- SPONSORED -
Location: 117 Taranaki St (across from Briscoes)
I have a public-service announcement to make: there’s now a dumpling shop opened in Wellington. I’ve long lamented the lack of vegetarian dumplings in this fair city, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out that House of Dumplings had opened on Taranaki St. Being a bit of a dumpling fiend – and having very strong opinions on the best places to bulk-purchase dumplings (it’s Haere Mai, the ones in the orange packet, and they’re nicest when covered with soy sauce and ground cashews, then pan-fried in peanut oil) – I was eager to see if these measured up.
The look of the shop was certainly appealing. Although small, it is decidedly cute. There’s a lot of wood, jam-jars of flowers, and a kitchen-cabinet-type display behind the counter, cluttered quaintly with bottle of sauces, flowers, and pans. It’s everything you want your kitchen to be, but then substantially hipper. It’s fundamentally a takeaway place: don’t go here if you’re looking for something more lingering.
I ordered six dumplings ($2 each) and a scoop of rice ($2): four ‘Japanese Six Mushroom’ ones, then one each of a ‘Spinach Tofu Bok Choi’ and a ‘Red Cabbage and Spiced Potato’, because I love you all and was doing research for you. I definitely enjoyed the mushroom one, although the pastry lost texture quickly. The filling was meaty and tasty, as you expect in a mushroom dumpling. The red cabbage and spiced potato mix was nice, but felt out of place in a dumpling, while the tofu one was too plain for my liking.
I left House of Dumplings with slightly mixed feelings. The shop was cute, and I’m thrilled it’s there. At the same time, I was disappointed by the dumplings themselves, and I felt they weren’t worth their price tag. Still, the place is very new, and has a lot of potential. With more attention to the flavours of the dumplings, and perhaps lowering their prices, they’d have a winner.