Last night we ventured to a favourite from the old days. Now, admittedly, its not a pub, nor did we partake in $10 steaks or parmas.
But Shanghai Dumpling, located tucked away down Tattersalls Lane off Little Bourke Street, deserves mention for a couple of reasons. It was always a good spot for a cheap feed back in my younger days, and having not been there in a couple of years, I felt it was time to revisit. Plus I haven't been around for a bit so it was also time to report in on the blog, and its the only place I've been since I got back.
Shanghai Dumpling used to be a place where you could squeeze in next to a couple of strangers all sharing a table, tuck in to a plate of dumplings and some chinese broccoli and leave without much fuss to the wallet.
Well, things didn't seem to have changed terribly much.
There has been a little bit of a decor shift - a few more booths in place, the grungy old plastic tea mugs have been replaced with shiny new white ones, and things are slightly rearranged (tea urn at the front of the restaurant instead of tucked down the back, etc) - but nothing alarmingly new to upset the mad, busy place we remembered. I also noticed that corkage has been introduced (different prices depending on whether you bring in a stubbie, a tallie, or a bottle of wine) and a few beers were now available for sale onsite. We figured we'd take advantage of that particular new feature and had a Tiger stubbie from the fridge, for $4.80.
I did note that the chinese broccoli in oyster sauce seems to have bounced its way up the price list to become one of their more expensive dishes, at $9.90. It was as delicious as always, however. A very generous plate of steamed vegetable and mushroom dumplings was $6.50 and a plate of fried pork dumplings was $6.80 - as you may notice, I strongly believe in eating the dumplings at a place with said item included in the name of the joint. We enjoyed the meal, enjoyed our noisy tablemates, and were happy to note that whilst things have had a marginal spit and polish, nothing really seems to have changed much. The only thing I did notice was that the old clientele didn't match the new one. Not so much a mix of everyone you could find in a teaspoon of Melbourne, and more just a bunch of groups of people heading out for the night. I reckon I only saw two students in the whole place which leads me to suspect that Shanghai Dumpling must have a newer, cheaper competitor that this old fogie doesn't know about.
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