Dumplings Plus, Level 2, Highpoint
Context is everything …
As Bennie points out, the food we’re enjoying at Dumplings Plus is not necessarily the best Asian tucker we’ve had, but … within the context of Highpoint, it’s nothing short of a sensation.
We’re pretty cool with the whole ambiance of the new additions to Highpoint, particularly when contrasted with the drabness one of us is experiencing at Airport West.
What we have been missing is somewhere to eat in the new food precinct that really sets our hearts thrumming.
Dumplings Plus is it.
While pursuing arts of the martial variety in the city, we’d visited the Swanston St Dumplings Plus several times, so know what to expect in our own backyard.
We are less certain about the wisdom of fronting up for a feed on a Sunday bang on lunch time.
For sure, it’s busy – this is the place’s fourth day and the honeymoon is definitely on.
The queue for takeaway is never less than 10 deep. There’s waiting time, too, for tables – many of them communal – but so great is the turnover that no one seems to be waiting for more than a few minutes to be seated.
Waiting time for food is a different matter, though no problem.
Several of the dumpling options we attempt to order have sold out, and we’re told 10,000 of those we do order had been sold the previous day.
The staff members are coping well, with smiles all round.
Being of keen appetite, we order a couple of starters from the takeaway display to get things moving with immediacy.
Big vegetable curry puffs ($2.50) are superb, with wonderfully rich flaky pastry encasing a mildly spiced potato-based mix.
Sichuan pork noodles are “nice”, opines Bennie.
Heck, I reckon they’re better than that.
I’m unsure if the noodles are hand-made in-house – they seem to be devoid of the irregularities of the strands we enjoyed at the CBD branch – but it doesn’t matter a bit.
Combined with a spicy broth that has enough heat for dad and not too much for lad, there’s green onion, bok choy, pork mince and lots of chopped black Sichuan pickles.
The whole dish has a marvellous and deep smokiness.
Pan-fried pork dumplings ($11.80 for 10) are showing the effects of the restaurant’s fever pitch activity and high turnover – but only in a real nice, rustic way. Disappointingly, like our curry puffs they come served on plastic.
They’re blazing hot on arrival, with bottoms that are both crisped and chewy, tops that are just chewy alone and nice innards of porky mince.
It’s obvious Highpoint’s Dumplings Plus is an immediate hit – like everyone around us, we’ve had a swell time.
And it’s beyond doubt we’ll be back soon.