Lucky Dumpling Narre Warren
Where: 19 Webb St, Narre Warren.
You have heard me lament the sad fact that there are no dumpling restaurants out here in the Outer South-East before.
Well the lament must now come to an end because Lucky Dumpling in Narre Warren has arrived.
I first drove past the restaurant in early 2014 but being the coward that I am, I was not game to eat there until I had read at least one good review of the place. I know, shame on me and my cowardly ways. But, the minute the urban spoon reviews hit 3 thumbs up, I was there. So I am not exactly Captain Cook/ naval explorer material but I am more one of the early settlers. Still pretty adventurous yes?
So in the tradition of most other Aussie dumpling restaurants this place is pretty sparse. We are talking plastic table cloths an rickety chairs. It is also very small. The walls are plain save for a few “Chinese” type red wall hangings and some grubby finger prints.
But, none of this really matters. You do not come here to be treated like royalty. You come here to eat dumplings by the bowl full. I also go to restaurants like this because they suit me and my family. Service is very pragmatic and no one gives you dirty looks when your two year old acts ridiculous (assuming you stop them as soon as humanly possible). You want a drink? No worries, they will get you one when they are ready. There needs to be some kind of tacit agreement that not much is offered and not much is asked. But we will all do our best!
Now to the food.
I am an expert (of sorts). I have eaten the good, the bad, the bouncy and the unhygienic. My dumpling career started many moons ago at the Dumpling King in Box Hill and has progressed to Hutong Dumpling Bar in the City (must try) and Noodle Kingdom in Preston (reliably great). I also frequently make my own and once had lessons in exactly that at a Chinese New Year celebration. If you think it is weird that I am so proud of this, then you are probably right. 🙂
The dumplings at Lucky House in Narre Warren are just a bit better than average. They do not bounce! tick. They are not one congealed lump of foreignness! tick. They have flavours other than cheap pork! tick. The skins are a little thicker than I like…… (cross?)
The rest of the food at Lucky Dumpling kind of follows along the same lines. Lovely, tasty, some great aspects, some average aspects.
The spring onion pancake is soooo tasty ($4.50). I do have a sneaky suspicion that it is cooked in absurd amounts of unidentified oil and so it is a bit of a love hate relationship. I order it, I am happy, I eat it, I am happy, I think about it, I feel a little bit terrible. Obviously seeing as I am right now at the beginning of the cycle again, I love it! You must eat it! Just don’t blame me for the remorse afterwards.
Notice the little chilli pot? The chilli is very good.
I also ordered the chilli oil dumplings (around $9.00 I think) and a Noodle, pork, soup dish (also around $9.00). It had a tasty stock, some dried mushrooms, shredded capsicum and lovely pieces of whole dried red chill.
The restaurant itself seems to be run by maybe a lovely woman who works front of house and a equally lovely man who is in the kitchen. I know no more than that but is some way this does contribute to the overall vibe of the place so I thought you might like to know!
Lucky Dumpling is not exactly in the “Paris end of town”. In fact I don’t even think it is in the, say, Bachus Marsh end of town. Webb St is an “interesting” part of Narre Warren and while I do dig the eclectic, multi cultural, interesting set of shops there, I do not know that you don’t visit here if you are wanting to show your cousins from overseas that best bits of Melbourne. Or maybe you do? I don’t know. I do know that I have been a little scared there on occasion.
But, the dumplings are worth it, if that is what you feel like eating. The food is cheap and tasty and that really says it all I think. My family and I enjoy eating here in the great ChinTralian tradition. Slurping, talking, eating too much and accidentally poking each other with chop sticks while fighting over the last Shanghai dumpling.