Dining Out: Dumpling King, Box Hill

by April@MyFoodTrail on May 17, 2009

in Box Hill, BYO Place, Cheap Eats, Chinese, Dining Out

Dumpling King
572 Station Street, Box Hill VIC
(03) 9890 3719

Cuisine: Chinese (Peking, Shanghai & Szechuan)
BYO: Yes, wine only
Price: Dumplings less than $9, Noodles around $10
Parking: Street parking around area, shopping centre carpark across the road

We don’t venture to Box Hill often, only once or twice a year. We really should visit more often considering the vast number of eateries here and it’s not really that far away.

We planned to do a big Chinese grocery and market shop in Box Hill, but not before we fuelled up with some lunch. We decided to try Dumpling King on Station Street since neither of us had been before.

The outside looks uninviting – the blinds are down and the place looks closed. There is nothing to entice you to eat there. When we venture inside, the restaurant is close to empty but it didn’t take long to fill up.

Given the name of the restaurant is Dumpling King, we thought we better try a couple of their dumplings. First up was the steamed Shanghai dumplings (xiao long bao). These are proudly labelled on the menu as an “Award Winning Dish”. A good xiao long bao should have a soft, silky skin, easily bitten into to slurp out the soup, before finishing off with the tender pork filling.

Steamed Shanghai dumplings – pork & soup fillings 5 pieces $5.80

These particular dumplings were under par. I found the skin too thick, there was only a few droplets of soup and the pork filling was average.

Next came the potstickers / gyozas / pan fried dumplings. They looked very yummy, but on closer inspection, the plate was covered in oil. I know they are fried in oil, but I don’t need it transferred to my plate! Again I found the dumpling skin too thick and in these ones, there was hardly any filling. The meat filling only filled up about 1/2 to 3/4 of the dumpling. The filling was also way too “chive-y” for my liking.

Pan fried Beijing style dumplings – pork & Chinese leeks 10 pieces $8.80

Our last dish was the Shanghai style fried thick rice noodles. It was only after the dish arrived that I realised that thick rice noodles meant rice cakes! Most places that serve Shanghai rice cakes leave them white and quite bland tasting so my hubby has never been a fan. I think the gluggy texture of the rice cakes also puts him off.

Shanghai style fried thick rice noodles – sliced special made thick rice noodles,
chinese cabbage & shredded pork $9.80

When the noodles were placed on the table, I was thinking uh oh, hubby’s not going to be happy, but surprisingly he really enjoyed it! The noodles were cooked in a tasty dark sauce and the rice cakes were not too chewy.

I was leaning towards not returning to Dumpling King since they can’t get their “Award Winning Dishes” right but upon observing the (Chinese) owner / managers behaviour, I don’t think I’ll be back.

I found it mildly insulting that the owner/manager seems to favour Westerners, a conclusion I came to by his big hellos and welcome, and the personalised service he gave any non-Asian customers. Maybe that is where the majority of his business comes from, or maybe he thinks Asians are easy to please? It is no secret that cheap eats Asian places have a notorious reputation for bad service, but hey, I accept that and go solely for the food. This sort of selective service though…

Over & Out, Rilsta xx

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