It’s not often that you can find a source of habañero chillies in Australia, and when you find them you clear your diary and make your own jerk seasoning.
Highpoint Shopping Centre, Maribyrnong
(Level 2, near Woolworths)
Phone: 03 9318 1699
Well it’s been all go up in Knifepoint recently, with a swish new wing opening and all manner of fancy stores now available in the Wild West. The lovely new Woolworth’s is handy and well-stocked, and the other food stores in that precinct a great addition to our local shopping options. A macaron shop, a lovely continental deli, a huge fresh fruit and veg store, an Asian supermarket and a pretty decent butcher’s. It’s all good.
Another fantastic new addition down by Woolie’s is a new branch of Dumplings Plus, that Swanston Street stalwart. It’s always bustling inside and on the takeaway queue. Don’t pay attention to the opening hours mentioned elsewhere: they confirmed themselves on Saturday evening that it’s a 6.30pm close every night except Thursday and Friday when they stay open till 9.30pm for late-night shopping.
All the dumplings are made on the premises, so at busy times be prepared to wait a few minutes. The pork (or vegetarian) dumplings in chilli oil are ridiculously tasty and quite inexpensive at just under $10 for a dozen. The san choi bau are tasty enough but not the very best I’ve tasted in this Shanghai-dumpling-obsessed town. And you only get eight for your ten bucks.
One small downside so far, but nothing major: there are no Chinese bowls so you are confined to a shallow side-dish-type object to mix up your soy/vinegar/chilli sauce combo for your dumplings, or if you plan on sharing plates between a few of you. Weird, not useful for keeping the food hot and pointless if using chopsticks.
It’s worth coming back again and again for dumplings alone, but Orlando has his eye on a few other non-dumpling treats when next we visit. Further reports to follow.