Wandering through Chinatown with a bottle of wine in hand and some friends in tow, looking for a dumpling place that doesn’t have a lengthy queue, is a quintessential Melbourne dining experience. Of course, it’ll be a while before any of us can do that again. Thankfully, we still have the dumplings.

At some of these restaurants, dumplings are the headline act – and you can get them delivered (either ready-to-eat or frozen) whenever the spirit moves you. At other spots, the dumpling dishes are supporting – but scene-stealing – actors that are just too good not to mention.

With Melbourne now in stage four lockdown, fingers crossed you live within five kilometres of one of these places (for takeaway) or within the wider delivery zones.

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HuTong CBD

Xiao long bao are little bundles of winter joy. They combine the carb-y excellence of dumplings with the warm comfort of soup – all in one beautiful parcel. HuTong makes the best xiao long bao in Melbourne, and is offering delivery from both its CBD and Prahran locations. The rest of the expansive menu is also available, from peking duck dumplings to fluffy pork buns. You can find HuTong on all the major delivery apps.

14-16 Market Lane, Melbourne

Flower Drum

Flower Drum is probably Melbourne’s most famous Cantonese restaurant. Since lockdowns came in, it’s been offering its menu to takeaway. The dumpling array is comprehensive: choose from Shanghai-style jiaozi, which are pan-fried and golden; prawn har gao, the yum cha staple; and, for something more delicate, there are duck wontons with tangerine peel in a roast-duck reduction. To order, call (03) 9662 3655. It’s pick-up only for now, but if you’re after delivery, Flower Drum has a range of finish-at-home meals on Providoor.

17 Market Lane, Melbourne
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Din Tai Fung

One of the unexpected silver linings of the pandemic is that many restaurants are now doing frozen versions of their best dishes. We’d rather be eating out at restaurants, but our freezers have never looked so luxe. Din Tai Fung’s dumplings are ready-to-eat, but the chain has also been working on a range of frozen dumplings, which means you get to enjoy dumplings as they should be eaten: piping hot. Order here.

M002/4 Emporium Melbourne 287 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
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This Prahran institution may be taking a break from takeaway, but there’s still an ample range of dishes to choose from on Providoor, including seven dumpling options, all of which are easy to heat and eat at home.

4 Cecil Place, Prahran
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Tim Ho Wan

The original Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong was once the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant. Even though the Melbourne outpost doesn’t have Michelin stars, the dumplings there are dumplings of distinction. You can order pick-up by calling (03) 9663 9691, or you can get delivery on all of the major apps.

206 Bourke Street, Melbourne

ShanDong MaMa

This northern-Chinese dumpling spot based in the CBD is on Uber Eats and Deliveroo. There’s great variety, from lamb potstickers to Spanish mackerel dumplings to boiled squid-ink dumplings.

Shop 7 200 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Chin Chin

Chin Chin is best known for its serpentine queues and fiery curries, but the dumplings on the menu have long been quiet achievers. The prawn siu mai, barramundi and ginger dumplings, and pork and chive wontons are all very worthwhile – on their own or as a starter or a side dish. Order here.

125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Hawker Hall

This pan-Asian Chapel Street diner has a takeaway menu that’s full of crowd-pleasers, and the dumpling section is no different. Flavours include prawn and ginger, mushroom and garlic, and the classic pork and chives

98 Chapel Street, Windsor
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Regardless of which side of the Yarra you’re on, takeaway dumplings from Supernormal are still very much on the cards. If you live north-side, order your prawn and chicken or Szechuan pork dumplings here, for pick-up at The Builders Arms Hotel. If you live south-side, browse the menu for pick-up at Supernormal Canteen.

180 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
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There’s only one dumpling dish here – with pork and spring onions – but we reckon the excellent Wagyu rendang pie shares enough DNA with a pork bun to be considered at least dumpling-adjacent. You probably wouldn’t get a whole meal out of either of these dishes, but we couldn’t think of a better side if we tried. Order here.

18 Punch Lane, Melbourne
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The George on Collins

Chef Khang Ong won hearts on the latest season of Masterchef, bringing attention to the excellent menu he’s created for The George. The online shop offers everything from bottled cocktails and bags of curry sauce to wines from the cellar. But the ready-to-eat meals are especially good value for money. There are two kinds of dumplings: vegetarian and prawn. We’ll take both.

162-168 Collins Street, Melbourne
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Mya Tiger

Choose from spicy pork, mushroom or ginger chicken. Order here.

11 The Esplanade, St Kilda
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