We all know the particular craving that, when it hits, only a plate of steaming dumplings will satisfy. Moreish and comforting, these warming parcels of goodness are especially high on our list now that winter is no longer coming – it’s here. While Dominion Road is, arguably, home of the dumpling, there are plenty of highly recommended options city-wide for your convenience. From cheap and cheerful to culinary excellence, Auckland’s dumpling scene encompasses the full spectrum of tradition and fusion. Our only advice? Go with an appetite.
Prepare yourself for a blissful dumpling experience, because with these refined and exceptionally tasty specimens it’s impossible to stop at just a few. Huami’s elevated treats — think xo chilli ‘siew mai’ shrimp with chicken or the steamed truffle and prawn variety — bring a delicious taste of Shanghai right to our doorstep.
SkyCity 87 Federal Street, Auckland CBD
Wang Wang Spring Pancake
This place is one of Dominion Road’s hidden gems and hasn’t failed us yet. Wang Wang Pancake specialises in pancake wraps, similar to the ones used for Peking duck, however the pork and pickled cabbage dumplings are also a must-order. On the side we highly recommend the shredded potato salad, which is the perfect vinegary accompaniment to savoury dumplings.
704 Dominion Rd, Mount Eden
The Rolling Pin
Instead of the usual pork and chive, The Rolling Pin offers slightly more enticing options such as Penang pulled beef with sweet sambal, vegan tofu shiitake mushroom with pumpkin, bok choy and cabbage and our favourite, the Tsingtao spicy pulled pork. The slow-cooked pork has been infused in Tsingtao beer to lend a more savoury flavour and is marinated in a spicy Sichuan broad bean chilli paste for an extra kick. The slaw on top adds an element of freshness and crunch while finishing off the meal perfectly.
G04/141 Pakenham St West, Wynyard Quarter
Mr. Zhou’s Dumplings
If you’re after a dumpling fix but want to dodge the usual Dominion Road crowds, go to Mr. Zhou’s. Owned by Bin Zhou, the original mastermind behind Dominion Road dumpling hangout New Flavour, Mr. Zhou’s dumplings are made fresh in-house daily, and the menu boasts a variety of vegetable, seafood and meaty options to choose from. The pork and chive dumplings are well worth topping your order, closely followed by servings of bok choy with mashed garlic and the stir-fried shredded potato with hot chilli.
3130 Great North Rd, New Lynn
Jolin Shanghai Restaurant
There are dumplings and then there are soup dumplings, otherwise referred to as xiaolongbao. Restaurants that serve this delicacy are hard to find in this city due to the fact that making them requires a high level of skill. Filled with rich meat soup, usually made from pork, the little xiaolongbao pockets from Jolin Shanghai are freshly made to order and boast thicker skins than traditional soup dumplings, imbuing them with a chewier texture.
248 Dominion Road, Mount Eden
Grand Harbour Chinese & Seafood Restaurant
If you have a craving for Sunday morning dumplings, look no further than Grand Harbour Chinese & Seafood Restaurant. This place is an institution and has been doing a service, not only for introducing yum cha to the mainstream but also for providing Chinese-New Zealanders with an authentic taste of Chinese cuisine. Grand Harbour is rightfully renowned for the freshness of its dim sum.
Cnr Pakenham St & Custom St West, Viaduct Harbour
The Gyoza Bar
Bringing an authentic gyoza experience to Auckland, these half-moon structured versions are soft and crunchy in equal measure thanks to being fried on the bottom and steam-cooked on the top. A thin film of casing makes them a touch lighter than traditional dumplings, while still encompassing the doughy goodness we know and love.
Shop C 171 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby
Enclosed within soft and silky films of dough, the dumplings from Azabu are a luxurious treat like no other. The spicy pork gyoza come with a jalapeño, ginger and yuzu pepper dressing while the Black Tiger Prawn dumplings are another must-order.
26 Ponsonby Rd, Grey Lynn
The Blue Breeze Inn
Experts in mouth-watering Asian cuisine, it’s no wonder that the dumplings from The Blue Breeze Inn are deliciousness personified. The steamed pork and black truffle soup variations are enough to turn anyone erring on the unfavourable side into a bona fide, dumpling fanatic. Experienced punters will know to wait a minute to let the soup within cool before devouring.
146 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby Central
While the North Shore’s Basu Lounge is known for taking dan dan noodles to new heights, dumplings are also a speciality. The freshness is evident in each and every made-to-order morsel – our perfect order is a dan dan noodles and dumplings, to share.
452 Lake Rd, Takapuna
Tianze Dumpling House
A very low-key spot in Sandringham, Tianze is definitely one of Auckland’s hidden gems. Nearly everything on the menu is worth coming for, including the mapo tofu, which is some of the best in town. Talking dumplings, we recommend the cabbage, black fungus and tofu variety, fried. Black fungus might not sound that appetising but just trust us – plus, they’re vegan-friendly.
695 Sandringham Rd, Sandringham
Xuxu Dumpling Bar
Whether opting for classic-with-a-twist via the handcrafted package of beef and pickled radish dumplings, or shaking things up with a glorious mix of fish, sambal and coconut, these gastronomic creations at Xuxu Dumpling Bar have an option for every taste and occasion.
Cnr Galway Street & Commerce Street, Britomart
The perfect place for a lunchtime drop-in or late-night bite, Sumthin Dumplin’s menu is a happy fusion of traditional tastes with a modern twist. On one hand, ‘The OG’ sees the classic combination of pork and cabbage served in an original wrap (which is a soft, fluffy casing similar to the consistency of bread); whereas the Beef & Cheese offers a dumpling incarnation of our beloved meat and cheese pie, as premium beef, onion, mozzarella and parmesan are combined in a surprising blend. Vegetarian and vegan options are, of course, also available.
12 O’Connell Street, Auckland Central
Drawing inspiration from Korean, Japanese and Chinese cuisine, Hello Beasty is where you go when you want your tastebuds to be stimulated and taken on a journey. Each dish offers a complex medley of flavours which are influenced from all across Asia, with a few exciting vegetarian options thrown in there, too. Raw seafood and sashimi aside, it’s the spinach, charred-corn and tofu dumplings that you must order at this restaurant. The aromatic and juicy dumplings burst with sweetness from the corn, which then contrasts with the Japanese black vinegar.
95-97 Customs Street West, Viaduct Harbour