalls and hazards, but there is nothing worse than indecision – some people don’t want a large meal, some want fresh ingredients, others need vegetarian options. When division is rife, more often than not the humble dumpling saves the day. The dumpling has become a staple dinner option at many Asian eateries around Brisbane, and all of them are wonderful. We’ve taken the guesswork out of the gyoza and decided the gather up these delicious bundles of joy into a definitive list of dynamite dumpling spots.
King of Kings, Fortitude Valley: There are a few ways to enjoy dumplings, and the most common way is as an entree or with yum cha dining. Brisbane excels in quick and easy yum cha, perfect for a express lunch or a casual dinner. For some authentic Chinese dumplings, you can’t go past King of Kings in Fortitude Valley. Steamed or fried, prawn, pork or bean curd – King of Kings has it on the menu.
Landmark Restaurant, Sunnybank: This Sunnybank staple is home to yum cha masters, and the restaurant is bursting nightly with diners who travel from all over Brisbane to savour its delicious fare and revel in the grandiose banquet setting. Steamed dim sums filled with pork, garlic chives, prawn and scallop are incredible choices for any feast.
Phoenix, Brisbane City: Popular Sydney-born yum cha concept Phoenix brought its brand of hospitality to Brisbane in 2019, immediately blowing folks away with its menu of steamed and fried morsels, plus some options that are exclusive to Brisbane. As far as dumplings go, there are some real winners here. Fresh crab-meat xiao long bao, king prawn and bamboo-shoot dumplings, scallop and caviar shumai and kimchi Shanghai dumplings are just some of the options available. Any dumpling lover should mark Phoenix on their list of spots to try.
Little Valley, Fortitude Valley: Warner Street’s newest arrival is a restaurant dedicated to plating up some of the finest modern-Chinese fare available. The expansive menu is divided into sections, but we’re going to suggest you stick to the dim sum list. Prawn and pork siu mai, shiitake and water chestnut dumplings, truffle and prawn har gow, and chilli crab and pork xiao long bao are some top-notch options.
Taste Gallery, Sunnybank: Those in the know will point you in the direction of Sunnybank’s Taste Gallery for dynamo dim sum, with steamed siu mai, crystal prawn dumplings, steamed vegetarian dumplings, mini pork buns with crab meat, deep-fried dumplings, scallop dumplings and pan-fried wontons all incredible choices. We suggest getting a serve of all of them.
Donna Chang, Brisbane City: Another modern-Chinese all-star restaurant blends sophisticated heritage aesthetics with a stellar menu of eats. The sound of prawn and scallop wantons that come doused in aged vinegar, and chicken, mushroom and black sesame siu mai get our salivation glands working overtime just thinking about them.
Little Red Dumpling, various locations: The minds behind Little Red Dumpling take great care when it comes to sourcing all the meat and vegetables that go into their heavenly dumplings. The hard work can be tasted in the likes of Little Red Dumpling’s chicken and cabbage dumplings, pan-fried pork dumplings and the dumplings dunked in a hot and sour soup.
Stanley, Brisbane City: Howard Smith Wharves is a multi-faceted hospitality hub that has something for everybody. If dumplings are at the top of your culinary hit list, then Cantonese eatery Stanley is your best bet. Head chef Louis Tikaram has crafted a dim sum platter that is to die for – filled with delicately wrapped portions offering a sublime melt-in-your-mouth satisfaction.
Harajuku Gyoza, various locations: Fans of pan-fried parcels of goodness should be well acquainted with Harajuku Gyoza. The established veteran has locations all over town, and excels in both atmosphere and taste, with a great selection of beer and sake to wash down your gyoza selections.
Golden Dumpling, Sunnybank: Die-hard dumpling seekers have this spot high in their personal rankings, and it’s easy to see why. This Sunnybank spot delivers the goods when it comes to dumpling variety, with choices ranging from cucumber and egg dumplings and pickled-pork dumplings to fresh fish dumplings and fresh lamb parcels.
Fat Dumpling, Fortitude Valley and Bowen Hills: It’s not uncommon to see patrons jostling for position to get a seat at either of Fat Dumpling’s locations. The hideaways are known for plating up authentic and handmade dumplings, with home-style flavours keeping eaters coming back for more. Poached dumplings with chicken and asparagus, steamed dumplings filled with pork and Chinese cabbage and pan-fried dumplings of prawn and garlic are sure-fire winners.
Dumpling Republic, Brisbane City: Wintergarden’s home of authentic dumplings celebrates the making of these miniature parcels like it’s an art form. A team of perfectionists handcrafts the delicious morsels to order, including pan-fried and steamed dumplings. The star of the show is undoubtedly the xiao long bao soup-filled pork dumpling, which might require an adult-sized bib but is certainly worth the risk of a spill.
Bamboo Basket, South Bank and Hamilton: A slice of Shanghai has come to Brisbane in the form of Bamboo Basket – a duo of restaurants specialising in Southern and Northern Chinese cuisine. Watch the chefs pinching and poaching dumplings through glass windows looking into the kitchen, then devour batches of pan-fried Shang Dong-style pork dumplings, boiled chicken and bok choy water dumplings, steamed Shanghai-style pork dumplings with soup filling and mixed vegetable and bean curd dumplings.
New Shanghai, Brisbane City: If variety is what you’re after, New Shanghai has got it in spades. The Queens Plaza location offers steamed xiao long bao filled with either crab meat or pork, pan-fried pot-sticker dumplings, beef and coriander dumplings, steamed vegetable parcels, lamb and leek dumplings and much, much more.
Wow Dumpling, West End: This dumpling stop brings an inventive and wholesome spin to our favourite bite-sized treats. Opt for poached pork or chicken dumplings with Szechuan chilli or nab a serve of the coveted chef’s specials – we’re talking barramundi dumplings, satay chicken dumplings or veggie heaven dumplings with tofu, cabbage, carrots and more.
Steamed, Brisbane City: Former market maestros Steamed have moved from market stall to a hole-in-the-wall on Turbot Street yet they’ve kept their rustic style, serving their dumplings straight from the bamboo basket they were cooked in.
Madame Wu, Brisbane City: Known for its take on modern Asian fusion, Eagle Street’s Madame Wu is also a reputable dumpling dispensary. The kitchen whips up a range of bites, including lobster dumplings, lamb dumplings with eggplant, pan-fried scallop dumplings with tobiko and verjus butter and pork dumplings with corn puree, chiu chow and black vinegar.
Know of a dynamo dumpling house that should be on this list? Contact us with your suggestion at [email protected].
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