It is very rare that I get a chance to meet up with TimmyC for lunch during the work week but we made a date and I suggested dumplings (outside of a Tuesday!), I used this opportunity to meet him at the Chinese Kitchen Dumpling House as we have not been since their renovation.
I was running a little late as every man and his dog decided to also go to Woden Westfield and circulate around the car park during Friday lunch time. TimmyC chose a table on the outside which I preferred for photo lighting reasons, the inside decor looked very ‘old world Chinese’ but a little dark, crowded and noisy.The wait for service didn’t take long (it probably took longer to decide what to order) and after we ordered, drinks promptly followed. The first serving timing was super fast! Our rice with two BBQed meats was the first to arrive. It would have been annoying if two people who weren’t sharing the meal received their meals with such a time difference (we had almost finished the rice before the first set of dumplings came out), but we did request that whatever food was ready for it to come out ASAP. Two mixed BBQ plate with rice (Roast Pork and BBQ duck). I like this combination as it allows you to pick your favourite two BBQed meats accompanied with rice and some vegetables. I love eating the rice with the sweet soy sauce that usually comes with BBQed meats. I really liked their BBQed duck, after all Chinese Kitchen has been doing this for years so I knew they had their skills down pat, it was just a bit disappointing that the roast pork pieces are chopped so small, I don’t know if it is to give the illusion to make it look like more.Pan fried pork and chives dumplings (15 pieces $13.80). I knew the dumplings would be small so I had no qualms that we couldn’t finish it between the both of us. They came out super hot which was not great for my over enthusiastic mouth. I really liked their crispy pan-fried bottoms but I think I prefer my dumplings to be bigger.Shang Hai steamed pork bun (10 pieces $14.80). The steamed pork buns were not perfect but definitely in the top few that I’ve had in Canberra. It also came out very hot but because there is a little ‘soup’ that develops inside it, it probably burns you even more. The meat filling tasted okay although I think you could never go wrong with pork. I had to ask for soy sauce and vinegar which confused me a little as it is essential to dumpling eating, although I was disappointed when the vinegar had the colour of Apple cider vinegar when it should look red, so I stuck with the soy sauce for my dipping. I also would have preferred a Chinese spoon to eat these properly.The trick is to nibble an air hole to allow the dumpling to cool a little before consumption but all without losing the essential ‘soup’ inside, hence why a Chinese spoon would have been handy.I didn’t get to try much from the menu but I tried the essentials: bbqed meats which was always their specialty before the refurbishment and also their dumplings which is something new to them and they have concentrated more on after finding the demand was high in Canberra. I thought the service was fast and attentive before we received all our food, but if you wanted anything else after that (like sauce or spoons), you really had to wave your arm off before someone would come and attend to you.
Venue: Chinese Kitchen Dumpling House
Address: Corinna St Woden, ACT 2606
Phone: 02 6260 4888