When Only Dumplings Will Do
Traffic, rain, parking, are simply hurdles to cross. A sane person would say it's too far to go for a mid-week craving; an afficionado can only think: dumplings. Dumplings at the end of the tunnel.
Ashfield is not too far when the craving for Shanghai-style pork dumplings hits. And so to Shanghai Night for a greedy order of xiao long bao, and maybe something else, to prove to the man who couldn't care less that I haven't just driven halfway across Sydney in peak-hour traffic for dumplings alone, five spice beef with dry noodles.
Are these are the king of dumplings? Steamed, fluffy dough, slightly sticky, slightly chewy, with a golden crisp and crunchy bottom. And oh, that first bite! The hot, fragrant broth scalds the inside of your mouth but it's impossible to wait. The broth and pork are delicate, heady with fresh ginger and sesame.
The question is: on their own, or with Chinese vinegar, or maybe a touch of chili? They are so good on their own, but equally addictive with a dab of extras.
The craving hits so bad I justify missing ballet, but it's also thanks to a cloudy, rainy, homey last day of summer that makes me want to tuck myself on the couch and indulge a little.