The last stop on our unexpected progressive dinner in Auckland. We took a taxi up Queen Street to Newton, following a recommendation from one of the guys at The White Lady.
There were just two occupied tables in Top Cafe. One, a Chinese couple too busy chewing to waste time talking. The other, staff members eating their dinner, as we discovered when one of the women pointedly put down her chopsticks to take our order and slap a pot of tea and cups on our table. We’d walked innocently into the Surly House of Dumplings and crossed our fingers they’d be worth it.
The standard order is 20 homemade, handmade steamed dumplings for NZ$9.80. It’s 20 dumplings or nothing, so bring a friend or two to help you eat them. The dumplings are lumpy, plumpy and slightly sticky. We chose 20 boiled pork and Chinese cabbage dumplings. We took one look at the steaming plate and knew we’d struggle to get through them all.
Besides dumplings and steamed buns, you can get more home-style dishes such as braised pig trotters, braised pork ear or hot spicy tripe for entree, casseroles (spareribs, beef, meatball, sliced lamb or seafood and tofu) or noodles. This is food Chinese uncles and aunties eat.
The dumplings were good, but my favourite are still Din Tai Fung‘s soup dumplings. We were defeated but couldn’t bear the thought of leaving dumplings behind and so (ambitiously) asked for a takeaway container to take the leftovers back to the hotel. This felt like very inappropriate behaviour for guests in a 5-star hotel.
Not even 24 hours later, as I tucked into my sesame crusted prawns with green tea noodles on our Air New Zealand flight home, I remembered with a jolt – the Styrofoam container of leftover dumplings. We’d left it in the fridge in our room at The Langham. Apologies to Housekeeping, though I’m sure there have been more strange and ghastly things left in hotel room fridges.
7/30 Upper Queen Street, Newton
Auckland, New Zealand
Telephone 64 9 309 6863
Open Monday to Friday 11am to 11pm
Sunday 5pm to 11pm
Auckland and Waiheke Island trip – blog series
We had a brilliant holiday in Auckland earlier this year. There is still more to come from the trip.
Posted so far (in reading order):
- New Zealand trip – sneak peek
- The Big Foody Auckland Tastebud Tour
- El Faro, Elliott Stables, Auckland
- Takapuna Beach Cafe, Auckland and ferry ride to Devonport
- The Kapiti Store, Auckland
- Food Alley, Auckland
- Waiheke Island: Le Chalet Apartments and The Oyster Inn
- Waiheke Island tour with See Waiheke
- Scenes from Waiheke Island
- No.1 Pancake, Auckland
- Tiffin Afternoon Tea at The Langham Auckland
- Imperial Lane hotdog, Auckland – last dinner in Auckland, part 1
- The White Lady, Auckland – last dinner in Auckland, part 2
- Top Cafe dumplings, Newtown – last dinner in Auckland, part 3 (this post)
This trip to Auckland and Waiheke Island, New Zealand was planned by Jac and me. We paid for all meals, accommodation and activities; the exception was 1 x return premium economy flight Perth to Auckland, which I received at an Air New Zealand launch event last year. Everything I blog about the trip is based on our experiences and all opinions are ours.