Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ShanDong MaMa

Say whaaaaaat? Another dumpling place that YOU JUST HAVE TO GO TO? Yep, the rumours are true, and unlike my usual form of lazily posting about something weeks later, I just couldn't wait to shout out from the rooftops about this spot.

ShanDong MaMa

Shop 7, 200 Bourke St (Mid City Arcade)
Phone: (03) 9560 3818
Open: Monday - Saturday 12-9pm

Check out their facebook for the menu
BYO - Coming soon (in a couple of weeks)

 Shandong Mama on Urbanspoon

I was alerted to ShanDong MaMa's existence by Jetsetting Joyce's HOT tip on the tweet reel last weekend. Having an interlude between festivities at Sugar Mountain, Weazelby, LeBrown and I decided to have a cheeky little dumpling nosh before heading back. Nestled within the student food hovel Mid City Arcade (home of pork chop favourite Pancake Dessert House see here), you could easily mistake ShanDong MaMa for just another so-so pan-asian food spot. Take a closer look at the menu and your tastebuds will start quivering in seconds...

First up a choice from 'Little MaMa Plates', the housemade pork sausage. We were all expecting a fried lup cheong dish, so were a tad cautious when cold cured sausage came out. This was sensational - heavily spiced with a secret 7 spice mix no doubt. I could pick up star anise, fennel and clove.

Homemade pork sausage ($6.80)

The must-have dumpling item for me were the boiled Mackerel and chive stuffed fish dumplings. I don't think I have ever seen fish dumplings at a dumpling house in Melbourne to date - and these didn't disappoint. Plush full of chive and coriander studded mackerel paste (don't be deceived by their beige clothing) these slippery suckers are hard to stop eating. I was surprised how mild flavoured they were, expecting fishy intensity from the mackerel. If you are into food porn, check out this enticing video ShanDong MaMa has uploaded. Is that the famous MaMa I wonder?

 Fish Dumplings (Mackerel)- 10 to a serve ($14.80)

Pornographic close up

My dining comrades were a little less taken with them than I, having grown up devouring fish balls, fish tofu, fish paste stuffed everything.. my tastebuds are more partial to such offerings. LeBrown ordered the chicken and ginger panfried dumplings (chicken..so white boy). Well my stupid assumptions were ..stupid..as these were brilliant. Folded with open ends (like a cannoli) and boiled prior to pan frying, the dumplings had a toothsome crunchy outer skin. They definitely upped the flavour stakes with a generous mix of ginger, black fungus, and dried shrimp. The menu also listed Shepherd's purse herb (*cough* I'll restrain myself) which I had to wikipedia - useful for chronic uterine bleeding disorders and eczema FYI.  Take home message - THESE WERE VERY GOOD, and I don't usually like chicken mince anything!

 Pan fried chicken and ginger dumplings 12 to a serve ($9.80)

Last up, the homemade noodles with prawns, pork, shredded cucumber and coriander in bean paste. This was probably my least favourite out of the dishes, but in saying that it was still dayum tasty. With everything mixed through and a dash of chilli oil, this is a pretty good summer dish - cool cucumber & carrot offsetting the rich bean paste and pork. The prawns were a bit of a non-event, but the noodles were great - soft and bouncy, the kind of texture I dream of when I'm hungover and want to guzzle spag bol without chewing for too long. I'm probably not selling it now - it is worth trying - but second to the dumplings in my opinion.

Homemade noodles with prawns, pork, shredded cucumber and coriander in bean paste ($10.80)

So head down to ShanDong MaMa before it gets too busy, I'm predicting it's going to be quite the hotspot - and to be honest it's so refreshing to have a new *best* dumpling spot touted that doesn't have those ever present Xiao Long Bao's on the menu. I'm especially looking forward to returning when the liquor license comes through, a beer with those dumplings will complete my experience!

*HOT TIP* Do NOT return to a music festival post dumplings and think you can get away with chive burps 


  1. you are an excellent blogger......wish my bf were as interested in experiments as me/yours

    1. haha ooh you flatter me ! I'm a feeder so even if someone thinks they wont experiment with food I will eventually coerce them into eating it. Try brute tactics :D