Mom Dumpling House serves Northeastern Chinese cuisine, which has its origins in the region of China known historically as Manchuria, which is next to Russia and Mongolia. It’s not the Chinese food typically known to most of us in Perth – you’ll have to go elsewhere to get your honey chicken and salt and pepper squid fix.
Red lanterns hang from the ceiling and tasselled ornaments adorn the walls. There’s a music video playing on the wall-mounted television – somewhat incongruously, tonight it’s The Eagles in concert. Only the bigger tables have lazy susans on them but all have soy sauce, vinegar and chilli oil. The clientele are mostly Chinese, bent over their bowls, sucking on noodles, munching on dumplings and slurping up soup. My spectacles are definitely not the only pair that’s getting splashed and fogged up in this room.
We wouldn’t dream of dining at a place called “dumpling house” and not order dumplings! We choose the pork and Chinese cabbage steamed dumplings (AU$11, 12 pcs). They are, pleasingly, handmade – little wrinkly pillows with elastic skins and crinkly edges served in a bamboo steamer basket. There are a number of different dumpling varieties at Mom Dumpling House, including chives, pork and shrimp; pickled cabbage and pork; beef; lamb; and vegetarian.
For our dumpling dipping sauce, I’ve ordered a side of fresh ginger – to which I add soy sauce and vinegar, Din Tai Fung-style. At Mom Dumpling House, the soy sauce, vinegar, chilli oil and garlic are free, but fresh ginger, cut chilli, coriander and sesame dressing are $1 each.
The eggplant, pork mince and brown sauce (AU$13) is cooked with tau cheo, fermented soy bean paste, one of my favourite ingredients since childhood. It’s lip-smackingly good but be warned – it’s salty. You’ll definitely need the rice to help counter the saltiness ($2 per serving, not pictured).
The meatballs and spinach soup (AU$12) is served in a large bowl and comes with a spoon rest rather than a ladle, but it works fine as a big spoon, which is what a ladle is after all. It’s just as well it’s served piping hot – we have to ask twice for two smaller bowls to serve the soup in.
The soup is hearty and comforting. The four meatballs are soft and seasoned well, the spinach silky. As we serve the soup, we discover there’s vermicelli hiding at the bottom of the bowl – excellent!
This is home-style, tasty food that I can imagine eating in a Chinese grandma’s kitchen. Definitely worth a try. The service was friendly but not the most efficient; as well as asking twice for small bowls for the soup, we also needed to remind the staff that we were still waiting on a serving of steamed rice. Those minor hiccups aside, we had a pleasant experience and are keen to return for more Northeastern Chinese cuisine. We’re especially eager to sample more dumplings and soups, and “Honey Twist”, the only dessert on the menu, quite well hidden as it’s listed under the section entitled “Dumpling, Noodle, Rice and Soup”.
Mom Dumpling House is located on the corner of Albany Highway and Kent Street in East Victoria Park, perched on the edge of a roundabout, a couple of shops down from the now permanently closed The Silver Spoon Food and Wine. No sign yet of a new tenant.
Mom Dumpling House
687 Albany Hwy
East Victoria Park, WA 6101
Telephone: (08) 9470 2088
It is BYO, though I am not sure of the charge for this
Chefs of the Margaret River Competition
Australian readers, don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a copy of Chefs of the Margaret River Region (valued at $55) and a $50 breakfast voucher for Morries Anytime. Entries close 12 August. Enter competition
TFP will be away 1-12 August
I will eating and photographing my way around Cambodia and Vietnam. While I’m away, I may not have regular internet access, so I may be ‘quieter’ than normal on Facebook and Twitter, and my email replies and moderation of your comments may take a little longer than usual. Please don’t worry if your comment takes a while to appear. I’m looking forward to sharing my adventures with you when I return.