Cranky Joe’s Ugly Dumplings

It would be easy to walk past Cranky Joe’s Ugly Dumplings none-the-wiser. That would be a mistake. The tiny shopfront next door to Stones Throw Cafe along Station Street in Currumbin is the definition of unassuming, with just an A-frame sign directing customers to the back window. Venture down the driveway and you’re greeted with a small ordering window that overlooks a spacious deck lined with tables they share with the neighbouring cafe and a grassed area shaded by an enormous jacaranda tree. There’s even a caravan at the back for the kids to play. Cranky Joe’s is the handiwork of husband-and-wife duo Joe and Deb Ning, who opened the space 12 years ago as a baby shop that also did coffee. A few years ago, the Nings shifted gears and introduced a limited menu of handmade dumplings that utilised some of Joe’s Cantonese family recipes and the rest, as they say, is history. The dumplings, which are also available in frozen take-home packs, are the true hero of the menu and are available in pork, chicken, a vegetarian option that is filled with sweet potato, chickpea and coriander, and a pork and cabbage. The succinct menu also features some seriously tasty pork buns, that are a labour of love for Joe with each batch taking around 45-hours to create, bao buns and rice paper rolls. If you cannot decide, opt for the Chapas Platter, which includes a little taste of everything. On a Friday evening, from 5:00–8:00 pm, you can also enjoy YumCha Friday, but be warned, it’s been known to get busy so if you’ve got your heart set on a table, best to text Deb for a table. No fancy booking system, just the way they like it.


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