Tuesday, August 13, 2013

On the cheap - Dumpling House

Sometimes it's good to target a place for a cheap eat where you can enjoy a meal and catch up with friends for minimal cost, or maybe buy decent, reasonably priced takeaways for everyone to tuck into at home. The Dumpling House in Claudelands village has helped out for these purposes since it opened about a year ago, and various dishes have been ferried back to our place since then. The generous servings of steamed dumplings are good for a crowd. Depending on what flavours you order, you get 20 plump dumplings for $10 to $12. The premises aren't flash for eating in - plastic chairs and metal-topped tables - and it's unlicensed, but the food is good and there are dishes not seen on the average Chinese takeaway menu, such as hotpot of snapper head and tofu, oxtails and vegetable hotpot, braised beef tendon, pig's intestine hotpot and pork and seaweed. A few ready-to-eat dishes are available in the warming cabinet, but most are ordered from the whiteboard menu. It seems to me that this menu has (thankfully) not been reinvented for Western tastes. The family who run the Dumpling House are from northern China and last Friday night when my friend Nicola and I called in for dinner, we were greeted warmly, even though it looked as if they were getting ready to close. Yes, they said, we could have a sit-down dinner, no problem. Steamed dumplings are a must here, so we shared an order of my favourites with lamb and carrot filling. Nicola chose another of my favourites for her solo dish, dumplings in hot and spicy chicken soup, and I had meatball and vegetable hotpot. Our dumplings were delicious, the wrappers silky and tender, the lamb and carrot filling delicate and delicious, and there were sides of chilli sauce and garlic and soy sauce to pep things up. The dumplings, which I guess we'd envisaged as a starter, arrived after our other dishes, so we just skipped between everything. My beef meatballs had a lovely hit of ginger, the broth was laden with glass noodles, neatly chopped carrots and Chinese cabbage. Nicola was similarly pleased with her spicy, fragrant soup, rich with dumplings, vegetables and flavour. Both dishes were piping hot and generous. We enjoyed a happy hour of food and conversation, split the bill of $30, and departed with a package of leftover dumplings that we couldn't make room for. You can't do better than that for a cheap eat. THE WRAP What: Dumpling House, 698 Grey St, Claudelands, Hamilton, ph 07 855 8968. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 8pm or thereabouts. Closed Mondays. Food: Chinese dumplings, stews, noodle soups, hotpots and more. Most dishes $10 to $12. Service: Friendly. Sometimes a few language difficulties, but there always seems to be someone who sorts things out. Bonus: Home cooking from China. - © Fairfax NZ News DENISE IRVINE Last updated 14:14 21/05/2012 http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/life-style/food/6959436/On-the-cheap-Dumpling-House

No comments: