ShanDong Mama, Melbourne
I visited ShanDong MaMa on a tip from one of my lovely followers, Felicia. I found it nestled away in the heart of the city in a little arcade I’d never noticed (that’s what I love about Melbourne – you may have lived there your whole life, but there will always be something new to discover!), which was literally wall-to-wall Asian restaurants. And they were all busy, on a Thursday night, which meant they must have all been pretty damn good!
We decided to order the boiled fish (mackerel) dumplings (10 pieces for $15), the fried pork dumplings (10 pieces for $10), and the scallion pancakes (2 for $7.50).
First up, the signature mackerel dumplings (with ginger, chives and coriander, made into a mousse-like filling); honestly, I didn’t think they were all that special, I found them a little bland..
The pan fried pork dumplings (coriander, black fungus, cabbage and dried shrimp) were pretty good, but nothing special. They were not your standard dumpling in that they came out looking like little mini pan fried upside down tacos – they were tasty, but I’ve had better.
The huge surprise and by far the stand out of the meal were the scallion pancakes – holy wow these were good!!! I usually enjoy the crispy, traditionally shaped round pancakes you get at Asian restaurants, but I wasn’t expecting them to come out the way they did, all stringy and what not! They were perfectly golden and crisp, and tasted absolutely amazing – I’d go back just to order them again, they were THAT good.
Melbourne has some pretty amazing dumplings on offer and I didn’t think these really made the cut, but those pancakes will be reason enough for me to visit again. Wouldn’t mind trying some of the main meals too now after that unexpectedly pleasant surprise!