• Shanghai Village Dumpling

There is something about dirty dumplings.  Even the nick-name is typically Australian and affectionate.  My friend recently organised her birthday party: a dinner booked for 20, which turned out to be a table for 15 and a cast of 30 to celebrate at Shanghai Village.  She apologised, mistaking my love for fine food and blogging as restaurant snobbishness.  No, I love dumplings.

The unknown individuals of the party group squished onto the round upstairs table, only to squish around more as each new person arrived.  We were now “all friends here” with not so much as an elbow distance to stop my chopsticks hitting the guy next to me as I ate.

First, this place is cheap.  Steamed vegetarian dumplings are only $5.50 for a plate of nine, and $7 for a plate of 15.  They are heated fresh so that the skins are hot and pleasantly textured.  Although the veggies inside had no doubt been frozen and were limp and dull.

Thanks to my beautiful and willing hand model.

Pan fried dumplings were done traditionally with the oil in the bottom of the pan and water being added part way to steam the top.  I preferred the steamed.

Pumpkin pancakes were not done as I know them.  These little bite-sized goodies were made with a sticky rice based dough made sweet with pumpkin.  There was a rush for these as soon as they arrived.

The obligatory Chinese vegetables are also available.

It was a good meal.  Coincidentally the two now known guests to either side of me were vegetarian too, so the coincidental seating plan worked well.

Of course service is more about asserting your own needs, than having them waited for, but this quirk makes Shanghai Village all the more authentic.  Drinks are BYO – even beer.  The party was a success.

Shanghai Village Dumpling House
112-114 Little Bourke Street 
Melbourne 3000
03 9663 1878

Shanghai Village Dumpling on Urbanspoon


  1. Dumplings are all the rage now, aren't they? The pumpkin dumplings sound delicious. In twenty-fours I'll be in Shanghai, no doubt having dumplings for dinner. Dying to compare them. Ros

  2. Oh you will love the dumplings there. I wish I could recommend some nice dumpling places. I just remember eating dumplings at a train station before catching the train - even there they were fresh and delicious. Glamor Bar on the Bund is quite nice for a drink; a view towards the other side of the river and cool interior. I really enjoyed checking out the art zones in Shanghai and Beijing. In Beijing I went to a few vegetarian restaurants that were enjoyable. My cousin lives in China and his girlfriend is a food blogger. I'll ask her to recommend some places for you to try. Safe journey and enjoy!

  3. Ok, so I asked her and here are her recommendations:
    Lost Heaven on the Bund, Pin Chuan, Kathleen's on Waitan for cocktails, Mr and Mrs Bund, El Willy, Din Tai Fung, Mercato, Goga, Table No 1, Larder - so many!
    She recommends using a website called SmartShanghai for all the locations.
    She says you also need to eat the infamous Shanghai fried dumplings which can be found in local street sides. She will send a link for you to find these.
    Here is her blog - http://flavorfulfilipina.blogspot.com.au/
    Happy eating!

  4. I always enjoy a trip to Shanghai Village- I prefer it to Shanghai Dumpling. And I always, always get the pumpkin cakes!

  5. OoooOOooOOoo! That's my thumb!

  6. Got back from China yesterday. It will take me a few days to catch up on all the wonderful places you have posted. Unfortunately there was no access to blogspots and FB in China so I was unable to see your recommendations. I did try dumplings in different places in Shanghai and Beijing. They were all delicious. For drinks I visited the famous bar Cloud 9 to have a couple of drinks and admire the view. I had a great time in China and absolutely love Shanghai especially the French Concession area and Tianzifang (the traditional longtang or alleyways). It was an extremely hot summer so quite a lot of time was spent drinking in bars after an exhausting day of sightseeing. Ros

  7. Hi Ros. Welcome home!!! Nouveau Potato has missed you! Good to hear you got back safely. It's a shame you didn't get to see the recommendations before you left but I am sure you got to try many other eating delights. I've heard of Cloud 9 but haven't been there. I loved the art areas in Shanghai and Beijing. Art always shows a lot about culture but is open to interpretation. Great to have you back. Have been to some nice places since you have been gone :)

  8. Thanks Elisa. I've missed Nouveau Potato too! I learnt a lot about culture in China from my students. I also love the Shanghainese qipao and couldn't resist buying a few. Looking forward to trying some of the new places you have been to. Ros

  9. Oh beautiful! Hopefully you get a chance to wear them. It must have been a fascinating experience.

  10. Yes, it was indeed a great experience. Living in a country even for three months is always more rewarding then just a short holiday. Would love to go back again. I really liked Shanghai and felt I could live there for a while. My cousin and his family have been there for a few years and love it. Ros

  11. Definitely true, is a completely different experience traveling for a short time. Good to hear you like it that much! Sounds like a great move - especially if your family are there :)