A field trip for work is always greeted with enthusiasm, and on this day the boss (aka ‘Our Glorious Leader’, as he’s known by in our office) was appearing in court in Burwood and offered to take us out to lunch afterwards. While he had previously worked in the Burwood area, he’s not much of a foodie and would usually just get a sandwich or salad for lunch. Therefore he was open to any recommendations I had, and with a quick look at Urbanspoon, I directed us to Sydney Dumpling King on the bustling Burwood Road. I’ve never been to (let alone dined in) Burwood before, but with its prevalence of Chinese restaurants, it seemed rather foolish to go for an option that wasn’t remotely Asian. Dumplings always go down well with a crowd, so we decided to try our luck.
Sydney Dumpling King isn’t much to look at in terms of decor. The plastic-stripped entrance is always a deterrence for me (reminds me of fish shops and butchers), but the interior was quite standard of noodle-shops and Asian-style eateries and very clean.
Hot Chinese tea is complimentary, and you have the usual seasonings (black vinegar, soy) available at your disposal, as well as chilli.
I was looking at the menu and was surprised to see that the owners were Taiwanese – little wonder so many items on the menu were familiar to me.
Our Glorious Leader and my other two co-workers told me to order for them – a responsibility that I quite enjoy, but it is quite a big burden as well should you order incorrectly. Unfortunately I didn’t take down the prices of what I had ordered as I knew the menu was available online, but didn’t notice that the prices aren’t available online. However, as you can see from the price of the dumplings, it’s ridiculously cheap with a plate of 15 dumplings ranging from $10 to $15. This place seemed like an absolute gem!
However I decided to start things off with one of my old favourites – the Taiwanese take on roti, being the Vegetarian Chinese Pancake.
Crispy, buttery, savoury and flaky, it could have done with a few slices of spring onion rolled into the dough as per the traditional version, but it was tasty and moreish – best quickly consumed while still warm.
The dumplings took about 15 to 20 minutes to arrive but all arrived at once. I’ve taken innard shots in addition to the full-plate shots because with dumplings, you really can’t judge them based on what they look like outside. Bossy me directed Our Glorious Leader and co-workers to do a proportion of half vinegar to half soy in their little dipping bowls before digging in.
The first to arrive was the Prawn dumplings with eggs, chives and wood ear mushrooms. I had been a bit hesitant about this one with the presence of egg in it, but my worries were unfounded. The eggs were more like little specks of scrambled goodness, which added a creamy consistency to the mixture, which was full of juicy prawns and gloriously-garlicky chives. It was the unanimous favourite out of all of the dumplings.
The flavours in the Pork and Chive were fairly standard, the skins silky and the perfect; not breaking upon contact or chewy in the slightest.
The dumplings that probably could have been better were the Chicken with Mushroom. There was too much white pepper in the mix, and I couldn’t really discern much of the shiitake mushroom. There also seemed to be a lot of vegetables (other than mushrooms) in the mix that tasted a little like carrots and peas. Other than the slightly overwhelming taste of white pepper, it was a little on the bland side.
45 dumplings and a crispy pancake between four of us and the bill would have come to less than $50 all up without a doubt (although Our Glorious Leader generously paid for us) – an absolute bargain. I’ll be looking for an excuse to come to the area just so I can visit this place again! With my mother complaining every time she’s back in Sydney that the Chinese food here is too Westernised – I have finally found the perfect place to take her.
Sydney Dumpling King
183E Burwood Road
Burwood, NSW 2134
(02) 9701 0055