One thing I did like a lot was being able to watch the kitchen staff beavering away behind the serving area. Hygiene standards at many dumpling joints are decidedly dodgy. Willingness to provide an open window into the kitchen area shows a least a confidence in what they are doing, as well cheap entertainment when I don't feel like reading my book.
While it does offer a variety of larger dishes it was to be little mouthfuls of steamed and fried goodness for me. If I had been in a group through there were a couple of things which I would definitely have ordered, in particular the scallops which I was close to ordering anyway. First up though were some duck spring rolls. I ordered these out of curiosity as much as anything else, because I didn't remember ever seeing them on a menu before. When they came out they were of a generous size and perfectly fried, but while I found them enjoyable the duck flavour didn't really come through as much as I'd have liked.
Second dish, also ordered out of curiosity as much as anything, were the boiled prawn and pumpkin dumplings. I have rarely seen pumpkin filled dumplings on menus before and had never tried them, and I was decidedly uncertain how these would work. I always applaud places that try to do something a little bit different and thought that the prawn and pumpkin combination worked reasonably well. Not perfectly, as I thought the pumpkin made the filling just a little heavy, but the flavours were well matched and I'd be happy to order them again.
Returning again the following night it was the Shanghai pork dumplings (Shao Long Bao by another name?) and the pan fried pork dumplings. Both of these were ok, but probably not better than that. With only 6 in a serve the SPD seemed a little pricey, a bit stingy with the soup and the flavour not as complex as some of the better versions around. Given that there were a few other interesting options on the menu I didn't get to try I'd probably give them a pass next time.
A little better were the pan fried pork dumplings. A touch smaller than usual I also found that some were a bit overdone, rendering the dumpling skin more hard than crisp. Flavour wise I thought these were fairly good, although could have been improved by a more generous filling. Overall, not the best going around but still perfectly acceptable.
A nice place for mostly respectable dumplings, the sort of place I'd happily revisit without being an absolute favourite. Service is a little nicer and more polite than dumpling house standard, although you may need to wave at staff to make sure they know you are ready to order, and the set up is a little nicer too. All in all a quick and cheap place for a bite to eat in Northern Canberra
Food - 7
Ambience - 7
Service - 7
Price - 7
2 Cape Street
Dickson ACT 2602
Tel: (02) 6248 8350