Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bling Bling Dumpling: All that shimmers

Red glitter walls, silver glitter-topped tables and all manner of tacky, if not cheap, 'Asian' trinkets greet diners who take the chance to walk into Bling Bling Dumpling on Broadway.

But for the promise of dumplings, some at a special advertised price of $1 each, I was game enough to enter the den of bling - quite literally. How they got that large-size red glitter to cover an entire wall was impressive enough for me.

Inside Bling Bling Dumpling, Broadway, Ultimo
The menu is normal Chinese sized; that is, about ten pages or more, traversing the entire spectrum of appetisers, soups, meat and vegetable mains, and of course, their namesake dumplings.

Banana chips
As we went through the pages of the menu, a small dish of complimentary banana chips was brought to the table, which was frankly odd, not helped by the fact that I don't like banana chips.

Steamed dumplings
The dumpling menu was much more complicated than I would have liked. A serve of four dumplings costs $4.80 - as long as they're not meat (additional 80c), seafood (additional $1.80) or pan fried (additional 80c).

On top of that, they're given 'bling' names like diamond, emerald and citrine when they really mean pork and chive or chicken and leek - which were the varieties we ordered four each of (the pork and chive being the advertised $1 per dumpling special - steamed only).

Both varieties elected as steamed for simplicity, these dumplings seemed to have been freshly steamed in bamboo baskets as they arrived to the table last and very, very hot. They are definitely larger than your standard dumpling, perhaps even double the size.

The pork and chive was pretty decent, with nicely chewy dough wrapped around the minced pork filling. The chicken and leek, however, was underseasoned and desperately needed soy sauce and chilli oil; the latter which had to be requested from the staff.

Hot and sour soup
We started with a huge bowl of hot and sour soup featuring tofu, carrot, bamboo shoot and black wood ear fungus.

The flavour was, as expected, both sour and hot but so hot and spicy that it caught sharply at the back of the throat every time I had a mouthful. It was a warming, if not somewhat painful, experience that left me with chilli sniffles.

Xinjiang braised eggplant, lightly pan fried in special sweet sauce
By lightly pan fried eggplant, I do believe they meant deep fried. These golden segments of eggplant were on the slightly oily side, but surprisingly pleasant: think soft eggplant, oil, slight crispness and a sugar-sweet sauce - what's not to like? A bowl of steamed rice would have completed the picture.

As we went to pay the bill down the back of the restaurant, the space reveals a dark, less-bling back section and an adjoining restaurant next door. I have no idea if the two spaces are connected but neither was particularly busy at late lunch.

I was distracted for a good several minutes in front of the tropical fish tank down the back, not too sure of the bling connection. Bling Bling Dumpling is certainly one of the most curiously themed restaurants around, but unfortunately, I haven't found dumpling gold here.

Bling Bling Dumpling on Urbanspoon


john@heneedsfood said...

Oh my, looks like this place has changed somewhat since my visit when they first opened. Those walls! And, er, banana chips? That's just weird. I didn't mind the food so much.

joey@FoodiePop said...

I've read pretty damning reviews of this place, from the bad food to the gimmicky $1 plates with many disclaimers attached. Now it looks like you need sunglasses as well to eat here judging by the "blinged" red wall! Holy moley.

sugarpuffi said...

i just went to bling bling recently and i also found their dishes a bit oily too

tastyfoodsnaps said...

the sparkly walls and wall dividers look so pretty!

thang@noodlies said...

I've seen this place from parra road.. have heard good things though not many reviews by bloggers. Thanks for the heads up.

Vivian - vxdollface said...

the eggplant looks pretty good even though it was on the oily side :) the blingy decor is kind of pretty

Tina said...

Hi John - Yeah, the food was OK overall but not dumpling gold ;) They still seem a little confused about theming and menu pricing...

Hi joey - There have been all sorts of reviews although I can attest that the $1 dumpling deal is legit and decent (with min $10 spend, I think it was). The overall dumpling pricing list... well, that's another story :/

Hi sugarpuffi - The pork and chive steamed dumplings were prob the best thing we had - and the cheapest too!

Hi tastyfoodsnaps - I'm not sure I would use the adjective of pretty for it... ;)

Hi thang - No probs though be warned: there are hits and misses ;)

Hi Vivian - Yeah, I totally have a thing for this kind of Chinese style eggplant... :)


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