For dumpling lovers, the name House of Dumplings is enough to describe its brilliance. Cuba Street Night Market regulars will recognise House of Dumplings from their weekly Friday night stall, or perhaps early birds will be familiar with the pop-up stall at the City Market on Sunday mornings. It’s hard to miss the vivacious Vicky Ha, the Dumpling Queen. But there’s also a lesser-known permanent takeaway shop and production kitchen situated on Taranaki Street, opposite Briscoes. It’s a small space packed with goodies – it's the shop version of a dumpling. The interior is covered in wood paneling, and all packaging is biodegradable cardboard.
The store and pop-up stalls all offer the same seven handmade dumpling varieties at $2 a pop. All are equally delicious, and everyone I’ve spoken to has a different favourite, so I recommend trying one of each. And maybe an extra Nepalese spiced lamb and veges - if you’re a fan of the finer things in life. And also maybe Prawn and garlic chives. Japanese Six Mushroom is a good vegan option. Cute cardboard menus have diagrams to show you which dumpling is which. All dumplings are made entirely from scratch – the skins, sauces, and vegetables and herbs are chopped on site – so no artificial nasties. And yes, you do want Mum’s Sauce.
The Taranaki Street store has a few added extras on its menu: fresh salads made daily ($6-$9), and freshly made drinks such as Manuka honey ice tea ($5). If it’s all a bit overwhelming, a Meal Pack ($16.50) will get you 5 dumplings, a scoop of rice, and salad. How’s that for well balanced?
If you’re still underwhelmed, maybe the delivery option is more up your alley. Deliveries are made within Wellington CBD for orders of nine meal packs or more, on a dumpling delivery bicycle. Seeing is believing.
You can also order frozen dumplings and book in for a dumpling cooking class on the House of Dumpling website.
Photography by Mika Shiota