Top 5 Dumplings in Sydney


by Simone Fox Koob

Image Credit: Good Food

Image Credit: Good Food

Dumplings have well and truly taken over Sydney’s culinary scene. Whether you like them fried, steamed or with soup, good Chinese dim sum spots are popping up all over the city, much to our delight – here are our top picks in Sydney for the best Chinese dumplings.

Din Tai Fung

Image Credit: Din Tai Fung

Image Credit: Din Tai Fung

The idea of a global dumpling chain may put some people off, but the food here is so good that the owners have done Sydney a service by expanding throughout the city. Opened in 1974 as a small stall in Taipei, they now have restaurants all over the world, from the US to Japan, Malaysia to Thailand. There are now a whopping seven here in Sydney, so we can all breath a sigh of relief that we are never far from quality dumplings.

Dumpling making is a precise art at Din Tai Fung – each dumpling is between 4.8 and 5.2 grams at conception, before being filled to 20.8 and 21.2 grams. This minute attention to precise detail means you are guaranteed to have a delicious meal in any Din Tai Fung restaurant you walk into the city over. The specialty here is the Xiao Long Bao, steamed pork dumplings with soup, which live up spectacularly to the hype. 

If you aren’t in the CBD and you’d rather not bump elbows, you can find Din Tai Fung further afield in Chatswood and North Sydney.

Highlight - Xiao Long Bao (just $10.80 for 6 pieces).

Where: World Square, 644 George Street
When: Lunch: Monday – Friday: 11:30am – 2:30pm | Saturday – Sunday: 11am-3pm
Dinner: Monday – Wednesday: 5:30pm – 9pm | Thursday – Saturday: 5pm – 10pm | Sunday: 5pm – 9pm

Chinese Noodle House 

Image Credit: The French Wench

Image Credit: The French Wench

On the outskirts of Sydney’s Chinatown, tucked away on Quay Street is Chinese Noodle House. It would be difficult to find if it wasn’t for the constant crowds jostling for a table, a testament to the down to earth, traditional food served here. The unassuming eatery is solely interested in providing the best food to as many people as they can, as quickly as they can, and often staff will take orders of queueing customers and serve it immediately as they sit down. If there are no tables, worry not as you’ll be sent to the Chinese Noodle Restaurant around the corner, also owned by Chinese Noodle House with identical menus.

Once inside, the small space jostles with diners, while the chefs craft their handmade noodles in the kitchen. Make what you will of the fake grape vines hanging from the ceiling, we’re definitely more into the delicious food. All your classic dumpling favourites are on the menu along with a few quirky extras, and be sure to try of their most popular dishes, the braised eggplant. The prices here compete with the cheap eats in Chinatown so you won’t have to hold back when ordering – arrive with an empty stomach!

Highlight - Panfried pork and chive dumplings and braised eggplant, and the free green tea.

Where: 8 Quay Street, Haymarket
When: Monday – Sunday: 11am – 10pm

Mr. Wong

Image Credit: Mr Wong

Image Credit: Mr Wong

If there are steady queues for food in Sydney, you can be pretty sure its worth trying, especially when the restaurant is hidden in one of the city’s smaller laneways. Since its opening, Mr. Wong has served some of the best Chinese food in Sydney, including a dim sum selection that goes beyond the standard classics. You can choose from abalone, snow crab and white rice bamboo roll, jade seafood and ku chive dumplings and wild mushroom dumplings. These unusual combinations make Mr. Wong stand out from its competition. 

The decor evokes old Shanghai, with beautiful colonial furnishings that pay homage to its Chinese roots but with a modern twist. The bamboo woven chairs and timber floors expand over two levels and it seats 240, and yet in peak busy times you will still wait for a table. Prices are higher but you can guarantee that it is worth every dollar.

Highlight - Scallop and prawn siu mai, crispy eggplant with fish fragrant sauce and the deep fried vanilla ice-cream with butter scotch sauce. Don’t leave without trying the cocktails. 

Where: 3 Bridge Lane, Sydney
When: Lunch – Monday-Sunday, 12pm-3pm | Dinner – Monday-Wednesday, 5:30pm-11pm | Thursday-Saturday, 5:30pm-12am | Sunday, 5:30pm-10pm

Johnny Wong’s Dumpling Bar

Image Credit: Johnny Wong's Dumpling Bar

Image Credit: Johnny Wong’s Dumpling Bar

Hidden above the popular pub The Standard and below the nightclub Lo-Fi is Johnny Wong’s Dumpling Bar. Hidden in this little nook off Taylor Square, you have to really be looking for the space in order to find it, so you can usually count on getting your food quickly. It only seats 30, so the focus is on fast, fresh dumplings that can be eaten on the go. The assortment of meat, seafood and vegetarian dumplings are served in easy, fast food style paper trays, and the creative cocktails come in tall paper cups with straws and lids. The wall is plastered in Chinese newspapers, an interesting distraction while you wait for your food. 

Prices are generally affordable with six dumplings coming to $8.50, and on ‘Wong Tang Wednesdays’ you can indulge in as many $1 dumplings as you like from 6pm onwards, while listening to old-school rap. The changing salad menu is also worth trying, making a great fresh side to any dumpling meal. Currently the salads are a spicy soy chicken with cucumber, chilli and coriander and a roast duck and grapefruit salad. 

Highlight - Scallop and Shiitake dumplings, BBQ pork buns and fried shallot pancakes. 

Where: 383 Bourke Street, Surry Hills.
When: Wednesday – Sunday: 6pm – late.

Billy’s Dumplings

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Billy’s Dumplings in Surry Hills could be mistaken for one of the small nooks in Sydney’s Chinatown, with its glowing red lanterns and dark wooden benches, and the food here is just as delicious. The focus is on simple, good quality dim sum that is incredibly cheap. You can get 12 dumplings for just $14, choosing from beef, chicken, prawn, vegetarian or pork, as well as a range of pork buns. Once you select the dumpling filling, you can choose how you want them cooked (steamed or fried), and the prices mean you can order enough to keep everyone happy.

If you still have room for more after your feast, Billy’s serves dessert dumplings, with either a steamed coconut bun with red bean filling or a sweet dumpling with crystal jelly in mango sauce with ice cream. The restaurant is perfectly located just ten minutes walk from Gelato Messina on Crown Street, a Sydney favourite. If you aren’t up for eating out, Billy’s also have a takeaway menu to satisfy your dumpling cravings.

Highlight – Pork dumplings, fried noodles and pork meat buns.

Where: 432 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills
When: Monday – Sunday: 11:30am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm

Honourable Mention: Tim Ho Wan

Image Credit: Facebook

Image Credit: Facebook

For those dumpling connoisseurs who have already tried our Top 5, there is a new player in the dumpling game that’s just arrived from Hong Kong. Tim Ho Wan is the cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world, and has opened it’s first outlet outside of Asia in Chatswood and has plans to roll out in Westfield Burwood and then George Street in the CBD. The dim sum institution is famous for its signature big four ‘Heavenly Kings’ – baked pork buns, steamed egg cakes, vermicelli roll with pig’s liver and pan-fried carrot cake. A serious contender on Sydney’s already busy dumpling scene!

 

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If you enjoyed Top 5 Dumplings in Sydney, check out our other Top 5:

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Xplore Sydney Copyright 2015

11 Comments

  1. New shanghai in Ashfield all the way!!

  2. i think the author needs to differentiate between the traditional northern dumplings, ‘jiaozi’ with the cantonese ‘dimsum’ you get from yumcha. Both very different cuisines and in my opinion, should not be generalised or compared conviniently using the word ‘dumpling’. it is equivalent of listing ramen and spaghetti in the same catagory.

  3. Can’t beat New Shanghai for quality and price – as good as DTF imh. And Lotus dumpling in Walsh Bay. There scallop shumai is delicious. Actually they all are but not the value I expect when I go for dim sum.

  4. Best dumplings for the best price around Sydney has to go to ‘Dragon Peking Restaurant’ in Parramatta. Pork and chives $5.50 for 8 and they are amaaaaazing!

  5. I think you guys have made a bit of a mix up with the Noodle House/Restaurant in Chinatown. You only get taken around the back to Chinese Noodle Restaurant if you were lining up for Chinese Noodle Restaurant, not Noodle House. And you have included an image of Chinese Noodle Restaurant in your gallery for Noodle House.

    • Meghna Bali says:

      Hi Ellis, from our experience when lining up for the Chinese Noodle House we were directed to the Chinese Noodle Restaurant as an alternative which had the same food. Also we included an image of the Chinese Noodle Restaurant in the gallery because we had mentioned both in the article and wanted our readers to be able to recognise both.
      Thanks for the feedback!

  6. Maurice Cohen says:

    You should try new Shanghai in chatswood lemon Grove! Awesome

  7. Just a personal opinion but I think this article focusses more on the restaurants and less on the quality of the dumplings. I expect foodies more embedded in the Chinese communty would come up with a very different list.

  8. I thought at least one Hurstville restaurant would be on this list. Taste of Shanghai???

    • I agree. Very CBD-centric (they were really pushing the boundaries with Surry Hills). I would have thought at least one Ashfield or Hurstville dumpling house would have made the list.

  9. Belinda OToole says:

    Awesome

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