Yay for another yum cha post. Might as well start a yum cha safari. I’ve found my favourite pho in Canberra, good old My’s Vietnamese in Weston Creek, best broth in Canberra and probably Sydney too! I love yum cha too so I might as well find my Canberra favourite as well. Can’t be travelling to Sydney every time I have a craving, that would break the bank.
A couple of us decided to head down to Jamison to try the yum cha offering down at the Dumpling Inn. It was pretty busy, we forgot it was Mother’s Day (we’re terrible children) but being an awesome Asian joint they managed to find a tiny table that would fit us in, a bit cramped, but who cares, we were getting yum cha!! (Better than being turned away, at least)
The food came out a little slower than my hungry stomach had hoped but I assumed it was because they were extra busy with all the families celebrating Mother’s Day, I’m sure they’re probably pretty fast on normal weekends. Big fan of the fact that they still use the cart that they push around to offer you the different yum cha goodies, some places just walk around with plates which, I suppose doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, but they’re little touches of authenticity that I appreciate. A little sad that there was only one cart and that it took ages for it to get to our little corner but again I don’t really blame them, it was a particularly busy day and they still squished us in. Onwards to the food!
First up we grabbed a serve of the Pork and prawn in bean curd rolls. This was really saucy, moist and meaty. The filling was nice and there was plenty of it, but I found that the pork flavour was really strong and I couldn’t really taste any prawns. The tofu skin wrapping was nice, soft and it was practically falling off the pork and prawn filling, there was also a generous amount of it. Considering I love the skin on this dish more than anything, this was really good for me, and the ones here at Dumpling Inn were as good as any I’ve had elsewhere.
Next up, the Pork siu mai (pork dumplings). These were nice, probably one of the better ones in Canberra! It had a lot of pork and generous serving of prawn, which was nice. I tend to find that most siu mai that you get in other places taste fairly generic, quite porky with just a mash of prawns in there that get overpowered easily. The siu mai here at Dumpling Inn have actual pieces of prawns and the flavours mix wonderfully.
On to the Har gow (prawn dumplings)! These were nice, the filling was really moist, there was plenty of prawn chunks and it was really tasty. However, I didn’t like the dumpling skins very much. It seemed like they over steamed them, making the skins really soggy and they fell off when you tried to grab a har gow. So they were really tasty but a little annoying to eat.
And then the Feng zhao (chicken feet) came around. These were nice but in an interesting way. They were really nicely seasoned and not overly spicy, which was different in a good way but I didn’t like that there wasn’t a lot of sauce and I’m normally a big fan of saucy, moist chicken feet so that wasn’t great. I also found the feet kind of small and hence they didn’t have much meat on them. The chicken feet at Dumpling Inn is on the milder side, still delicious but keep that in mind if you’re intending to have some here.
Next up, we got the Steamed meatballs, these were nice and again, interesting. Normally, I find they come with a layer of flakey seamed bean curd on the bottom but these came with peas instead, guess they made it lighter and fresher but honestly I really missed that bean curd. Also they weren’t overly generous with the sweet soy sauce that they give you, which I really like so I was a little sad. Actually these were really different to what I’m used to, I’ve had a couple of these with eggs in the middle, none here which I didn’t mind really. No sign of ginger, onion, garlic or anything either. I mean these were nice and meaty but different, doesn’t make it a bad thing. I actually enjoyed these, despite how weird they were, wouldn’t mind grabbing some more!
Finally after making a special order, we got a plate of Har cheung (prawn rice noodle rolls). Yummy steamed rice noodle with chunky prawn pieces and delicious sweet soy sauce. These were just right to satisfy a craving, could have been steamed for a little longer to make the rice noodle softer but still nice. I also asked for more of the delicious soy sauce that they use on these rolls, and that’s all I got, I was a little sad since once I’ve got that sauce I tend to go a bit crazy and use it for everything. In hindsight I should always order har cheung right at the start since I get so much use out of it.
And of course we had to order a Beef cheung (beef rice noodle rolls) as well (we kind of made that name up). Same issues with the lack of soy sauce and firmish rice noodle but we really liked the beef they used to stuff these. It was really delicious tasting, meaty and they were generous. Pretty similar to the beef from the meatballs. Good stuff.
I like Dumpling Inn, its not bad. Next time, I’m definitely not going on Mother’s Day or another special occasions day. The food was nice and I feel like most of the issues were related to the staff being rushed, super busy tending to an overcrowded restaurant and food being under steamed. I like that they do all the staple yum cha items and they do them pretty decently too. Good place for a Sunday brunch when you don’t feel like driving far. Altogether we ended up paying about $50 for 7 dishes. Pretty decent in my opinion.
I’m on a bit of a yum cha roll, I’ve recently realised that I crave yum cha pretty often and can’t just rely on going back to Sydney for it, so I guess I’m on a yum cha safari to find my favourite yum cha joint in Canberra. So keep an eye out for some more yum cha post. In the mean time, check out our visit to Spicy Ginger for their $20 all you can eat yum cha.