“We want people to get together, crack open a bottle or two, and really make an evening of it as they fold their own dumplings,” explains Bec Wharton, co-founder of My Neighbours the Dumplings with her husband Kristian Leontiou.
Their line-up of dumplings is a collection of contrasting flavours and textures, in their reinterpretation of traditional Chinese dim sum - some already wrapped, and some to be wrapped at home. Delicate har gau are filled with sweet minced prawn and to be steamed in the accompanying bamboo steamer until the dumpling skin is translucent. “It’s important to mix up a dipping sauce to suit your taste using our homemade chilli oil, not forgetting the black vinegar,” says Kristian. “It really finishes the dish.”
Next, there are pork and prawn siu mai to be filled at home, made with Yorkshire pork belly, ginger and shaoxing wine, and topped with salty salmon roe. Potato and truffle sui gok are made with glutinous rice flour, and once fried have a lightly crisp exterior with a mochi-like texture underneath. The vegetable wontons are simple to fold, and filled with dried radish for depth of flavour, shiitake mushrooms adding an umami note, and coriander for freshness.
The dumplings are balanced out by a cold dish of silken tofu, a recipe devised by the team's head dumpling chef. The tofu is layered with preserved vegetables such as cabbage and radish, zingy herbs including coriander and red chilli, crunchy pine nuts, and a sweet soy and sesame glaze.