Dill-licious Dumplings – ShanDong Mama

Dumplings, I’ve grown up eating them :) On my Dad’s side our family originated from Shanghai so we eat dumplings like Xiao Long Bao, probably one of the most known dumplings ~ But technically they’re supposed to be little buns because Bao means buns. While on my Mum’s side they’re from the Canton reason so the dumpling they eat are more like dimsims and Shu Mai are definitely my number 1 favourite!

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But I’ve actually never heard of Shan Dong dumplings, and didn’t know that they had their own version of dumplings ~ I first heard about Shan Dong Mama from Ms I-Hua’s blog post about them a few months back and have been dying to go. Laziness got the best of me, because Shan Dong Mama is in the shopping centre in China town, parking is a nightmare and I try to avoid that area at all costs :P

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Finally a few weeks ago, we so happened to be in the city catching up with Yue and they once again came to me for suggestions and I immediately said “ShanDong Mama”, especially since they were driving hahaha I called up before but was told that they didn’t take bookings.

Fortunately, they weren’t too busy on a Friday night and we immediately got a table. If you’re a frequent guest of Chinese restaurants you will immediately recognise the bright lights, brown tables and chairs and also super quick service at ShanDong Mama hahaha it’s all about serving customers efficiently so they’ll eat and leave :D

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We flicked through the menu and found a good range of dishes and not just dumplings, it also offered side dishes, snacks, rice and noodle dishes but of course no dessert :( We had a bit of a laugh at when we saw this ‘translation’ on the menu ‘Yuro’ and ‘Daryl’, we suspect it’s because it’s too hard for people to pronounce the Chinese translations.

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As an appetizer we ordered the homemade smoked spiced fish, it’s a dish that my grandma makes at home all the time, but I know there are many versions of it and uses different types of fish. I’m not really sure what fish this was but for $8, we thought it was a very generous serving. If you haven’t had Chinese smoked fish before, the fish pieces are marinated in Chinese spice such as ginger, Chinese rice wine, soy sauce, star anise and then deep fried in peanut oil. It is then tossed in sticky sweet sauce very similar to those used for the marinade :) This one didn’t feel like it was deep fried instead it was pan fried then covered in sauce. Either way it was quite good, even though Mr Bao thought the sauce was a little sweet.

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Initially we wanted the Daryl, but they had sold out so we opted for the Yuro. Still a good choice, with noodles and fish pieces and lightly scrambled eggs through a thick sauce that they called gravy ~ We really liked the flavour of the fish and the chewiness from the black fungus. The gravy was quite thick and I think we would’ve preferred if it was thinner and more like a noodle soup dish instead.

Melbourne Dumplings $13.8 - Diced seafood and chicken mince lemon rind olive oil parsley and garlic

Melbourne Dumplings $13.8 – Diced seafood and chicken mince lemon rind olive oil parsley and garlic

Wanting to try both steamed and pan-fried dumplings, we started off with the Melbourne Dumplings steamed. I was very curious to what filling it will have and how will it reflect ‘Melbourne’ :D Turns out it was a combination of diced seafood, chicken mince with lemon zest, olive oil, parsley and garlic. I liked the diced seafood with prawns, calamari, mussels fish and also chicken but I found the lemon zest and parsley to be a little out of place but still tasted nice.

Dill-icious Pork Fried Dumplings $12.8 - finely chopped pork mince and fresh dill, spring onions, ginger, dried shrimps and a dash of sesame oil for extra flavour

Dill-icious Pork Fried Dumplings $12.8 – finely chopped pork mince and fresh dil

Another funny name for dumplings the ‘Dill-icious’ pork fried dumplings hehe the filling had pork mince, fresh dill, spring onions, ginger, dried shrimps and a sesame oil. The dill really gave the dumplings extra flavour along with the dried shrimps and sesame oil, was the favourite dumplings of the night.

Prawn, Black fungus and chives dumpling $12.8

Prawn, Black fungus and chives dumpling $12.8

We also tried the prawn, black fungus and chives dumplings, it tasted a little similar to the Dill-licious dumplings, we liked the black fungus and the replacement of dill with chives instead ~

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Left – Prawn dumplings Right – Dill-licious Pork Dumplings

Both dumplings looked very similar so thought I’ll take a photo of them both together to show you what the filling looks like inside ~ The dumpling skin was a good consistency and not too thick, I also liked the  crispy bottom.

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That sums our my first experience trying Shan Dong dumplings and it was great ~ We all really enjoyed the dumplings here. I also agree with I-Hua that because there was so much flavour in the dumplings itself, unlike Shanghainese dumplings, we didn’t have to use any sauce like vinegar and soy sauce :)

Shandong Mama is definitely worth recommending to those who like dumplings and want to try something a little different :) It’s also a bonus when reasonably priced, with all this food it cost about $22 per person, just don’t forget it’s a cash only restaurant ~

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27 thoughts on “Dill-licious Dumplings – ShanDong Mama

  1. Julie June 7, 2013 at 10:58 am Reply

    I love shandong mama and how different it is to other dumplings places, my must orders are the fried fish dumplings, prawn&fungus steamed, fish gravy noodles and the 8 treasure tea.. :). I had no idea your dad is from Shanghai!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 12, 2013 at 11:52 am Reply

      I can’t believe I wanted so long and didn’t even try the fish dumplings hahaha I clearly didn’t do my research properly :P OOPS! Oh oh oh 8 treasure tea didn’t see that idea damnnnn hehe yup yup Dad’s from Shang hai moved to HK when he was about 5 :)

  2. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella June 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm Reply

    I like that the dumplings seem a bit different from other places! I love dill so I think I’d really like those dumplings :)

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 12, 2013 at 11:54 am Reply

      Definitely put it down on your list next time you’re in Melbourne Lorraine :)

  3. hotlyspiced June 7, 2013 at 1:35 pm Reply

    Daisy I can’t pronounce any Chinese names/words properly at all. I’m a menace in a Chinese restaurant. My Alfie is learning Mandarin and you would think he could be of some use but no, it appears he has learned next to nothing in his two years of classes. If I came to this restaurant I would just have to point to the item I wanted but good on them for coming up with words like ‘Daryl’ – that I can pronounce! xx

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 12, 2013 at 11:55 am Reply

      Awww it’s okay don’t worry, I can’t pronounce anything on the menu either when we’re eating at French restaurant and I bet it’s always amusing for the waiters to just sit there and laugh at me hahahaa :P Mandarin isn’t an easy language, I learned it back in High School and gosh its so hard to remember all the characters ~

  4. Rachel June 7, 2013 at 11:22 pm Reply

    You can never have too many good dumplings… or good dumpling restaurants!
    Will definitely have to try the spiced fish – I’ve heard about it from friends whose mothers or grandmothers have made it also, and I’ve always been curious. :-)

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm Reply

      I agree can never have enough good dumplings hehe :) I think it’s a family tradition for many Chinese families to make their own family version dumplings and then pass the recipe on to their daughters and grand daughters ~ that reminds me, probably a good idea for me to hassle my grandma and ask her to teach me!

  5. Hannah June 8, 2013 at 10:06 am Reply

    The Yuro sounds awesome to me!

  6. theragingcook June 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm Reply

    Mmmmm, packed full of flavour – one thing I wished they had was XLBs!! :D

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 12, 2013 at 12:06 pm Reply

      Tha’ts a good point but they probably wont because they from Shandong and I think only Shanghainese eat XLB? hehe

      • theragingcook June 12, 2013 at 12:14 pm Reply

        Oh yeah good point lol!!! My bad O_o but oh the explosively juicy XLBs mmm mmm :D

  7. libishski June 8, 2013 at 6:11 pm Reply

    Oh I didn’t know your dad’s family was from Shanghai!

    We only had dumplings and noodles when we went but the fish looks great. I did wonder why the hell they served it on a plate that was smaller than the actual fish though… haha.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 12, 2013 at 12:10 pm Reply

      Hahaha i thought I told most people hehe maybe I forgot, Dad’s family moved to HK when he was about 5ish hehe
      Oh oh oh you should try the fish next time you go, I was quite impressed but agree lol a bigger plate would have been good!

  8. gourmetgetaway June 9, 2013 at 3:40 pm Reply

    Wow! They must have been awesome not to need any sauce.

    I have been binging on dumplings and steamed buns since we got back from Malaysia and Singapore .

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 12, 2013 at 12:11 pm Reply

      Yes they were FULL of flavour :) I wasn’t so sure it was true until I tried one for myself and totally understand why no sauce was needed ~

      Hahhaa I think it’s post-holiday depression that’s why we’re eating all those foods that reminds us of our holiday in Asia hehe

      • gourmetgetaway June 17, 2013 at 8:37 am Reply

        Lol! I agree! I have eaten so many dumplings and steamed buns since we came back… But I still want to go on holidays again :/

  9. liannelow June 9, 2013 at 8:14 pm Reply

    I want dumplings!! they all looked so good! hehe definitely want to try Shan Dong Ma Ma soon!! (: DROOLING! haha xx

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 12, 2013 at 12:13 pm Reply

      They’re really good babes :) You definitely should go next time you’re in the city, but I know parking there is a pain and because they don’t take bookings it’s worse…but still worth a try hehe~ xox

  10. Tina @ bitemeshowme June 11, 2013 at 8:29 am Reply

    Dumplings is just one of those things that you will never, ever get sick of. I could eat it at any time of the day, anywhere!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 12, 2013 at 12:17 pm Reply

      Same here :) it’s hard to be sick of them and they are so many different types of filings but my absolute fav would have to be XLBs hehe

  11. Cara @ Gourmet Chick June 11, 2013 at 10:10 pm Reply

    Mmmm love Shandong Mama – especially the Melbourne dumplings. Such a good idea!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 12, 2013 at 12:18 pm Reply

      I really enjoyed Shan Dong Mama too just wished we ordered the fish dumplings hehe but doesn’t matter more excuse to go back hehe ~

  12. Nami | Just One Cookbook June 12, 2013 at 3:41 pm Reply

    We love dumplings and we are always looking for a better restaurant around my neighborhood. We measure mostly based on XLBs. :D Ahh I want to eat these dumplings!

  13. The Hangry Bitch June 16, 2013 at 5:36 pm Reply

    How funny were the Daryl and Yuro translations!!
    I’m glad you finally made it! MUST get the mackeral dumplings next time =)

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 17, 2013 at 10:07 am Reply

      hahaha yessss super funny with the names but probably a good idea because it makes it easier for customers to pronounce ~ had no idea they were famous for their mackeral dumplings #failblogger hehe

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