Melbourne is the world capital of novelty food. With so many restaurants, comes the need to stretch out and present something truly eye-catching to ensnare customers. Something like a Cheeseburger dumpling, or a Flamingo steak.
The first is available at Drumpling – the Flamingo steak is still conceptual, and will probably remain so.
Drumpling on Bourke St have set their sights on the dumpling alternative – the whacky sister to the traditional Asian cuisine that’s so rife around the CBD.
The first section of the menu is a cascading list of well-known dishes from around the globe, distilled and encased in dumpling pastry. Beef Rendang, Curry Laska, Fish and Chips and Chilli Con Carne are all reformulated and condensed from main dishes into micro packages: A Drumpling.
It’s tongue in cheek molecular gastronomy – the sort of street-level experimentalism of Heston Blumenthal or Australia’s own Ben Shewry. But it works. The dumplings are juicy and surprisingly accurate to their promise.
(owners Deon St.Mor and Jeremy Raven)
The Cheeseburger drumpling was especially surprising. Initially, it was a concept I didn’t want to like. It felt wrong. There’s something perverse about putting two totally opposed things into each other – inserting a cheeseburger into a dumpling is the equivalent of mating two totally different species, without the ethical reflux. But kitchen bestiality is now being rolled out under our noses, and we dig it.
Here’s a fun game to play at Drumpling: ask for a random selection from the novelty list and try deciphering the Drumpling – match the taste to the menu – dump-gustation – it could be the new thing…A culinary Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey.
Grub Trivia, for the generation of insatiable novelty seekers.
227-229 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
(03) 8395 4918