There are so many iterations of the dumpling that we think all the kinks have been ironed out and now they’re good to eat any time of day—brunch, lunch, dinner, or midnight snack. Sydney, we think, agrees with this statement because you can find dumpling houses all across the city, from the CBD to the suburbs.
So, whether you like China’s unofficial dish steamed to pillowy perfection or fried to give it that crispy crunch, find here some of Sydney’s best dumpling destinations for when you’ve got to get to to get your dose of dumplings.
1. Mr Wong, CBD
We love Mr Wong because it’s a big place with plenty of seating, but somehow it never feels huge and empty. And the food is some of the best in Sydney. Seriously.
The kitchen is headed up by Dan Hong serving up contemporary takes on traditional Cantonese cuisine and it boasts a dim sum menu that might very well be the best in the city. Some of our favourites include the Wagyu and truffle puff (fried), Roast duck and chive dumpling (steamed) and we can’t go past the Pork xiao long bao.
Individual dim sums are for lunch only.
2. Din Tai Fung, Multiple Locations
The World’s Tastiest Dumpling. At least, that’s the claim and judging by the fans, it’s a pretty good one.
The above accolade is for the original Din Tai Fung in Taipei, but Sydney’s Din Tai Fung restaurants don’t drop the ball. Strict kitchen rules mean that Din Tai Fung dumplings all come out as close to perfect as possible.
The menu, which rarely ever changes, has been perfected so that no matter which restaurant you go to, you will find the pork xiao long baos that have won Din Tai Fung fame around the world— there are something like 160 of them worldwide. For good reason, too.
Find Din Tai Fung at multiple locations
3. Dumpling And Noodle House, Potts Point
Dumplings all day, every day. This little haunt is a favourite and although there are only a few tables inside the Victoria Street restaurant, it’s well worth the wait.
Dumpling and Noodle House has been serving dumplings ”with heart” since 2002 and they’ll be the first to tell you that all the veggies and meats they use are from the local shops and markets. Favourites on the menu include the pan-fried pork and cabbage dumplings as well as the the pork xiao long baos filled with soupy goodness. Also, we’ve heard great things about the steamed pumpking dumplings.
Find Dumpling and Noodle House at Shop 1 165 Victoria Street
4. Sydney Dumpling King, Burwood
When you find yourself out past Sydney’s inner west hankering for a serving of dumplings, Sydney Dumpling King will do more than just satisfy that craving. It actually might cause you to re-evalaute your favourite dumpling houses and/or move out to Burwood permanently.
Variety is the spice of life, and at this dumpling joint choice is yours with 32 types of dumplings, including six types of vegetarian dumplings. If you’re unsure of what to pick or you don’t yet have a favourite, first option on the dumpling menu is the assorted dumplings. It will get you one flavour of each excluding beef and lamb.
One other thing we love about Sydney Dumpling King is that you can get up to two types of dumplings per serve.
Find Sydney Dumpling King at 183E Burwood Road
5. Shanghai Night, Ashfield
When it comes to Shanghainese cuisine in Sydney, there’s no better bet than the stretch of Liverpool Street in Ashfield that houses an abundance of dumpling houses as well as staples including pan-fried pork buns, fried dough sticks, shallot pancakes and Shanghai-style pulled noodles.
However, if you’re looking for the OG, then you’ve got to hit up Shanghai Night (and as most people will tell you, don’t confuse it with New Shanghai Nights which is just a couple of doors down the road). You can get your fill of both steamed and fried dumplings with all the usual suspects—pork, chicken, beef and lamb as well as fish—appearing on the menu.
Find Shanghai Night at 275 Lverpool Road
6. Chinese Noodle House, Haymarket
Chinese Noodle House, the one with the grapes hanging from the ceiling, make the dumplings that many claim to be the best dumplings in Sydney. Open from 10am and open late, they’re often extremely busy and once you’ve sat down to pop one of their dumplings in your mouth, you’ll find out why.
The steamed or fried dumplings come in servings of 12 while the boiled will see you with a plate of 16. They also do half serves if you’re not that hungry but with pork and chive dumplings, pan-fried eggplant dumplings and other tasty fillings in the traditional Northern Chinese dumpling casings (slightly thicker than they southern neighbours), do you really want to only eat half?
Find Chinese Noodle House at 160 Thomas Street
7. Mama Mulan, Chatswood
Mama Mulan is a stylish and minimalist space, but don’t let the interior fool you into thinking that its serving of dumplings are anything but legit. Chinese and Cantonese staples are served up with a slight twist, giving dishes a modern update and expanding the boundaries of Chinese cuisine.
Take a seat in the gorgeous space and you’ll be seeing plates of steamed, pan-fried and deep-fried dim sum dishes leaving the open kitchen and circulating the room or heading straight to one of the private dining spaces. Go for lunch and don’t miss out on the Yum Cha menu, specifically the Mama’s mixed dumpling platter to get a bit of everything.
Find Mama Mulan at Level 1, The Concourse