date of visit: Sat 24 October 2009
I have some friends who are really in to dumplings but for some reason I’ve never asked them where they eat them. I’m prepared to put some money on this being at Dumpling King. That’s because if you mention dumplings in Adelaide then you’ll get at least one person talking about Dumpling King. You even get people saying it’s better than dumplings in Sydney …
The restaurant is pretty hard to miss: it’s on Grote Street, right on the corner of Chinatown AND it has a big red sign. When we visited, about half past three on a Saturday afternoon, right after the market had closed, it wasn’t full but it was busy enough to suggest that at more conventional lunch or dinner times you might have to be a bit lucky to be seated immediately.
But service is swift so I can’t imagine you’d have to wait long. The flip-side of that is that this is not a restaurant for a lengthy, relaxed meal. This is a restaurant where you walk in, order dumplings, eat dumplings and leave. You’ll be lucky if you push that out to an hour …
We walked in, poured ourselves some of the green tea which is on all the tables, and read over the menu. Clearly, many customers are regulars as the waitress asked us if we knew what we wanted as she seated us! It wasn’t long before we’d made a decision: chilli oil dumplings for me, and chicken and prawn steamed dumplings for Andy. My dumplings arrived first: 15 huge dumplings in a bowl of broth laced with chilli oil. A little while later Andy’s plate of 10 equally huge steamed dumplings arrived: just the dumplings, packed on a plate and no adornment.
While I struggled with the size of my dumplings and my chopsticks I was saved by my spoon – able to scoop up the dumplings, wrestle with them a little and then manage to eat them, laced with their chilli broth. Mmmmm.
Andy was eating more elegantly and had discovered the excellent, tasty, but not super fiery, chilli sauce on the table. It was packed with crispy onion! So soon I was adding that to my dumplings too.
Of course there was far too much food, and of course I scoffed it all and then promptly complained that I felt too full.
All we had to pay for our late lunch was around $15. And if you’re so minded you can buy frozen dumplings to take home and cook yourself.
Will we be back? Oh yes!
Contact: Dumpling King, 5/85 Grote St, Adelaide SA 5000, phone: (08) 8212 1886