Sunday, March 1, 2009

$20 date night: Shanghai Dumpling Restaurant

This is going to be the first in what will be a series of posts featuring places you COULD take a date for under $20. I can't vouch for how your date will react if they know you only spent $20 but I can promise to only post about places I'd be willing to take a date myself.

So tonight's $20 date was at the Shanghai Dumpling Restaurant on Tattersalls Lane in China Town. Most Melbourne locals will have been to the backstreet gem before but if you haven't don't be put off by the communal tables or the plastic table clothes, or the angry man who shouts at you when you get to the front of the que (wait time on busy nights usually 5-15 mins).

While this place may lacks in decor and friendly service it more then compensates with value for money, and I will make a bold claim but I feel it is warranted; best dumplings in Melbourne. Try them, I dare you to disagree. The dumplings come steamed or fried and I strongly recommend the vegetarian dumplings steamed.

The first time I went here we ordered:

x20 mushroom and vegetable steamed dumplings
x4 vegetarian buns
large plate of Asian green with oyster sauce
pumpkin cakes
x2 drinks

$19(something, lets say 42 cents)

I have taken two dates to this restaurant and both guys left full, although on those occasions I substituted vegetarian buns for beef fried dumplings. A little tip if you aren't to sure about your date: once you order the food arrives in minutes. The length of the date depends on how quickly you can eat.

Shanghai Dumpling Restaurant
23-25 Tattersalls Lane
China Town Melbourne 3000
9663 8555
Tues-Sat 11am - 10pm
Sun - Mon 10am - 9.30pm


  1. Oh dear, I think I disagree! I like the dumplings at Shanghai Village much better than Camy's.

    Shanghai Village is on Little Bourke up near the corner of Russell and not only are their dumplings fantastic and cheap they also do an amazing salt and pepper green bean dish that is one of the most addictive things I've tasted. I think a comparison tasting might be in order...

    (Hello to you too Amanda, by the way. I found your blog through Kate's comment on my blog and will keep on reading, particularly if you're going to blog so often about cheap food in this lovely town!)

  2. I may have actually been to this place and I stand by my statement. When factoring the best you have to take in price per dumpling, speed with which the food comes to the table and taste.

    Ok can we atleast agree they are pretty wesome dumplings?

  3. i think a dumpling tasting adventure is on....

  4. Maybe we could have a dumpling-off?

  5. I think the three of us should go and have dumplings somewhere, anywhere, just because dumplings are awesome.

    Maybe that's weird asking two girls whose blog you've read for a week to have dumplings with you? But my new year's resolution is to network and meet new people and dumplings seems like a harmless option. What do you say?

  6. I love shanghai dumpling! But I always feel completely sick and bloated afterwards, I think the fact that with a table of 6 people you can safely order 6 plates of dumplings for only $1 each guarantees overeating. The MSG probably doesn't help. But still awesome!

  7. I used to go to Camy for years but the screeching of the happy birthday song over the PA and the insistence of the staff for you to leave as soon as is inhumanely possible ground me down. The fact that a lot of the dumplings still come with water (what, you can't strain the things before they hit the plate?) meant that I have gone elsewhere. A good alternative to Camy, same quality dumplings and the same price is up in Little Bourke over Russel. It's called Shanghai Village. The differences are that you can sit there all night long instead of being rushed out into a laneway but the service is slower than Camy. It's not necessarily a bad thing though. They actually drain their dumplings!

  8. ..and I should have read the other comments!