FINDING a good dim sum bar outside of Northbridge and East Vic Park has always been a challenge.
There’s the odd place that’s got them on the menu, but not many specialise.
Thankfully I was walking through Leederville on Tuesday and spotted My House Dumpling, a fairly large eatery which sounded like it had been named by Yoda.
Situated on the Oxford Street strip, I was worried it was a chain or some impersonal franchise, but my fears were allayed when an old maître d’ welcomed me inside with a warm smile.
He then placed down a tablet on my table and explained how to order using the touch screen.
It seems physical menus and waiting staff could soon be a novelty as more and more restaurants adopt a system where you order via a device from your table.
It’s a scary scenario for hospitality staff and social interaction in general, but I’ll leave that for another time.
The menu had a nice range of steamed, boiled and fried dumplings, classic Asian mains, noodle soups and desserts.
I liked how there were different quantities of dumplings available (3 pieces upwards) catering for Billy-no-mates to large groups.
My House Dumpling was also licensed and had a nice range of oriental teas and soft drinks.
After pressing a few buttons on the tablet and hitting “Send order to kitchen” it wasn’t long before the waiter was back with my dumpling feast.
Plumes of steam rose upwards as the waiter theatrically lifted the lids on the bamboo baskets; a clear indication these bad boys were freshly made.
The standout was the steamed Xiao Long Bao ($13.80) which were filled with beautifully sweet crab meat and finely ground, juicy pork.
It was a delicious combo in a dainty, pretty-looking casing.
These were on the “Judy’s Favourite” section of the menu and after a few mouthfuls I could understand why – moreish and utterly delicious.
If the Xiao Long Bao were refined and petite, the steamed prawn and chive dumplings (3 for $9.80) were the super heavyweights of the menu.
These were seriously big and crammed with large chunks of fleshy prawn and a generous helping of chives.
I normally don’t get the dumplings with gelatinous casings, but these were perfectly cooked and didn’t stick to the wrapper in the bamboo steamer when you picked them up or fall apart because they had been steamed for too long.
It was great execution and there was a lovely fishy kick from the prawns, which were good quality.
The Taiwanese eatery was pretty busy on Tuesday lunchtime, and from my window seat I had a nice view of Oxford Street, where an entertaining kaleidoscope of people passed-by, including a man wearing purple bell bottoms.
I was soon devouring my favourite steamed dumplings – siu mai (4 for $9.80).
These didn’t disappointment with high quality minced pork (no gristle) encased in that trademark soft wonton wrapper.
Again these specimens were pretty big and I struggled to finish off my lunchtime feast, so beware if you’re eating on your lonesome.
The service was excellent throughout, with the staff smiling as they promptly brought out the food.
I was pleasantly surprised by My House Dumpling, as given the restaurant’s size and location I had anticipated a mediocre meal, but it was excellent and great value.
The restaurant sits in the Twilight Zone between fine dining and a chain, providing a great option for you dumpling fix in Leederville.
My House Dumpling
140 Oxford St, Leederville
by STEPHEN POLLOCK