Monday, September 8, 2008

Dumplings Plus, Melbourne

Dumplings Plus, 269 Swanston Street Melbourne
9663 8181

*formerly Ye Shanghai Restaurant.

Last sunday my girlfriend had a hankering (i love this word, so please bear with me) for noodles for breakfast, so we went to this restaurant. it's next to the macdonalds on swanston street, and we're picking through the menu slowly. it's gone through a heap of name changes, but really, all you need to know is that they make the dumplings and the noodles on site, and you even get to watch them making them all!

it worked out really well, because i had been trying to find good dan dan mian for a long time now, and it turns out that this restaurant has great dan dan mian. spicy, garlicky, porky, with a generous amount of coriander, i was in heaven. confession time: i am white (and i mean as white as white can be), so spicy food is not my specialty. this dish had me sweating, and making my lips burn, but it was so worth it, i couldn't stop until it was all gone. my girlfriend is malaysian, so she mostly made fun of me!

i'll let the pictures tell the story and then i'll go further on.

xiao long bao, $7.50 for 6.

People making dumplings

fried hand made noodles with pork $9.50.
Szechuan Style Noodles with Minced Pork & Peanut $8.80
(dan dan mian)
another pic of dan dan mian

the girlfriend on drinks duty

the noodles here are very nice, with a great texture and feel to them, no doubt due to being so fresh on site. the xiao long bao are ok, but nothing special. i think that the spicy fish version are better, but that is just me.

just look at the chilli soup of the dan dan mian though! mmm, i love it, just thinking about it now.

the only gripe i have is that they spell sichuan as szechuan. overall, it's cheap and cheerful, and very filling. just right for those lazy days when you don't know what you want!


claire said...

I've been meaning to check out the new incarnation of Ye Shanghai for a while. Thosee dan dan mian look bloody good.

For those of us who are ignorant of such things, can you explain why it should be Sichuan instead of Szechuan? I thought both were commonly used English spelling variants, depending on which English speaking country you come from.

That's nice that your girlfriend doesn't mind pictures of her on your public blog - my friends are generally much more shy!

jamesbluntknife said...

yeah, i recommend it - i have to go back just for the dandan mian.

the diffence is thus: szechuan is (i believe) the cantonese spelling of it. the mandarin is sichuan (it means 4 streams, as the yangtze river joings a couple others).

the way i see it, if a restaurant is shanghainese, it should be spelt in mandarin, not cantonese. i find this with a lot where the food is mainland, but the spelling is not.

i know it's picky, but it's a little touch that i thought would be nice.

my girlfriend might complain, i haven't told her yet lol

Agnes said...

That dan dan mian soup! Wow. Looks amazing.

Duncan | syrupandtang said...

A timely review for me -- I was walking past this place and was excited to see its new form! Thanks for the info.

Regarding the spelling, I have to correct something, sorry. Sichuan and Szechuan are just two Romanisations used for representing Mandarin. The older "Yale" system is what we find in many cookery books (Szechuan). The preferred Romanisation is now "Pinyin", which gives us Sichuan. So although you could perhaps find a restaurant using Cantonese names for non-Cantonese dishes, say, the most common difference you'd usually find is in the choice of spelling system of any given language.


jamesbluntknife said...

well, you're right that i am wrong to start with, but in fact "szechuan" is an obsolete romanisation of "Szu-chuan" under the wade-giles romanisation system.

sichuan uses the pinyin phonetic system.

yale is similar to wade-giles, but was designed by the americans for communicating during WWII.

i guess i naturally assumed that since a lost of words get bastardised into cantonese from madarin, this was one such instance.

regardless, if you go i recommend the dan dan mian - it's the best thing we've found on the menu so far (and one fo the better dan dan mians around).

bunchesmcginty said...

I have a terrible addiction to Szechuan food, especially dan dan mian and hand pulled noodles.

Anonymous said...

Went to this restaurant twice. The second visit, the noodle was overcooked!! VERY DISSAPOINTED it's not consistent how they cook!!!

One of the the waitress was VERY BLOODY RUDE!! we asked for a spare glass and 2 spares bowl to share the food. She only gave 1 bowl with her SOUR face! we then asked we need another one. She said we could just take the other bowl on the table (We dunno how long that bowl's already there and it looked dirty) and with her so-called 'attitude' she said its not dirty and left. WTH!!! we were insulted with that kind of attitude!! No mood to eat because of her!!

If she does not want to serve customer then why in the heck she's still working as a waitress there!! she just need to pack her stuff and go and have herself checked to hospital for her mental problem!!

Owner of restaurant needs to train those waitress behaviour and know how to serve customers NICELY and POLITELY!!!