Let’s be honest, we’d eat dumplings for every course if it were an option. Even if you’ve worked your way through Sydney’s varied savoury dumplings – and we know there are many, it’s time to move onto the sweet stuff – from custard filled to bursting with Nutella.
Golden Lava – Din Tai Fung
Salty, sweet, fluffy and gooey, this white, doughy bun is the perfect introduction to the Asian dessert palate. Somewhat similar to a Cadbury Creme Egg, this oval dumpling looks like it’s been laid by a mythical creature. Break open the thick white shell to reveal a molten duck-egg-custard filling.
Piggy Face Bun – Chef's Gallery
Shop G24, Metcentre, 273 George Street, Sydney
(02) 9267 8877
The cutest dessert dumpling award goes to the Piggy Face Bun – a boy and girl bao duo with sweet black sesame insides. These buns are infused with the nutty, almost smoky flavour of sesame paste which melts into the edges of a firm yet airy dough. If these two little piggies aren’t sweet enough you can go to town on the dessert platter, which includes a wafter farmhouse, biscuit pavement and coconut marshmallows.
Nutella and Banana Gyoza – Harajuku Gyoza
It’s hard to imagine gyoza without a dish of salty, vinegary dipping sauce, right? Well maybe this will change your mind. The gyoza shell is golden and bubbled from the deep fryer and breaks into crisp flakes as your teeth sink into a creamy Nutella and banana core. These dumplings are served with a side of ice cream and are also available in salted caramel or peanut butter and white chocolate flavours.
Ice Cream Dumplings – Bamboo Dumpling Bar
These refreshing dumplings are a take on daifuku – a traditional Japanese dessert of mochi (glutinous rice cake) stuffed with a sweet filling and dusted with soy-bean powder. The distinctive texture of the rice casing, which is both chewy and soft, gives way to its melting ice-cream centre. Flavour choices range from mango to vanilla and strawberry, depending on the day.
Coconut Bun with Red Bean Filling – Billy’s Dumplings
This is a version of the popular Chinese dessert nuomici – a glutinous rice ball filled with red-bean paste coated with coconut before being steamed or fried. The flavours and textures of smooth, earthy red-bean paste and gummy moulded rice are perfectly balanced by a sweet and sticky coconut glaze.
Emperor’s Puff – Emperor’s Garden
96-100 Hay Street, Haymarket
(02) 9211 2135
These fluffy gold puffs float out of a small booth window at the mouth of Dixon Street Arcade box by steaming box. The light, doughy dumplings are filled with sweet egg custard and are freshly baked as you wait. At four for $1 it’s no wonder there’s a constant queue.