Tag Archives: Xiao Long Bao

Lotus Dumpling Bar, Walsh Bay

002The distressed brick wall look is clearly in this decade. But I like it.  It’s what I notice first when I walk into this new dumpling bar at Walsh Bay across from the theatre, and I look around and there are other nice touches – the huge pots hanging from the ceiling, the quality tableware, a well stocked bar.  Don’t come here expecting cheap and cheerful, superior and sleek are the order of the day at Lotus.  It’s a relatively intimate setting, long and narrow, but the very high ceilings give it a good sense of space.

Definitely bring a few friends, because there will be a lot on the menu you want to try.   The dumplings are dearer than what you’ll find at Mr Wong or New Shanghai, but they are quality. What we ordered:

Prawn dumplings.  These are just fantastic and probably my favourite dumpling of the night, big chunks of prawn and a bit of snow pea.

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Xiao Long Bao – super fine dough and great flavour, though not as soupy as Din Tai Fung.

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Scallop and Pork shumai.  Delicate and like the prawns, great quality seafood.

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Duck Pancakes.  I can never resist these.  Great duck, and bigger than you would expect, but the cucumber slice was probably a little thick.

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Pan Fried Pork Buns – a thicker dough, as you would expect from a pork bun as opposed to a dumpling.  Good flavour and a little soup inside.

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Crispy eggplant with honey and chilli.  This was a surprise to all of us and a great dish, I really liked it.  Extremely crunchy coating, and tender eggplant inside.  If it had some kind of dipping sauce to go with it would take it to whole new level.

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Braised pork in Shanghai style sauce –  a little on the sweet side for me, would have preferred a bit more spice.

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Wok fried green beans with minced pork, very easy to eat.

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While the dumplings are not on the cheap side, if you take out the cocktail we had (each $18) and the dessert (gelato from Gelato Messina), the food was under $35 per person and we were very satisfied (we couldn’t finish our gelato), so overall it is quite good value for an attractive dining environment with friendly service. And if you’re going to the theatre across the road, you could have a quick pre-theatre drink and meal at the bar.

Lotus is a great little addition to the blossoming Sydney dumpling scene, I just wish it was in walking distance from my office!

Lotus Dumpling Bar, 16 Hickson Rd, Dawes Point, Ph (02) 9251 8328
http://www.lotusdumplingbar.com.au

Lotus Dumpling Bar on Urbanspoon

Din Tai Fung, Westfield Sydney

I was always happy to traipse to the other side of town to get to DTF at World Square, after all these are the best Xiao Long Bao in town. The World Square restaurant was such a raging success that the DTF headquarters in Taiwan thought they’d try a Down Under experiment – a little ‘express’ version in a food court with a smaller menu, that even offered takeaway (There is also one at Star City). Right in the centre of town in the Westfield food court, this means I can just go more often and get my favourites. The best thing to do is go with a couple of friends then you can order a handful of dishes to try and still eat quite cheaply.

The queue is generally huge but the crowd of XLB worker bees churn them out quickly and there is never a long wait. Tick what you want on your order form and hand it over, or order with the cashier. When your buzzer goes off, grab your tray and find a table. Easy!

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Ah the XLBs. One of the things Din Tai Fung rests its cap on is consistency – and these are consistently good. The dumpling dough is super fine, and the hot soup explodes when you bite in.

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Shrimp and pork jiao ze – a close second.

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I also hardly ever go past their green beans and mince pork.

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And for a bit of spice, shrimp and pork wonton noodle with spicy sauce.

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A great and quick relatively cheap eat!

Din Tai Fung, Westfield, Level 5, Pitt St, open 7 days

Din Tai Fung Dumpling Bar on Urbanspoon

Din Tai Fung on Urbanspoon