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[Pictures: David Straight]

There isn’t much to look at here. There are plastic-covered tables, cheap crockery and some very badly photoshopped images of dumplings. The lighting is too bright and the place is family run; service is well-meaning but very patchy and once there was a voluble argument in the kitchen. We can’t work out why it has a Spanish-ish name.

This only adds to the wonder. Such is our obsession with Barilla that we have been known to divert here on the way from the airport for a quick dumpling or 20. We fell in love with New Flavour some years back; our affections have been sorely tested by the newcomer. Because the dumplings here are something else entirely.

They are handmade fresh every day by old ladies behind the counter and they come boiled, fried or – holy of holies – steamed, arriving at the table in a giant bamboo steamer. They cost between $9 and $11 for 20.  They are plump, with sensible frills on the top where they’ve been pushed closed, and inside there are genius combinations, along with a little bit of stock – you have to bite in, suck out the stock and then eat the rest in two short bites.

After many visits, we can report that the pork with fennel is a thing of wonder, fragrant with fennel fronds. The lamb with scallion is surprising, if fatty. The beef and celery is truly excellent. Sides are good, but not great – a passable cucumber in sauce ($8), very good greens in garlic ($10). We don’t care, not when we know the pork and fennel is coming. SFG

HOURS Seven days, 11.30am to midnight.

ADDRESS 571 Dominion Road, Balmoral, ph 638-8032.

IMPORTANT DETAILS Parking is awful.






  1. Sam wrote:

    The sides are great! If you haven’t tried the french fried beans you’re missing out.

    Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Permalink
  2. jilly wrote:

    stop sharing all these hidden jems. Keep going to new flavour and its full of hipsters

    Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink
  3. SFG wrote:

    Hipsters deserve dumplings too!

    Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Permalink
  4. SFG wrote:

    Next time! Thanks for the reco.

    Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Permalink
  5. kelv wrote:

    loving minimalist foodie blog, regularly order barilla takeaway dumplings on way home in the evening. my favs: malaysian~ kk/epsom, cantonese~ canton cafe/kingsland, peking duck~ empress garden/herne bay, northern chinese~ Yi Pin Xiang/balmoral, chinese dumplings~ barilla/balmoral, japanese~ nishiki/freemans bay, korean~ faro/lorne street, italian~ spqr, french~ l’assiette, and smooth operators french cafe

    Thursday, November 24, 2011 at 10:52 am | Permalink
  6. CamEron wrote:

    Hi I went to Barilla last night.
    The parking was easy being a public holiday the streets were almost deserted.
    We ordered a steamed pork and fennel dumpling. A couple who arrived 10 minutes after us and got their dumplings a good 10 minutes before us! It took 30 minutes before our order arrived and we were disappointed they were not in a bamboo steamer. The service was unfriendly.
    To top it off, a few hours later, I was projectile vomitting all the pork and fennel dumplings I had eaten. A very unpleasant experience. We will not be returning. It has put me off eating outside for awhile now…
    We love the din tai fung xiao long bao much more.

    Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink
  7. Natalie wrote:

    Has anyone tried taking alcohol? I wonder if they would be okay with byo? I’ve been once and couldn’t tell.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink
  8. SFG wrote:

    Good point Natalie. They don’t have a licence but they usually turn a blind eye if you take some in – just don’t leave it in plain sight.

    Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink
  9. Rags wrote:

    OMG so true Jilly! Always soooo packed now.

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 2:23 am | Permalink
  10. jess wrote:

    have always loved New flavour! BUT it has just got an E rating! yuck. Could possibly be the storeroom/toilet!

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink
  11. SFG wrote:

    Yes, not nice! We hope they sort it out soon. Good to see Barilla has an A there –

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink
  12. Sam Finnemore wrote:

    I would give New Flavour the gong narrowly over Barilla, but between the rating scare and the struggle to get a table these days we haven’t been in a while. Ti Xiang (just reopened on Upper Queen Street) could use some more love in the meantime…

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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