When we heard the word dumplings next to the name Dylan Roberts, our ears pricked up. Executive chef is Roberts' new title at Charlie Dumpling, and we can remember his food fondly from Claremont Tonic, Ezard, and Cutler & Co. Tightly squeezed into High Street Prahran, you'll be tightly squeezed in as well, Charlie has been designed by renowned architects DC Group & Newline Design.
Tradition sits nicely beside Roberts' creativity, making for a menu that keeps you on your toes. Start with small bites like the tuna sashimi, wakame, wasabi and green tea salt ($18.50), or the grilled lamb skewers ($18).
With ten varieties of savoury dumplings, you'll be spoilt for choice. Coming in groups of four, the steamed pork dumplings are served with pickled ginger and yukari ($12.50), while the vegetarian dumplings come in the form of shitake, water chestnut, pea and chive buds with Sichuan broth ($9.50). The Peking duck dumplings are served with a spiced plum sauce, and a piece of duck resting on the outside of the dumpling skin ($14).
Now, if you noticed that we said savoury above, you may have guessed that Charlie also does sweet dumplings. Milk chocolate dumplings are paired with chilli sugar and raspberry sorbet ($13.50) while lemon tart mochi are dished up with salted almond ($12.50). Good things, people. Good things.
The drinks list is a tight ship. About 12 wines, six cocktails and seven beers complete it. Start with a Bennetts Lane NV Brut ($8) or a pot of the Orion beer on tap ($8). If you're in the mood for a cocktail try the Mr C Sheen, a mix of gin, watermelon, lime, and agave ($18) or the Kung Fu Panda: chilli rum, lime and pandan ($18).
Fortune cookies with more cheek than wisdom round off the evening. Thanks Charlie.