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Friday, September 23, 2011

Bling Bling Dumpling, Broadway Ultimo

EDIT: Bling Bling Dumpling has closed. It has now been replaced by Papa Rich.

It was the name that drew us in. Bling Bling Dumpling? How could we refuse? The former site of Dim Sum House has undergone only a modest makeover. Most noticeable is the striking black signage out the front, complete with an image of a huge sparkling diamond - guaranteed to draw in the crowds!

Takeaway dumplings

A display case of cooked dumplings is a clever marketing ploy for passing pedestrian traffic, and we noticed several shoppers, students and local workers stop by for a quick takeaway order.

Dumpling maker in the window

On the other side of the doorway is the view into the cooking area, although the red masking tape pattern on the glass windows seems to create more of a prison feel than a friendly view into the open kitchen.

Rolling out dumpling dough

The dumpling mistress stops for noone, rolling out perfectly round circles of dough with speed and precision, before filling them with a paste of vegetables or meat.

Dumpling boiler and steamer baskets

The kitchen is stacked high with steamer baskets, so it all feels rather promising as we walk in.

Inside Bling Bling

What does Bling Bling mean in the world of dumplings? In terms of decor, it means a fancy chandelier, rosewood-look chairs and tables covered in three layers of plastic sheeting, one of which is silver and glittery.

Bling Bling Coke $3

An order of Coke comes out blinged up with a strawberry and lemon garnish. Our pot of tea is much slower to arrive, requiring two reminders to distracted staff.

Salt and pepper calamari $19.80

I'm always a sucker for salt and pepper calamari, but we struggle to get through this version. The dish is limp and oily, with the coating still a little gluey from undercooking - although at least this means the calamari is still tender. It's a shame as there's plenty of good flavour from the fresh chilli, garlic and caramelised shallots.

Braised eggplant $13.80

The braised eggplant is a little oily too, but the flesh is sweet and the drenching of thick and spicy sweet sauce is a perfect accompaniment to our rice.

Handmade Manchurian burger with beef $9.80

The Manchurian burger is let down by the dry bun, tasting more like a sandwich made with yesterday's roast beef. A moment of inspiration sees me adding chunks of the saucy eggplant to the burger, which makes a significantly tasty difference.

Fries $2.80

And you can't have a burger without fries, right? Unfortunately these arrive cold and limp - even a heavy dusting of chicken salt can't save them.

Steamed egg and chive dumplings

We'd encountered some oddities when we ordered our dumplings, advised that they didn't have any pan-fried egg and chive dumplings, only steamed. We weren't sure what to make of this, especially when the dumplings arrived freshly cooked. Perhaps they use different skins for steamed and pan-fried dumplings?

We do manage to convince our waitress to allow us to split an order of a dozen dumplings ($9.80) into two different preparations. The steamed garlic chive dumplings are delivered toward the end of our meal, packed into a wooden steamer lined with a thick rubber seal.

The skins are quite thick but the filling is hearty and especially fragrant with garlic chives.

Pan-fried pork and chive dumplings

The pan-fried pork and chive dumplings have a luscious golden crust on the bottom, delivering a much-welcomed crunch. We dunk them into saucers of soy sauce and vinegar.

Overall it's a little hit-and-miss. There are some interesting dishes like pancakes with Peking sauce shredded pork ($19.80), although the Manchurian fried ice cream ($5.80) is probably a bit of a stretch!

View Larger Map
Bling Bling Dumpling on Urbanspoon

EDIT: Bling Bling Dumpling has closed. It has now been replaced by Papa Rich.

Bling Bling Dumpling (CLOSED)
5/185 Broadway, Ultimo, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9281 4094

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Ultimo - Cafe Ottimo (Cafe)
Ultimo - Hot Wok Master (Cafe)
Ultimo - Malacca Straits (Malaysian)
Ultimo - Sunflower Crepe Cafe (Taiwanese)
23 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 9/23/2011 01:46:00 am


  • At 9/23/2011 3:25 am, Anonymous YaYa said…

    Curious, perhaps they should drop the other dishes and just concentrate on doing dumplings really well? Although I am rather intrigued by Manchurian Fried Icecream, what on earth could they do to it to make it Manchurian?

  • At 9/23/2011 6:39 am, Anonymous Hotly Spiced said…

    Hmmm, not sure if I'd venture out there after your review. Thanks for saving me the trip! Strawberries in the coke and elbows resting on layers of plastic? A pity the dumplings were a bit disappointing as they are such a 'hands-on' dish to make that it's a treat to have someone else do them for you.

  • At 9/23/2011 7:49 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    I agree a name like Bling Bling Dumpling is fantastic - sadly in this case it sounded a little too good to be true. I am looking forward to a trip to HK soon for some dumpling action - any tips for me there?

  • At 9/23/2011 8:54 am, Blogger Mel said…

    French Fries at a dumpling house - now I've seen everything!

  • At 9/23/2011 9:08 am, Anonymous Tina@foodboozeshoes said…

    Bling-ed Coke?! LOL
    Chips and dumplings is a little strange, but that cabinet of dumplings is definitely very very tempting!

  • At 9/23/2011 10:31 am, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    There's even a bit of bling featured on their signage - too funny!

  • At 9/23/2011 10:35 am, Anonymous Apple @Polkadotsandchopsticks said…

    Pretty good deal in the window display though, I think I'd still be happy to buy take away dumpling that weren't amazing at that price.

  • At 9/23/2011 2:06 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Hurrah! A post I don't have to be envious of! :P

  • At 9/23/2011 3:14 pm, Anonymous Sara - Belly Rumbles said…

    Coke blinged with a strawberry? Shame there were a few let downs with the dishes, but the dumplings do look good.

  • At 9/23/2011 4:24 pm, Anonymous rockahenry said…

    i'd expect a finer glass for a bling bling coke!

  • At 9/23/2011 6:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    I always follow your blog, and funnily enough I too ventured into Blingblingdumpling as a substitute for the after hours yumcha house we originally were there for.

    It was uncomfortably dark, the setting was pretentious, we ordered our drinks which took a while to arrive - not to mention we also had to ask the staff a few times and they would each respond with a question mark over their faces..

    we ordered pork and chives dumplings pan fried and pork and seafood dumplings steamed, but received pork and seafood pan fried and steamed??

    weird experience dining there and I doubt we'd be back!

  • At 9/23/2011 8:59 pm, Anonymous Jobe said…

    "What does Bling Bling mean in the world of dumplings? In terms of decor, it means a fancy chandelier, rosewood-look chairs and tables covered in three layers of plastic sheeting, one of which is silver and glittery."

    Haha! Magic.

    Any idea if it's the same owners/chefs?

    I only went to Dim Sum House once, like 2 years ago, and it was dead average.

  • At 9/24/2011 1:24 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yum ! I just left after eating more dumpling than I could handle and have to say these are the best dumplings ive tasted. The servings are enormous and definitely the best value around Broadway. I will definitely be back. I loved the dark and red atmosphere...so cool compared to all the other restaurants around there.

  • At 9/25/2011 10:54 pm, Anonymous JasmyneTea said…

    Such a shame, but at least the dumplings were ok. Those chips are making me shudder though.

  • At 9/26/2011 10:59 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Im not sure if some of these people are talking about the same place I just went to, but I cant believe the size of the servings ! Massive, there were 4 of us, and we ordered fired rice, but it was big enough for 4. So be warned.
    The taste was like nothing Ive had before, and had a real tang to it. Also tried the cheese dumplings ! never had those before and they were excellent. Im giving it another shot next week, as they seem to keep changing the menu.

  • At 9/27/2011 10:34 am, Blogger Brenda said…

    Ugh I hate that gluey texture from the batter on the squid! It's so hard to find a decent salt and pepper squid dish in Sydney.
    Shame this place was such a let down. Loved the name....but that's all it has going for it I think ;)

  • At 9/29/2011 11:26 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    waste of time

  • At 9/29/2011 11:49 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    the name lured mein, definitely did not live up to its name

  • At 10/03/2011 8:42 pm, Anonymous Candy said…

    I am just wondering about the Handmade Manchurian burger with beef you will get two for $9.80? Or just one? The name of the resto is cute! Lol.

  • At 10/03/2011 9:12 pm, Anonymous 5ft0 said…

    I tried the pork and chive dumplings here not too long ago. I agree the skins are quite thick, but the filling was nice. Such a shame really.

  • At 10/21/2011 3:32 pm, Anonymous Ayden said…

    You can't beat 80c!

  • At 10/25/2011 2:17 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yummo ! This places is freakin awesome!
    I had this chicken dish there tonight, but I cant remember what it was called. It had peppercorns in it and nuts.
    Ive never tasted anything like it, but it was so good, Im DEFINITELY going back there some more.
    Big tick to the waiter there....really nice guy, and so polite unlike the shmucks you get around in most places.

  • At 10/29/2011 9:33 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Boo !!!!
    We had a top halloween night at Bling.
    The place was perfect, and we stuffed our faces.
    Admittedly we were a bunch of girls and didnt want to be harassed by sleazy guys.
    In fact we met some really nice guys there.
    So, definitely a pleasant change from all the rude guys around in other places.
    Bling gets my vote !



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