The return of the much-loved Din Tai Fung lamb buns for spring

It’s Spring, the lambs are born and to celebrate the warmer weather, Din Tai Fung, arguably the world’s most famous dumpling specialist, has brought back its popular Sweet Lamb Buns.
Din Tai Fung's limited edition Spring Sweet Lamb Buns are now on offer at Din Tai Fung Melbourne until 30 November. These Spring Sweet Lamb Buns or 'Bao' come steamed-to-order with a delicious filling of molten dark chocolate and taro. 
Absolutely adorable, the buns are almost too cute to eat. The fluffy, moist and slightly sweet buns were the perfect canvas for the gooey and dacadent dark chocolate and taro fillings. YUM.
Pork Dumpling / Xiao Long Bao

While we were there, we also indulged in other Din Tai Fung menu highlights which included the world renowned Xiao Long Bao.

While many Chinese restaurants serve Xiao Long Bao, Din Tai Fung’s variety are a cut above. The allure of Din Tai Fung’s legendary Xiao Long Bao lies in their gracefully delicate pastry skin enveloping rich pork-seasoned broth.  
Usefully, Din Tai Fung’s staff are on hand to provide instructions on the recommended steps for consuming the Xiao Long Bao - steps which involve piercing the pastry skin to suck out the broth within and then subsequently flavouring the remaining pastry and minced pork dumpling with black vinegar and shredded ginger.

These soupy morsels may demand more effort than your run-of-the-mill pork dumpling, but we assure you - you will be rewarded.
Drunken Chicken

Din Tai Fung's drunken chicken was exquisite. The chicken was wonderfully tender and infused with a beautiful rice wine flavour - perfectly seasoned and well balanced.
Shrimp and Pork Wonton with Tangy Sauce

With the extensive publicity received by Din Tai Fung’s Xiao Long Bao, the Shrimp and Pork Wontons with Tangy Sauce, which prevail in both taste and texture, can easily be overlooked. These pork and prawn filled wontons are wrapped with a blissfully silken wonton pastry and bathe in a mind-blowing concoction of chilli oil and sesame oil. Cooked with the perfect amount of heat, these wontons certainly tantalised the taste buds.
Don't miss out on Din Tai Fung's Spring Sweet Lamb Buns along with other menu highlights!


What:  Din Tai Fung lamb buns for spring
When: Until 30 November 2015
Price: $3.80 each 
Location: Level 4, 287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Phone: (03) 9654 1876
Cuisine: Taiwanese, Dumplings


Din Tai Fung Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Din Tai Fung.

Monkey King

Set in the heart of the city, the Monkey King Bar is business entrepreneur and dumpling master David Zhou’s latest eatery which takes Melbournians on a food adventure with delicious pan-Asian cuisine. 
Under Zhou’s watchful eye, Monkey King Bar presents a delightful dining experienced coupled with a brilliant cocktail list to enhance and compliment a good night out.
From left: Passionfruit Caprioska; Berry Mojito

The bar offers a concise, considered and well-priced wine list as well as cocktails that are bursting with flavour. We particularly enjoyed the Passionfruit Caprioska (one of the latest additions to their cocktail menu). A moreish cocktail which was both fresh and zingy.  
Mao Pao Tofu

The food menu comprises a selection of delectable dishes – and all items are perfect for snacking on or making a meal of over the libations.  
Wagyu beef dumplings with Lemongrass and Ginger tea infused sauce with a hint of chilli

We were delighted by the tasty selection of delectable dim sum. Each dumpling had gracefully delicate pastry skin enveloping rich and tasty fillings.  
Clockwise from top left: Pan fried pork & chive dumplings with chilli vinegar dipping sauce; Tibetan lamb skewers; The Immortal vegetarian dumplings; Sate Madura chicken skewers

The skewers are also highly recommended. Each morsel was sufficiently seasoned and had benefited from a delectable outer charring courtesy of spending the perfect time on the grill.
Black bean beef with sliced almonds

The Black bean beef with sliced almonds was a delicious main course. Generous morsels of tender beef slathered in luscious umami laden black bean sauce and lightly adorned with sliced almonds, it was a dish that married particularly well with fluffy steamed buns. 
Foreground: Nutella & peanut butter spring rolls dipped in chocolate and nuts 
Background: Wangs taro - sweet honey & sesame taro

The desserts on the menu, did not disappoint. We loved the traditional dessert of sweet honey and sesame taro which featured taro morsels which were each coated with a perfectly crispy exterior and gooey soft centre. The modern dessert of Nutella and peanut butter spring rolls dipped in chocolate and nuts also pleased - I mean Nutella and peanut butter? It was always going to be good.
Monkey King Bar is a brilliant watering hole that will take you on a journey of enlightenment over Pan-Asian delights from the Orient and beyond.


Location: Melbourne Central, Ground Level, Corner of Swanston Street and La Trobe Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9066 0207
Cuisine: Pan Asian


Monkey King Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Monkey King.

Din Tai Fung

Finally. It’s here. Din Tai Fung, arguably the world’s most famous dumpling specialists, has opened their first venue outside of New South Wales and their biggest Australian restaurant yet at Emporium Melbourne.
Shrimp and Pork Jiao Ze

Like each venue, the restaurant features Din Tai Fung’s signature glass-enclosed dumpling kitchen. The theme of ‘yin yang’ with a mainly monochrome fit-out exudes a casual and comfortable surrounding. 
The Din Tai Fung brand has earned cult status since introducing Australia to its world-class Xiao Long Bao dumplings seven years ago (2008) at its flagship World Square Sydney restaurant and it is easy to understand why.  
Avocado Chocolate Swirl; Mango Tango
Pork Dumpling / Xiao Long Bao

While many Chinese restaurants serve Xiao Long Bao, Din Tai Fung’s variety are a cut above. The allure of Din Tai Fung’s legendary Xiao Long Bao lies in their gracefully delicate pastry skin enveloping rich pork-seasoned broth.  

Usefully, Din Tai Fung’s staff are on hand to provide instructions on the recommended steps for consuming the Xiao Long Bao - steps which involve piercing the pastry skin to suck out the broth within and then subsequently flavouring the remaining pastry and minced pork dumpling with black vinegar and shredded ginger.

These soupy morsels may demand more effort than your run-of-the-mill pork dumpling, but we assure you - you will be rewarded.
Vegetarian Bun
Truffle Xiao Long Bao

An absolute show stopper was the bespoke Truffle Xiao Long Bao. The steamed pork dumplings were infused with shaved truffle and truffle oil and tasted nothing short of amazing. It was a decadent dumpling with fragrant aromas.
Water Spinach with Garlic
Shrimp and Pork Wonton with Tangy Sauce

With the extensive publicity received by Din Tai Fung’s Xiao Long Bao, the Shrimp and Pork Wontons with Tangy Sauce, which prevail in both taste and texture, can easily be overlooked. These pork and prawn filled wontons are wrapped with a blissfully silken wonton pastry and bathe in a mind-blowing concoction of chilli oil and sesame oil. Cooked with the perfect amount of heat, these wontons certainly tantalised the taste buds.
Vegetarian Jiao Ze
Shrimp and Pork Shao Mai

The Shrimp and Pork Shao Mai was yet another highlight. We loved the slightly thicker dumpling pastry which was beautiful in texture and the decadent broth accompanying the prawn topping.
Our evening at Din Tai Fung concluded on a sweet note with a duo of their most popular desserts.
Taro gelato with Golden taro Bread

The taro gelato was wonderfully creamy and went well with the taro bread which was perfectly crisp on the outside and featured gooey luscious taro on the inside.
Mango ice dessert

A towering mango slushy ice dessert, we loved the use of fresh mango with the shaved ice. It was a playful dessert which rounded out our decadent meal.
Din Tai Fung is certainly a welcomed addition to Melbourne. With its superb execution of Chinese cuisine and dumplings which are made with the same surgical-like precision that Din Tai Fung is renowned for, there is no doubt that this new outpost will soon be firmly entrenched as a Melbourne dining institution.


Location: Level 4, 287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Phone: (03) 9654 1876
Link: https://www.dintaifung.com.au/
Cuisine: Taiwanese, Dumplings


Click to add a blog post for Din Tai Fung on Zomato

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Din Tai Fung.

New Shanghai

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of New Shanghai.
Serving up New Shanghai’s signature Chinese cuisine inspired by traditional delicacies found on the streets of Shanghai, the chain has earned great critical acclaim across Australia. 
The Melbourne restaurant has a relaxed ambience which exudes an atmosphere of authenticity, transporting diners straight to a 1930s Shanghai street. 
Vintage Chinese posters adorn the walls and plants wrapped around ornate metal screens and hand-laid cobblestone tiles create clever accents throughout the dining area. 
Diners can see the chefs in action via a live dumpling making theatre. 
Sheng Jian Bao – Pan Fried Pork Bun

While many Chinese restaurants in Melbourne serve the Sheng Jian Bao, New Shanghai’s variety are a cut above. The skin of the fried dumplings possessed the perfect thickness and signature crispy and fluffy texture without being overly doughy.  The Ground pork and chopped cabbage filling was well seasoned and each bun possessed a wonderfully golden, crispy bottom.  
New Shanghai Crab Meat Xiao Long Bao 

An absolute show stopper was New Shanghai’s delectable Crab Meat Xiao Long Bao. The gracefully delicate pastry skin was enveloped in alluring crab meat and rich pork-seasoned broth.  
Prawn wontons with chilli oil, peanut & sesame sauce

The prawn wontons were yet another highlight. We loved the velvety wonton pastry which was beautiful in texture and the accompanying sea of sweet soy, peanut sauce and dried chilli was pleasantly appetising. Cooked with the perfect amount of heat, these wontons tantalised our taste buds.
Fragrant & Crispy Half Duck with Steamed Buns

The dish of Fragrant & Crispy Duck with Steamed Bun had us fighting for the last morsel. The fluffy and moist buns were a lovely canvas for the velvety duck flesh and its perfectly crisp skin. 
New Shanghai is a gem of a place for casual dining. With its superb execution of Shanghainese cuisine and affordable pricing, there is no doubt that New Shanghai should be one of your "go to" restaurants.


Location: Third floor, Emporium centre 287 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Phone: 02 9412 3358
Cuisine: Shanghainese, Xiao Long Bao, Pan-fried Pork Bun


Click to add a blog post for New Shanghai on Zomato

New Shanghai's Night Noodle Market Preview

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of New Shanghai.
New Shanghai, Melbourne’s newest and most authentic Shanghainese restaurant is making its debut at the highly anticipated Night Noodle Markets.
To celebrate, Gastrology was invited along to New Shanghai’s Night Noodle Market preview dinner, to try each amazing dish that the New Shanghai team will be serving up throughout the Markets.
The renowned Asian restaurant has created a bespoke menu; fusing the traditional with the contemporary, especially for the debut.
Xiao Long Bao – Steamed Pork Dumpling

Highlights from the preview dinner at New Shanghai included New Shanghai’s famous dumplings, including the xiao long bao, a mini steamed pork bun with gingery-sweet broth and a juicy pocket of pork made using a secret family recipe; and the pan-fried pork bun, a New Shanghai delicacy made using a generations-old family technique. 
Sheng Jian Bao – Pan Fried Pork Bun

While many Chinese restaurants in Melbourne serve the Sheng Jian Bao, New Shanghai’s variety are a cut above. The skin of the fried dumplings possessed the perfect thickness and signature crispy and fluffy texture without being overly doughy.  The Ground pork and chopped cabbage filling was well seasoned and each bun possessed a wonderfully golden, crispy bottom. 
Left: spring onion pancakes
Right:Asian spiced vegetarian dumplings 
Truffle Xiao Long Bao

An absolute show stopper was the bespoke Truffle Xiao Long Bao. The steamed pork dumplings were infused with shaved truffle and truffle oil and tasted nothing short of amazing. It was a decadent dumpling with fragrant aromas.
Crispy duck steamed buns

New Shanghai will also be serving their mouth-watering Crispy salted and spiced duck steamed buns at the Night Noodle market. These had us fighting for the last morsel. The fluffy and moist buns were a lovely canvas for the velvety duck flesh and its perfectly crisp skin. 



What: New Shanghai @ Night Noodle Markets
Where: Birrarung Marr (near Federation Square), Melbourne
Cost: Free entry; dishes from $5-$15
When: Friday 14th to Sunday 30th November (From 5pm daily)

Melbourne confirms their love for dumplings with a twist

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Charlie Dumpling.
Charlie Dumpling has had a full house for lunch and dinner ever since its inception at the end of January and it is easy to understand why.
The menu is, quite simply put, sensational. Led by Executive Chef, Dylan Roberts (formerly Claremont Tonic, Ezard, Cutler & Co), Charlie Dumpling delivers a modern twist on dumplings and a new standard in fast casual dining. 
Consistent with Charlie Dumpling’s casual theme, its dining room features bright orange tabletops and a backdrop of thatched walls which engender an “outdoor” feel with modern flair. The informal nature is further enforced by the structure of the menu – the dishes offered are designed to be shared by the table. 
Charlies Fried Chicken Ribs, five spice honey, kewpie 

We commenced our meal with a bar staple: fried chicken ribs.  The meaty chicken ribs, more substantial and less finicky than chicken wing pieces, were crusted with a flavoursome spice mix and then perfectly fried to achieve a moreish crunchy exterior and drizzled with luscious five spice honey.  
Snapper, chilli, lime and blackbean dumplings

The velvety dumpling pastry was beautiful in texture and the accompanying sea of sweet soy, lime and dried chilli was pleasantly appetising. An expertly judged amount of heat brought this dish to another level. Bursting with flavour, exquisite balance and complexity, these dumplings are a must-have.
Pearly chicken dumpling, crispy skin, black vinegar

Boasting a tender and succulent interior encased by pearly rice, these dumplings harmonised a perfect balance of spices and sweetness. The accompanying black vinegar dipping sauce was delicious. Combined with the amazingly crisp chicken skin, it was intoxicating.
Peking duck dumplings, aromatic broth, tofu, Asian mushrooms

The dumplings consisted of fragrant and flavoursome duck meat within soft pastry.  The accompanying broth was a perfect example of the traditional tofu and mushroom broth – combining a perfect balance of sweet and savoury elements with malleable tofu and wonderfully fragrant herbs and spices.

Sugar braised beef short rib, hot and sour salad with steamed buns

The sugar braised beef short rib was stunning - Tender, falling off the bone, juicy and packed with flavour. A memorable dish combining flawless texture with equally superlative flavours, it was particularly noteworthy for its fragrant and complex beefy flavours. The crunchy hot and sour salad was the perfect accompaniment featuring  pickled  carrot, cucumber, a sprinkle of fried shallots and mixed herbs - all finished with a generous helping of Vietnamese-style dressing. The fluffy steamed buns were an eager canvas for the delightful amalgamation of flavours.
An exemplary display of Charlie Dumpling’s versatility, the desserts are also highly recommended.
Steamed pear and ginger dumpling, walnut caramel, iced cinnamon 
Milk chocolate dumplings with raspberry-chilli sorbet 

The dumplings had a beautifully crisp exterior and were filled with luscious milk chocolate. The raspberry and chilli sorbet boasted vibrant flavours of fresh fruit and a delightful kick. The elements harmonised cohesively together producing both a decadently sweet and novel end to our dinner.  
In a market where casual dining is in vogue, Charlie Dumpling assimilates perfectly.  Fortunately, unlike some other restaurants which implement a casual approach to the detriment of the food that they produce, Charlie Dumpling adheres to a very high standard. One which epitomises Melbourne’s unique dining culture of gastronomical excellence presented in a casual and pretence-free environment.


Location: 184 High St  Prahran,
Phone: 03 9510 4213
Cuisine: Asian, dumplings


More Charlie on High! 
After just 7 months and an incredible welcome in its first restaurant location at 184 High Street Prahran, Charlie Dumpling is set to expand. 

With the high demand on the flagship restaurant, Charlie Dumpling has taken over premises a few doors away at 212 High Street, Prahran, which previously housed Vin Cellar.

The immediate upshot will be the launch of Charlie Dumpling Jr, a dedicated Take Away service, ensuring that Charlie’s range of dishes can be enjoyed any time. A Take Away app for online orders will be available in the coming weeks. The new locale will also be home to an exciting new bar and cellar concept along with additional function space – all under the one roof. 
Charlie Dumpling on Urbanspoon

Man Mo Completes Dining Precinct at WTC Wharf

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Man Mo.
The newest addition to the northern banks of the Yarra River, Man Mo WTC offers traditional Chinese cuisine at its best.
Upon entering Man Mo, we were captivated by the restaurant’s plush dining ambience.
Designed to capture the bygone era of Imperial China in a contemporary fashion, the expansive dining room is adorned with traditional Lucky Charmed Tassels and paintings, and with red and gold lashes of colour throughout the restaurant. The restaurant’s dining space is further enhanced by the mood lighting.
The menu features traditional and modern Chinese dishes. Unlike its sister restaurant in New Quay, which has a more Malaysian fusion offering, Man Mo WTC provides a more traditional Chinese cuisine including a strong focus on live seafood and clay pot dishes. 
Left: Scallop & Egg lettuce leaf
Right: Baked Crab Shell

We loved the cheesy baked crab shell which featured deliciously sweet blue swimmer crab meat with onion, bacon and mushroom. 
Peking duck

A highlight of our meal was the Peking duck with pancakes. Each portion was carefully prepared to ensure that each was fresh and warm when consumed. With a generous slice of duck breast, fresh spring onion, warm pancake and ample sauce, it boasted a crisp skin and unctuous fat.
Garlic butter and king prawns with jade noodles

The prawns were very fresh and the herbs provided punchy fragrant flavours.  The accompanying noodles were slippery and coated in a delicious garlic and butter sauce. It was a good dish that was highlighted by the natural sweetness of the prawns and complimented by the noodles which retained a pleasant elasticity. 
 Cape Grim tenderloin with truffle oil and special fried rice

The eye fillet was delicious, exhibiting the characteristic charred flavour that normally accompanies a wok-tossed item.  Well-seasoned, the warming pepper was very welcoming on a cold Melbourne day. 
Crème brulee 

The consistency of the custard in a crème brulee was velvety smooth and delicate and featured atop the decadent custard, the requisite sugary hard shell.
Banana fritter with ice cream

Man Mo’s take on the traditional banana fritter was delicious. The banana had an ethereally light and crispy batter and was soft and sweet inside. Served with a creamy vanilla ice cream, this was a pleasant end to our meal.  
Man Mo is a brilliant addition to the WTC Wharf dining precinct, sitting perfectly alongside the existing premium restaurants and further enhancing WTC Wharf‘s position as a world-class dining destination for Melbournians and international visitors alike.

Location: River side of World Trade Cntre, 38 Siddeley Street, Docklands
Phone: 03 9077 9598
Link: http://www.manmowtc.com.au/
Cuisine: Chinese, Seafood

Man Mo @ WTC on Urbanspoon

Scoopon Red Carpet Restaurant experiences | Win a Chinese banquet for two at Man Tong Kitchen (valued at $189)

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Scoopon and Man Tong Kitchen.
Between 14-20 July, Scoopon will be celebrating Melbourne’s love of food by offering discounts to some of the top rated restaurants in the city as part of its Melbourne food week.

Customers can benefit from up to 65% off some of the top rated restaurants on Urbanspoon, satisfying their desire for great dining experiences without the high price tag. From modern pub fare to Mexican street food - Scoopon’s food week includes a mix of cuisines from some of Melbourne’s favourite foodie hotspots. 

Scoopon 8 Course Chinese Banquet with Wine @ Man Tong Kitchen
Sister Restaurant to the Highly-Acclaimed Hu Tong, Man Tong Kitchen offers exquisite Chinese cuisine. 
Upon entering Man Tong Kitchen, diners will be wowed by the restaurant’s plush dining ambience. Designed to capture the bygone era of Imperial China in a contemporary fashion, the expansive dining room is adorned with textured wood pillars and wall panels dressed in rich deluxe colours like gold and red for a stunning contrast. The restaurant’s dining space is further enhanced by the mood lighting.

Purchasers of the Man Tong Scoopon will imbibe in 8 divine courses...
Left: Signature Xiao Long Bao pork dumplings (4 pieces)
Right: Chicken San Choi Bao in lettuce cups (2 serves)

While many Chinese restaurants in Melbourne serve Xiao Long Bao, Man Tong’s variety are a cut above. The allure lies in their gracefully delicate pastry skin enveloping rich pork-seasoned broth.  
Left: Sweet Corn Soup with crab meat and chicken (2 bowls)
Right: Peking Duck with Pancakes (2 pieces)

Another highlight of our meal was the Peking duck with pancakes. Each portion was carefully prepared to ensure that each was fresh and warm when consumed. With a generous slice of duck breast, fresh spring onion, warm pancake and ample sauce, it boasted a crisp skin and unctuous fat.
Stir Fried String Beans with Minced Pork and Szechuan Chilli Sauce
Juicy Eye Fillet with Honey and Pepper Sauce

The eye fillet with honey and pepper sauce was delicious.  Well-seasoned, the warming pepper was very welcoming on a particularly cold Melbourne day. Overall, a superbly executed dish.
Man Tong’s Special Fried Rice
Deep Fried Banana Fritter with Ice-Cream

Man Tong’s take on traditional banana fritter was delicious. The banana had an ethereally light and crispy batter and was soft and sweet inside. Served with a creamy vanilla ice cream, this was a pleasant end to our meal.  
Man Tong Kitchen affords a valuable dining experience that comprises delicious food and wine in a mesmerizing setting located at a prime location. 
Savour Man Tong Kitchen’s legendary xiao long bao and exquisite Chinese cuisine at Crown in the heart of Southbank by purchasing the Man Tong Kitchen scoopon here.

What: Scoopon's Melbourne Food Week deals 



Win 1 x Scoopon voucher to dine at Man Tong Kitchen!

Gastrology has teamed up with Scoopon to giveaway 1 x Scoopon voucher to Man Tong Kitchen to indulge in a decadent Chinese banquet for 2 with wine each which is valued at $189 to 1 of our lucky readers!

How to enter 

All you have to do is: 

  1. Follow us on twitter (if you have not already) 
  2. Send us an email answering “What is your favourite dish and why?” 


The best entry, as judged by the Gastrology team, will win 1 x Scoopon voucher to Man Tong Kitchen.

The competition will run from Monday, 14 July 2014 to 5:00pm Thursday, 24 July 2014 (winner to be announced on this post on Friday, 25 July 2014. 
Man Tong Kitchen on Urbanspoon
The fine print: 
Only entries made using a valid email address are eligible. Your email address will not be published. This competition is a game is of skill not chance. This giveaway is open to readers in Australia only. Prize is not transferable or exchangeable or redeemable for cash. The Promoter is not responsible for prizes once they have been dispatched to the winner. The image of the prize is purely representative and the actual prize is subject to change. 

To find out more or purchase one of the deals, visit www.scoopon.com.au/melbourne.

[25/07/2014] Announcement: Winners of the Blog Giveaway: Man Tong Banquet Scoopon

Thank you to everyone who entered!

The winner is…


Jayne L. with the following entry:

“While it is difficult to choose a favourite (they all look absolutely delicious), my most favourite dish is Man Tong's signature Xiao Long Bao pork dumplings. Their Xiao Long Bao's boasts finesse that make them several notches above the average ones you receive at other establishments. I love the delicate dumpling skin which envelopes the decadent broth. It is always a pleasure piercing through the thin casing and slurping the hot and flavoursome broth within and flavouring the remaining pastry and minced pork with just the right amount of black vinegar and heaty ginger. 
Would love to win this banquet to try all these other dishes and find out more about what Man Tong has to offer beyonf the Xiao Long Bao pork dumplings.” 
… Congratulations, the winner will be contacted via email.

Competition Now Closed. 

New Shanghai opens its first Melbourne restaurant | Win free dumplings for a year!

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of New Shanghai.
Sydney’s favourite dumpling house has expanded its empire once again with a new restaurant in Melbourne’s lavish Emporium shopping centre.
Upper right: Drunken chicken
Bottom left: Garlic cucumber
Bottom right: Shanghainese sweet and sour pork rib

Serving up New Shanghai’s signature Chinese cuisine inspired by traditional delicacies found on the streets of Shanghai, the chain has earned great critical acclaim across Australia. 
The Melbourne restaurant has a relaxed ambience which exudes an atmosphere of authenticity, transporting diners straight to a 1930s Shanghai street. 
Vintage Chinese posters adorn the walls and plants wrapped around ornate metal screens and hand-laid cobblestone tiles create clever accents throughout the dining area. 
Diners can see the chefs in action via a live dumpling making theatre. 
Xiao Long Bao – Steamed Pork Dumpling

Highlights from our dinner at New Shanghai included New Shanghai’s famous dumplings, including the xiao long bao, a mini steamed pork bun with gingery-sweet broth and a juicy pocket of pork made using a secret family recipe; and the pan-fried pork bun, a New Shanghai delicacy made using a generations-old family technique.  
Upper left: Steamed Vegetarian Dumpling
Upper right: Rainbow Beef
Bottom left: Shanghainese Fried Noodle with Shredded Pork & Vegetable
Bottom right: Stir-fried String Bean with Dried Shrimps & Soy Sauce
Sheng Jian Bao – Pan Fried Pork Bun

While many Chinese restaurants in Melbourne serve the Sheng Jian Bao, New Shanghai’s variety are a cut above. The skin of the fried dumplings possessed the perfect thickness and signature crispy and fluffy texture without being overly doughy.  The Ground pork and chopped cabbage filling was well seasoned and each bun possessed a wonderfully golden, crispy bottom.  
Shepherd’s Purse & Pork Wonton with Red chilli Oil & Peanut Sauce

The Shepherd’s Purse & Pork Wonton was yet another highlight. We loved the velvety wonton pastry which was beautiful in texture and the accompanying sea of sweet soy, peanut sauce and dried chilli was pleasantly appetising. Cooked with the perfect amount of heat, these wontons tantalised our taste buds.
Salt & Peppered Soft Shell Crab

The Salt & Peppered Soft Shell Crab was amazing. The deep fried crustacean pieces were coated in a semi-thick crisp batter that encapsulated firm, sweet flesh. With a touch of fried garlic and a myriad of spices, it was simply superb.  
Upper left: Crispy Turnip Cake
Upper right: Shallot & Smoked Ham Sesame Puff
Bottom left: Braised Pork Belly with Sweet Soy Sauce
Bottom right: X.O. Sauce Fried Rice

The Braised Pork Belly with Sweet Soy Sauce was comfort food at its best. It was a well-conceived dish that took full advantage of the pork belly’s most notable characteristic – its supple fatty meat. The unctuous pieces of pork were creamy and melted in our mouths.
Fragrant & Crispy Duck with Steamed Bun

The dish of Fragrant & Crispy Duck with Steamed Bun had us fighting for the last morsel. The fluffy and moist buns were a lovely canvas for the velvety duck flesh and its perfectly crisp skin. 
Dessert - Shaved Ice with Seasonal Fresh Fruit
New Shanghai is a gem of a place for casual dining. With its superb execution of Shanghainese cuisine and affordable pricing, there is no doubt that New Shanghai will soon be a firmly entrenched Melbourne dining institution.


Location: Third floor, Emporium centre 287 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Phone: 02 9412 3358
Link: www.newshanghai.com.au
Cuisine: Shanghainese, Xiao Long Bao, Pan-fried Pork Bun


Win free dumplings for a year!

New Shanghai are currently running a competition through their Facebook page, which gives fans the chance to win free dumplings for a year at the Melbourne Emporium restaurant. Find out more here.

 New Shanghai on Urbanspoon

Melbourne Dumpling Tour

Last week, Gastrology was invited by Walk Melbourne to attend one of their Melbourne dumpling tours. Being keen dumpling enthusiasts, it was an offer too good to refuse.
We visited 4 dumpling venues and tried 4 different styles of dumplings over 2.5 hours - the group receives a sharing plate at each of the dumpling houses.

North East China Family
North East China Family on Urbanspoon

Shanghai Street Dumplings, Wontons and Noodle
Shanghai Street Dumplings, Wontons and Noodle on Urbanspoon

Dolan Uyghur Food Heaven
Dolan Uyghur Food Heaven on Urbanspoon
The tour was designed by Monique (the brains behind Walk Melbourne) to show a range of different dumplings at some of Melbourne's best dumpling restaurants - some venues are more budget conscious, others more upmarket, but all are authentic.
Along the way we also learnt a little bit about Melbourne’s history and how the Chinese have influenced Melbourne.

Gyoza Douraku
Gyoza Douraku on Urbanspoon
Walk Melbourne offers eight different walks from dumplings to coffee to luxury weekend food discovery packages. All groups are small with a maximum of 10 people, so there is plenty of opportunity to get to know the others in your group. 

Gastrology joined the dumpling tour courtesy of Walk Melbourne

Restaurant Review: Man Tong Kitchen

Location: Southbank Crown Entertainment Complex, 8 Whiteman Street,  Southbank
Phone: 03 9686 9888
Link: http://www.mantongkitchen.com.au/
Cuisine: Chinese, Yum Cha, Dumplings
Overall Impression: 7.5/10
Sister restaurant of Hu Tong, Man Tong is a fabulous new addition to the Crown casino restaurants precinct. Meaning “full house” in Chinese, the restaurant celebrates the Chinese tradition of having a house full of family members and friends sharing in a feast together. 

Steamed Pork Dumplings (6 pieces) (North China) - $11.80 
Deep Fried Boneless Chicken with Dry Chilli (Chong Qing) - $29.80 
 Braised Enoki Mushroom, Gluten and Vegetables in Clay Pot - $28.00 
Diced Eye Fillets in Tea Flavour (Fujian) - $33.80
The food was authentic and featured popular dishes from the different cities in China. Every dish was executed well and used good quality ingredients. Man Tong certainly delivers and is a great way to explore Chinese cuisine.

  Man Tong Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: Shanghai Master Dumpling

Location: 173 King Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9077 0919
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Overall Impression: 6/10
Even though Shanghai Master Dumpling is more "amateur" than "master", it is still a dumpling eatery that is worth a visit.




The dumplings and noodles are of a good standard and quite tasty. All in all, this is a pretty good dumpling and noodle restaurant with menu prices that will not break the bank. 

Shanghai Master Dumpling on Urbanspoon