Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dumpling King, Box Hill by Big Fil

Feeling like trying a new place for dumplings, it was time to visit Dumpling King at Box Hill. It had been recommended as somewhere worth visiting by colleagues living out that way, and with a name like Dumpling King it had quite a bit to live up to.

In the end the dumplings were such a mixed bag I couldn't quite make up my mind whether I really liked them or whether they were just ok - the ones that were good were very good but the ones which were bad were quite ordinary. The best of the dumplings were the steamed pork dumplings. These were flavoursome and filling, with a slightly thicker than normal skin. Amongst the best dumplings I've had in Melbourne, but with the wide variety of standard in the different dumplings I am not sure if they are always this way or if this was a particularly good batch.

Also very good were the boiled pork and chive dumplings. A nice white colour rather than the greyish boiled dumplings you sometimes get, they had a good meaty flavour.

Ok, but not as good, were the Szechuan dumplings. These looked really good, with the fire engine red sauce and chopped spring onion on top, but the flavours were only so so and didn't come through the spicy soup very well.

The fried dumplings were a bit below par. The pan fried beef dumplings--normally my favourite--were a bit too oily and the non-fried side was overly soft, almost soggy.

The pan fried pork buns, while not quite as soggy, didn't have as much flavour as the other dishes.

I am starting to come to the conclusion that put anything sweet and fried with ice cream in front of me, and provided that its not overlyoily I will like it. Needless to say I liked both the egg custard pancake with ice cream and the fried ice cream.

One thing noticeable though was the relative lack of ice cream in the fried ice cream. Fortunately the batter was good enough that this didn't affect the dish.

A mixed experience. Overall I quite liked it but was left feeling it should have been better. The service was a little slow given the restaurant was not that busy with most bookings not yet having arrived. Staff seem to have a slightly strange way of dealing with customers who walked through the door, being reluctant to sit customers at a table which wasn't booked for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours. It also seemed to lack a bit in atmosphere, not have the refined feel of a Hutong or the noise and life of some of the cheaper dumpling houses. While Box Hill is a bit out of the way for me, overall the dumplings were above average but not consistently so, and I'd like to try it again to see which were more representative of the restaurant, the very nice steamed and boiled dumplings or the not so good fried ones.

Food - 7
Ambience - 6.5
Service - 6.5
Price - 6.5

570-572 Station Street
Box Hill VIC 3128
Tel: (03) 9890 3719

Dumpling King on Urbanspoon

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