Photographs: David Straight
The hilarious name, a badly translated menu (some of it’s in German?), the picture of Helen Clark circa 1996, and a chance to meet the owner – Grumpy Dumpling Lady – are reasons enough to visit Chinese Dumpling King. Situated next door to the fish market in the Lim Supermarket complex on New North road, it’s cheap eating at its finest.
The owner is wonderfully rude, but will point out recommendations to speed up your ordering. Basically she’ll tell you what you’re having – just roll with it. Most recently we ate lamb and beef dumplings ($8.50 for 20), beautifully savoury, albeit a little dry, shredded pancake with chicken ($8.50) and pork with round bean ($12.00), with sautéed green beans, garlic and pork loin – tender and sweet.
The dumplings are great: thick, flavourful and freshly made by hand each day. Get in early enough and you’ll see the ladies of the house sitting at the back of the restaurant gossiping away while they make them. And you really should try the eggplant with pepper and chilli: sticky, melting pieces of Chinese eggplant, cooked with garlic, carrot and little flecks of Sichuan pepper. Enjoy piping hot while your lips slowly numb. KR
HOURS Monday to Sunday, 11am until 10pm.
ADDRESS 949 New North Road, Auckland, ph 815 3858.
IMPORTANT DETAILS They sell frozen dumplings to take away – $12 for three bags with basic fillings. Be sure to consult the cooking instructions – they’re helpfully stuck to the wall above the freezer.