Happy Little Dumplings – A Review

Happy Little Dumplings - James Street There are some cultural hot-spots in our fair city and some equally funky places to eat. Sometimes the two collide, and a nifty little eatery opens up somewhere equally nifty. Enter; Happy Little Dumplings. The James St Happy Little Dumplings store is an outpost of the flagship Bulimba location, and opens from 10am weekdays bringing dumplings and love to the valley residents and workers who so keenly line up out the door. The premise is pretty simple – a selection of various things wrapped in things, aka dumplings, and you simply ask at the counter for your chosen selection before proceeding to attack with a pair of chopsticks. Happy Little Dumplings - James Street On a recent sunny afternoon along with a willing team of trustworthy tasters, I made the short trip into James St, found a park with relative ease, and began to mosey on down to dumpling town. The sky was blue, the weather fair, the retail outlets were funky and overpriced – we were definitely in the right place, and the time for dumplings was nigh. Happy Little Dumplings offers a choice of six or so dumplings featuring pork, poultry and seafood, and then a further four(ish) tasty sounding vegetarian options along with a selection of rice paper rolls. Happy Little Dumplings - James Street Word had spread to me that if I were to taste nothing else, then I must try a HLD pork bun. So we joined the increasingly long line of dumpling-seekers and began the shuffle up towards the counter. The line is definitely long at HLD, but don’t be discouraged as it moves quickly. With a few little tweaks to the system, the line could probably move even MORE quickly, but teething issues are to be expected as the store has not been open for long. The design of HLD at James St is best described as a cross between a Japanese Izakaya and a Hello Kitty store – a long and skinny room, with lots of stools and wood grain, contrasted by bright white and red shiny surfaces, along with the smiling dumplings of the HLD logo. Happy Little Dumplings - James Street Upon examining the décor, there was a brief argument over one of the dumpling tasting party claiming to “invent” the use of astroturf in interior design. Needless to say I disagreed, but we managed to make our peace and move on as we had reached the front of the queue. The deal is 6 dumplings for $11, just about the right serve for lunch, along with one of the famed pork buns at $3. Steal a pot of the complimentary Jasmine tea (is it stealing if something is complimentary?), as well as your desired selection of dipping sauces (soy sauce and chilli sauce for me) and retire to a table to commence feasting. Happy Little Dumplings - James Street All I can say is; they weren’t wrong about the pork bun. The filling had juicy pieces of quality pork in a tasty and complex char siu sauce, wrapped about with the soft white dough that I rhapsodised over only recently in my review of The Bun Mobile. I recommend these pork buns heartily, and would gladly come back, order four pork buns and call it a day, but there was more. I also tried the chilli duck dumpling, chilli chicken dumpling, pork shu mai and the pork and chive. The chilli duck dumpling was a real winner, something about the richness of the duck coupled with the heat of the chilli inside the thing dumpling wrapper really worked. My next favourite was the pork shu mai, I’m not 100% on what was actually in there, but it was rich and savoury and very tasty. None of the dumplings disappointed, in fact. So go! Go forth and eat dumplings, and let the battle for dumpling supremacy in Brisbane rage on. Happy Little Dumplings on Urbanspoon

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