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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Daniang, Haymarket

EDIT SEPT 2010: Daniang has closed and has now been replaced by Meet Fresh Taiwanese Dessert House.

The modern and buzzy facade of Daniang Dumpling (or Da Niang Dumpling) is a far cry from the dark and desserted tourist giftshop it replaced about six months ago. Looking much like a Chinese version of McDumpling, it's all white bench seating and is heavily patronaged by Asian students, families and couples alike.

The huge backlit signs flanking the entrance out front give the Daniang story in brief in both English and Chinese. The first outlet of Famous Brand Fast Food Chain Enterprise of China (how catchy) first opened in 1996 in China's Changzhou City and there are now apparently more than a hundred outlets in 30 cities around China. In November 2002 two branches were opened in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Chinglish-style marketing blurb included such gems as:

"... [Daniang] gained much attention...owing to its unique operational pattern and grand sales occasions."

"Pure Chinese dumplings are favoured vehemently by local consumers, especially among people of Chinese origin."

"[Daniang relies on its] robust technical advantage, extensive experience, steady products quality and well-know [sic] brand name."

So there was hype. There was anticipation. They even have a logo figurehead.

It's order downstairs at the counter, take your side dishes with you and your dumplings will be with you shortly.

Cherry tomatoes with sugar $4.00

Pork ribs with sweet bean sauce $4.00

Duck liver $4.00

Steamed dumpling with pork filling, 12 pieces for $8.00

Beef and potato vermicelli soup $5.00

Overall the food was fair. The dumplings were okay but hardly out-of-this-world.

We made the fatal mistake of ordering a second batch of dumplings though (hey, there were six of us) which took forty minutes to arrive. The first dozen took twenty minutes.

In between pleading with the counter staff downstairs for our dumplings, we lolled about with hunger in our chairs and had to contend ourselves with watching music videos of Asian boy bands on the flatscreen TV monitors. They had standard dubious dance moves, wardrobes reminiscent of Color Me Badd (now there's a flashback) and repeated random English words, presumably thrown in for "street cred".

Average food really. I think you can get much better (and cheaper) dumplings elsewhere in Chinatown (Chinese Noodle Restaurant for instance).

And sure the place is constantly crowded, but so is McDonalds. At least there you're guaranteed to get your meal in under three minutes, or forty.

Daniang Dumpling
EDIT SEPT 2010: Daniang has closed and has now been replaced by Meet Fresh Taiwanese Dessert House.
42-42A Dixon Street, Haymarket Chinatown, Sydney
Tel: 02 9211 0378

Open 7 days 11am-10pm
5 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 5/12/2005 11:59:00 pm


  • At 5/13/2005 5:15 pm, Blogger Veruca Salt said…

    How was the potato vermicelli. Looks yummy. The duck livers look more like chewy giblets.

  • At 5/13/2005 8:30 pm, Blogger Reid said…

    Hi AG,

    Sorry that you were disappointed with the food...and to have waited all that time! Sheesh.

    How were the tomatoes by the way? They sounded the most interesting to me.

  • At 5/13/2005 10:45 pm, Blogger pinkcocoa said…

    hey AG
    I have always wanted to try out Daniang. A friend of mine tried it out when she was in Shanghai and said Daniang had a lot of weird flavour dumplings. But I do think for the price, Daniang is not really worth it. I would rather much make my own dumplings :)
    Oh did you know that cherry tomatoes are yummy with sour plum powder? This is the way we eat cherry tomatoes in Taiwan!

  • At 5/16/2005 1:06 am, Blogger Ms One Boobie said…

    Very interesting.. :) cherry tomatoes with sugar.. :)

  • At 7/27/2006 9:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    actually, i think u didn't enjoy ur meal as much as u can because you ordered the wrong things! the best things there, are the dumplings with the 'soup' still inside, so when you bite it, all the juicy yummy goodness just fills your mouth... yum
    but you hv to be careful not to rip it while picking it up with ur chopstick.


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