Dumpling King

656 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, VIC

All Details
As well as dumplings, try dishes such as the chicken ribs.
As well as dumplings, try dishes such as the chicken ribs. Photo: Eddie Jim

Where and what

Let's call it dumpling creep - the spread of dumpling mania across the Melbourne 'burbs. Case in point: Dumpling King. The original was opened in Box Hill in the mid-1990s. Now the place that Cheap Eats dubbed its hottest spot in 1998 has opened a sibling in Hawthorn. It's an inexpensive dumpling house, so don't expect to be knocked out in the decor and service department (although one waitress was a model of sweet, smiling efficiency) - it's unpretentious, but there's good eating to be had.

Where to sit

Dumpling King's utilitarian interior.
Dumpling King's utilitarian interior. Photo: Eddie Jim

Smart utilitarian is the design brief for this Glenferrie Road eatery just south of the railway overpass. Expect Chinese artwork, a mirrored wall, grey-tiled floor, bare tables and paper napkins.

When to go

Daily 11am-10pm. Don't forget to take cash to pay at the counter - they don't accept any cards.

Drink

There's a short Australian and New Zealand wine list, and a greatest-hits beer list that runs from Tsingtao to Heineken and James Boag. You can BYO wine only - corkage is $2.50 a person.

Eat

The menu is predominantly Shanghainese, so you can expect the soup dumplings known as xiao long bao to take a starring role on the list of 17 types of dumplings. They're good. Also worth trying: the fish and chive dumplings (like ShanDong MaMa's cult versions, you can get them boiled or pan-fried) and classic steamed prawn dumplings in their tightly packed gummy wrappers. Value-add with the Sichuan-style dumplings in hot and spicy soup - a meal in itself, it'll set you back $9.

You'll also find Beijing and Sichuan cuisine on the typically lengthy numbered menu. Sichuan eggplant is intermittently silky and fiery - soy and chilli sauce and a splash of black vinegar makes it addictive.

Mop up the juices with the doughy fried spring onion pancakes, the Chinese answer to Malaysia's roti. Peking duck is worth a look. Plated by the waiters, if you choose, the duck has that desirable crackable toffee quality to the skin and the meat is juicy and fragrant (although as a reminder this is Hawthorn and not Box Hill, there's no duck head split in half for eating the brain).

Who's there

Chinese students, gweilo families and plenty of people waiting for takeaway.

Why bother?

The dumpling legend continues.

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656 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, VIC

  • (03) 9818 8886
  • Cuisine - Chinese
  • Features - BYO, Cheap and cheerful
  • Opening Hours - Daily 11am-10pm
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18 comments so far

  • lamb with chilli on sizzling plate. it's my most favourite meal in melbourne.

    Commenter
    grant
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    July 26, 2013, 4:41PM
  • gweilo? So it's okay to be racist if you use another language (translates to foreign devil/white ghost with a long history of racially deprecatory use)? Or did I just forget that comments are only racist if aimed at non-Caucasians..

    Commenter
    Tom
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    July 26, 2013, 4:46PM
    • In Hong Kong culture, Gwei Lo is not a racially deprecatory term in the 21st Century and you will find Caucasians (Even Greeks and Italians) referring to themselves as Gwei Lo today.

      Commenter
      Andy
      Location
      Date and time
      July 26, 2013, 5:04PM
    • @Andy - you'll find black people in the US refer to themselves with the "N" word. Doesn't make it right.

      Commenter
      Tony B
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      July 26, 2013, 8:58PM
    • I agree with Tom...no difference in racism. Just because HK is in the 21st Century doesnt mean referring to Caucasians as White Devils is no less racist then us in the 60's saying Ching Chong Chinaman. Today you would never say that. Oh BTW, Im in Ipoh right now which is a small Malaysian Chinese City eating the most wonderful Dumplings, the most expensive at RM3 (AUD1). Its going to be hard to pay Australian prices for such simple fare when I return.

      Commenter
      Gordie
      Location
      Malaysia
      Date and time
      July 26, 2013, 10:11PM
    • This is the second reference to "gweilo" I've seen in the Age in two days (the other was in the magazine in reference to Shandong Mama. I have worked in China for 8 years and I can assure you that on the mainland it is indeed derogatory.
      The ubiquitous non-offensive word on the mainland for foreigners is "laowai".
      As both Dumpling King and Shandong Mama serve mainland food, your use of "gweilo" is ignorant and offensive.
      By the way, the spelling in Pinyin is "guilao", not "gweilo".
      "gui" : ghost, sly, crafty

      Commenter
      jackchina
      Location
      Date and time
      July 26, 2013, 11:18PM
    • Gwailo is about as derogatory as referring to someone as a wog here, pretty harmless nowadays and most of us who are caucasian used the term gwailo when we were living in HK and I never saw anyone take offence to it..

      Commenter
      Johnny
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      July 27, 2013, 12:07AM
    • Racism is an attitude, not a word, and I think that its use in the article was appropriate. We feel very comfortable using all manner of "racist" words in our home as they are just playful, terms of endearment when spoken without malice.

      Commenter
      poppinj
      Location
      ballarat
      Date and time
      July 27, 2013, 1:43PM
    • @Andy, lots of African Americans (on tv anyway) refer to themselves with the "N" word, so should we also start using that word freely? Whilst many foreigners might use the term I do believe that the term is used in a derogatory form very often. I think Tom is on the money.

      Commenter
      Sebastian Beaumant
      Location
      Date and time
      July 29, 2013, 9:35AM
    • @ jackchina, it is spelled gweilo in Cantonese, before you go on correcting people.

      Commenter
      So'n'so
      Location
      Date and time
      July 30, 2013, 5:25PM

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