Dumpling Love @ Shandong Mama, CBD

Melbourne is definitely spoilt when it comes to dumplings.

Being out of the foodie-loop for a while means that I wasn’t even aware that another dumpling joint had opened up a number of weeks ago until Libby suggested ShanDong Mama as a post-work catch/meet-up spot with Winston and Dave.  Poor Daisy was sick so couldn’t make it but there will be next times I’m sure ;).

After walking in the wrong direction (it happens), I found a guy who I assumed was theragingcook aka Dave.  After confirming his identity (lol), we headed in to peruse the menus as the others were running a bit late.

(I unfortunately forgot my camera at home so these are just for the ol’Samsung Galaxy S2)

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No photos of the drinks but you should definitely check out Dave’s 8 Treasure Tea – very pretty but a bit too hot on a warm summer night!

Libby soon arrived and helped out with the orders.  It’s always nice to eat out with fellow foodies coz we’re all on the same wave length about trying a bit of everything :).

None of us had really done our research but we knew dumplings were a must!  It did seem appropriate to have at least one dish of a different variety though.  We decided to try the noodles with shredded port, egg and seasonal vegetables in sesame sauce.

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bittersweet afternoon at Dessert Story, CBD

Lately, the end of a uni semester brings with it mixed emotions.  Though I’m always elated that I don’t have to take an exam or attend classes for the next few months, it also means that my uni days are being numbered.  I’m on the brink of heading out into the real world and I’m not certain what the future will hold.  It also means that I’m saying goodbye to some of the lovely people of whom I’ve crossed paths with during my uni stint.  One of the people I recently sent off was Ms L. who had been on exchange from the US.  I’ve only known her for a short period of time but have loved her warmth, her smile, her faith and her friendship.  So having recovered from the exam period, I set an afternoon tea date with Ms L. before she headed back to the States :).  Since we had both wanted to visit Dessert Story there was no better time than the present…

It was a Saturday afternoon and the Swanston St store was packed.  We quickly grabbed a table as a group left and set about perusing the menu (we later went to the counter to order).

Loved how there were photos of the food but there was too much to choose from!  When it comes to food, I generally have a bad habit of never knowing what to get unless I go on recommendations so thankfully Ms. E was also on hand to help out :).

Really liked the clever bookshelf wallpaper :)

With Ms. E’s help, we chose one of the dishes from the Taro Ball series (~$6.00 from memory and sorry can’t remember which one).

When this arrived, we had to double-check with the waiter that this was indeed what we had ordered.  It looked nothing like the photo in the menu and what Ms. E had ordered previously!  But of course that was because we’d decided to choose the ‘Hot’ version (as opposed to the ‘Cold’ that Ms. E had last time) so most of the taro balls, pearls etc. had sunk to the bottom lol

Here’s some of what was beneath the surface!

This dish was alright, but nothing spectacular.  Moving on…

I really couldn’t pass by these glutenous rice balls!  If my memory serves me well (I really need to start taking notes lol!) the ones in the ginger soup were $5.00 and I decided to mix both sesame and peanut balls :D.

Only issue with having a mix of both is that you can’t work out which one is which… I guess if you’re a fan of surprises it works well but because we were sharing, I wanted to make sure we all got to taste one of each :).

Personally, my favourite was the sesame seed ones.  Not too sweet but full in flavour :).  Just make sure you bite into it slowly or it can burn the tongue!

The last dish came highly recommended by both Ms. E and Fatboo so it was a must-try… and boy, am I glad we did!  The Green Tea Snow Ice w Red Bean and Chocolate ($8.90) was fluffy and just a pure delight!  I enjoyed the texture of the shavings of green tea ice-cream and the generous servings of red beans complimented it very well.  Definitely a winning dish!

So there you have it :).  I was glad to share some of Ms. L’s favourite memories of Melbourne and treat her to some Taiwanese/HK desserts :).  Hopefully, the next time I go to Dessert Story, it won’t be bittersweet but sweet all the way instead.

Dessert Story Swanston Street on Urbanspoon

Question:  What’s a bittersweet memory that you’ve had related to food? (bit random, but I guess these questions always are!)

♥ Ames

P.S. Don’t forget to be in the running for the mini giveaway if you haven’t already!