Good things come to those that wait however and after nearly TWO years of waiting I finally made it to dumpling nirvana with my dining pal, Miss Chicken. The joy of eating dumplings is in the sharing...the more people the merrier as it means loads of delicious morsels can be sampled (which is why I never came here on my own, though I had many opportunities to indulge in a plate of dumplings after work on my lonesome).
When I say this place is a hole-in-the wall I'm not exaggerating. The restaurant is probably 2 meters wide at most and can seat about 16 people inside, plus there is seating for 6 people outside. The kitchen is downstairs in the basement which is accessed by a set of stairs that disappear down behind the counter. The whole set up is so quaint and so intriguing. I feel like I've been transported to a little ye olde worlde Hong Kong shopfront.
There is so much that I want to try on the menu that it's obvious I need to make a few return trips but we begin this feast with some amazing pan-fried dumplings. Paralyzed by indecision and wanting to try everything on the menu we choose a half/half selection of Fried Lamb Dumplings and Fried Vegetable Dumplings (about $13.50).
The dumplings came out face down with their crispy bottoms exposed - how DO they get the bottoms so crispy - I've NEVER seen dumplings like this before. I think Miss Chicken and I both agree that the vegetable dumplings were the winner - the mix of vegetables were crisp, fresh + light which balanced the thick, crispy dumpling skin nicely. The lamb dumpling were also tasty. The lamb had a delicate flavour that was almost a little spicy with an aromatic scent of cumin perhaps. The meat was pierced with pieces of shredded carrot and other veggies. I'd happily order both of these again.
I had thought that the steamed dumplings would be inferior to the crispy-bottomed fried dumplings but how wrong I was. Our Shrimp Steamed Dumplings ($13.00) were wonderful. A whole prawn came lovingly wrapped in a fat dumpling skin blanket. The dough was thick, but not in a gluggy way. The thick dough gave the whole dumpling that perfect toothsome "bite" These dumplings were perfect dipped into a mix of soy sauce and and black Chinese vinegar. Heaven.
It's a universal fact that (wo)man cannot live on dumplings alone so we order a plate of Fried Noodles with Vegetables ($11.00). These noodles were really tasty - they surprised me with just how delicious they were. The noodles had a nice charred flavour from the wok along with shreds of Asian greens + carrot and were *just* a little bit salty. And because we are healthy and virtuous (cough cough) a side dish of boiled green vegetables ($10.00) must also grace our table. The simple plate of bok choi (at least I think it's bok choi) is doused with hot oil and black soy sauce - a simple, but healthy dish.
The food here isn't super cheap (we're not in Chinatown after all) - but it's really REALLY tasty. I can't wait to come back...and soon!
Dumpling and Noodle House is at 165 Victoria St, Potts Point.