It is true that i got my fair share of free "good" food during the two months when i was unemployed, probably the only things to keep me sane as i had to eat most of my meals at home. Anyways, everyone who reads blog would have read about the issue with invited reviews and i probably won't want to talk about the same thing again.
However, if those who know anyone practicing reviews for free food in Melbourne, please let me know, i would like to eat some free food too, just me and my wife if they plan to invite me later in September. ( I am not kidding, quite serious, matter of fact )
So till i find restaurants inviting me, my meals are consumed either at home or where students and cheapskates go.
One of which is so legendary, despite it being located in a lane, it can easily attract a crowd like how flies get attracted to unattended food. Last summer we came on a Sunday evening to see that the queue had already reached outside and it was quite a long one too.
Come this ridiculously cold and rainy winter night, we finally got a place inside and i understood why it was so famous.
Prized for their dumplings, chicken, prawn, pork and vegetable, either in soup, steamed or fried, the price differential between 6 pieces and 12 pieces is AUD1.50-2. It almost without brains that people will pay AUD4 thereabouts for 6 pieces when AUD 6 can get you 12.
Small eaters out there can literally have 6 each and a meal would have cost them AUD3!
However, having heard so much about the dumplings here, we went on overdrive and ordered; fried, steam and in chilli oil soup plus a stir fry shanghai rice cake.
I say avoid the fried dumplings, they didn't seem to be deep fried nor shallow fried, i think the biggest flaw is that the skin just doesn't seem to react too well with the oil. However, after eating this plate of fried pork dumplings, i looked at the next table with their fried chicken and prawn dumplings and it looks simply gorgeous!
The dumplings are meant to be eaten, steamed. This way you enjoy the meaty filling and dip into the vinegar for a sourish after taste.
I thought i ordered it with chilli oil, like how i ate some dumplings in Malaysia, the Shanghainese style. Turns out i read wrong and it came with chilli oil soup. While the oil was fragrant, it was diluted into the soup and you could not taste any of that whiff up my nose, what a pity.
If i did the maths right, i ended up ordering 30 dumplings for the two of us and of course, we only managed to get through 20 and 10 of which ended up as lunch the next day.
Crazily though, i decided to order some more.
Fried rice cake with plenty of oil, some assorted vegetables and meat, this was quite tasty and gave us a break from the overdose of dumplings (all pork too!).
Definitely a budget place to visit for all things their dumplings and i probably see myself going again to try their different dumplings and hopefully a few jackpots instead of my fried pork dumplings.
By the way, the whole meal was under AUD25! In contrast, i had breakfast at Cumulus Inc, a toast, baked beans (not from the can), a poached egg, a sausage and a cafe latte for nearly the same price!
Address and contact details:
25 Tattersalls Ln
Open daily from 11am - 10pm
Tel: (03) 9663 8555
Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. While not exactly being a tourist attraction, far less than that, this is a household name for students looking for a bargain meal or a meal that feels like home (to those from China) as well as for the locals to feed on fried food before they load themselves on beer.