Tuesday, January 24, 2017

ShanDong Mama, Melbourne CBD by Benny

Christmas/New Year is a time of celebration, especially with several of the interstate Benny clan coming together in Melbourne. In search of a quick and tasty lunch, and with a vegetarian in tow, The Movie Star suggested a place that she had enjoyed on previous business trips to Melbourne. She couldn’t remember the name, but she knew how to get there…

ShanDong Mama, Hot and sour soup
Hot and sour soup

It turned out to be ShanDong Mama in the Mid City Arcade. The décor is best described as ‘anonymous food court’ – brightly lit with plenty of exposed timber in the furniture and walls, but without any distinguishing features. It created an expectation of cheap and cheerful with fast service. After a quick check of the menu for vegetarian-friendly fare we settled into a comfy booth to make our selections.

ShanDong Mama, zucchini dumpling
Vegetarian Big Bro was happy to order himself a separate meal, but we insisted on sharing, aiming for at least three vegetarian dishes plus a few non-veg – enough to feed five adults for a light lunch.

There was only one vegetarian dumpling – Zucchini vegan – so that was our first choice, followed by wasabi spinach and sweet and sour cucumber. The zucchini dumplings were quite good, with a good thin skin and tasty filling, albeit just a little watery.

ShanDong Mama, wasabi spinach
Wasabi spinach

ShanDong Mama, sweet and sour cucumber
Sweet and sour cucumber

Both the wasabi spinach and sweet and sour cucumber were only side dishes, but had reasonable flavour and texture. Big Bro, however, declared that they could easily have been a lot better – for example the cucumber was a bit soft and seemed to have been made in bulk and stored, to be ladled out when required. Freshly prepared to order, the cucumber would have been crisp, and the flavours much fresher, giving a greatly improved eating experience.

ShanDong Mama, fish dumplings
The fish dumplings had a mixed response. I quite enjoyed the flavour of the very light filling, but others found it too soft and mushy, all texture of fish flesh having been processed away.

ShanDong Mama, prawn fungus chive dumplings
The prawn fungus and chive dumplings were a more standard dumpling, and had quite good texture and flavour.

ShanDong Mama, scallion egg pancake
The scallion egg pancake, served with a chilli dipping sauce, was ok, but, as for the sweet and sour cucumber, could have been a lot better. The texture was just a bit rubbery and the flavour of the scallions did not come through.

Bigger Bro was in the mood for hot and sour soup, and I’m glad he was, because it proved to be the highlight of the meal (see first pic). A generous serve with good depth of flavour in the broth and just the right amount of hot and sour overtones to stimulate the taste buds.

ShanDong Mama


We liked it
We liked it.


If you need a quick, tasty and reasonably priced meal, then Shandong Mama is a good candidate, but so are many others in the Melbourne CBD.

Find it at

ShanDong Mama
Mid-City Arcade
Shop 7, 200 Bourke Street
Melbourne Vic 3000
Phone 9650 3818

Shandong Mama Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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