ShanDong Mama is a new dumpling house serving up dumplings by the owner who is affectionately called 'Mama'. I met up with the lovely Peach from Peach Water and after millions of text messages between us, we decided to have lunch at ShanDong Mama which we had both been wanting to try for awhile. I was awfully late (so sorry!!) but finally managed to find the restaurant in Mid-City arcade just off Bourke Street.
Luckily, we were able to confer with the kitchen and order half serves of the fried dumplings so that we were able to sample more of the menu. The fried dumplings look sad and limp when they arrived, lacking the colour and crisp that we were hoping for. The prawn, black fungus and chive dumplings had sizeable chunks of prawn and the texture of the filling was nice. The Melbourne dumplings are a mix of chopping seafood, chicken mince, herbs with a subtle hint of lemon rind. My favourite between the two were the prawn, black fungus and chive dumplings and a crispier skin would have done wonders.
The signature Mackerel fish dumplings reminded me of the chive dumplings at yum cha, and the texture of the filling was delicate and fluffy.
By this point, I had to leave and re-park my car since I was in such a hurry to arrive however even after 15 minutes, the eggplant exterior was crisp and inside it was creamy and silky. I really enjoy eggplant and this was a delicious way to have it.
I revisited ShanDong Mama with Ms L for lunch, as we do love our 'dirty dumplings' (figuratively speaking, of course). I let Ms L have full reign on ordering as this was her first time. We started off with the noodles in a sesame sauce. I enjoyed the texture of the noodles however I found the sesame sauce to be cloying and somewhat bland with a bitter after taste The heaviness was alleviated with some vinegar and chilli oil but I wouldn't be ordering this again.
Overall I like ShanDong Mama for their dumplings and even during peak lunch hours, service is hurried but helpful. If you like your quality dumplings for a reasonable price, check out ShanDong Mama!
Will I return? Yes, I particularly enjoyed the dumplings here.
Shop 7, 200 Bourke St
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9650 3818
Mon to Sun 11am - 9pm