Dumplings are my favourite food group. Yes, in my diet, they make up a whole food group of bite-sized, juicy deliciousness within a soft, preferably thin dumpling skin, which is then dipped into a bowl of soy sauce and freshly chopped ginger—oh my, my mouth is already watering.
On my quest to find the perfect dumpling, I've tried many of Melbourne's fine Chinese establishments, but there is one that always has me coming back for more: Shanghai Village.
With an unassuming cream façade and plain green-and-red signage bearing both Chinese and English on Little Bourke Street, Shanghai Village doesn't scream that it is the best—and possibly cheapest—Chinese restaurant in town.
The turnip cakes are light and tasty, the Chinese broccoli is crisp and fresh, but these aren't the reasons why you're here.
Taking the first mouthful of the pork dumplings with chili broth blows my mind. They're soft from the broth but intensified with flavor from waiting for me to begin eating. The chili is quite strong, strong enough that it will knock out any cold you might be catching, but it's worth it for those delicious pork morsels, wrapped tight in their skins.
My complaints would be that at times the standard dumplings can come out a little wetter or soggier than desired, or the closing of the dumpling skins can be rushed. The food is also relatively plain—garnishes are neglected—but for the best Chinese food in Melbourne, I'll take it.