Diners who frequent Chinese Noodle House don’t necessarily know the venue by name. The Haymarket institution is more commonly identified by the decorative plastic grapevines hanging from the roof. Now the owners have carried the theme into their new venue on Enmore Road.
“Even just doing the renovations, there were many loyal customers who already identified who we are,” says Susanna Chen, who opened the first outpost 10 years ago with her chef-husband, John Sun. “We are so glad to see them again here. They’re not just loyal customers. They're more like friends for many years.”
Ditching the name Noodle House for Dumpling Master for the new venue is a nod to Chen’s admiration of her partner. “He is the master chef of this restaurant,” she laughs.
It’s also telling of the simplified menu at the new location. Chen and Sun are serving only the most popular dishes from their first restaurant. The dumplings are there, but a lot of other dishes from the original, more extensive menu have been dropped.
“It is easier for customers to order with this menu because it includes all the great food,” Chen says. “Even if you order with closed eyes, nothing goes wrong.”
There are pan-fried, boiled or steamed dumplings with fillings like pork and chive, chicken and coriander or eggplant, all hand-made using wheat flour. Pork wontons with peppery Sichuan chilli benefit from slightly thinner, lighter dough.
There are noodles too, handmade in the style of Sun’s home province of Xinjiang, in Northwest China. They might be fried and served with meat or seafood, or in a generous bowl of steaming noodle soup.
“That's people's daily food in that area. The northern special is noodle and dumplings,” Chen explains.
Almost everything is helped along with a serve of roasted chilli oil and black vinegar, and the venue is BYO, so grab a Natural Lager from Young Henrys up the road on your way in.
The venue itself is a small space, slightly larger than the original. It's sparsely decorated (aside from the grapes), with stark white walls and a few bright red stools. The reality is though, diners aren’t here for the interiors. They’re here for the dumplings. And maybe the grapes.
Chinese Dumpling Master
Shop 2, 63-71 Enmore Road, Newtown
(02) 8959 5725
Tues to Fri 11.30am–3pm, 5pm–9.30pm
Sat to Sun 11.30am–9.30pm