Wednesday, February 17, 2010

1+1 Dumpling Noodles


1+1 = 2, right?  A restaurant that is called, in part, "Dumpling Noodles", sells dumplings and noodles?  Nothing overly exciting there.  But this particular equation is a little more titillating than you might at first think, because the dumplings and noodles in question are actually Northwestern Chinese!

In this region of China, home to the Muslim Uighur people, lamb is widely eaten, wheat is the staple grain and potatoes are also enjoyed.  1+1 Dumpling Noodles will turn all your preconceptions of Chinese food on their head!


We started with the Spicy Salad ($6) - spanking fresh cucumber, spring onion and coriander in a sesame oil, rice vinegar and chilli dressing.  It burst with flavour and crunch.  We took this as an auspicious sign that we were in for something different, as mainstream Chinese cuisine avoids any raw foods, seeing them as too damp and cooling for the constitution.


BBQ Lamb Skewers ($2 for 4) arrived, redolent with cumin.  It was a total trip to be sliding these tender, smoky morsels from long, wooden-handled skewers, surrounded by Chinese New Year kitsch and chopsticks, when our mouths were telling us we should be seated on Persian carpets, listening to qawwali!  These kebabs were seriously good.


Sliced Potato Stir-Fried with Stir-Fried Spicy Tangy Sauce ($9) - grated potato very lightly cooked in oil, vinegar and dried chilli.  A light yet comforting dish.


Boiled Noodles with Stir-Fried Pork/Lamb or Veg ($10) - very tender lamb with tomato, green capsicum, garlic chives and dried chillis on top of hand-made wheat noodles.  The meat was very tender and flavourful, in a simple sauce of soy and rice wine.


Noodles with Pork Mince Sauce ($9) - my dad makes this regularly with pork mince, brown bean sauce and hokkien noodles, and calls it Asian Spaghetti Bolognese.  Don't sneer - it's divine!  This version was good, but missing the sweetness one is used to with the brown bean sauce.  By far the standout of both noodle dishes was the noodles themselves.  Fat, juicy, toothsome, in irregular shapes and thicknesses that belie human hands rather than a cold metal extruder.  I could have eaten a whole plate of them with just a little (sacrilegious) butter.

Be warned though, the tables are sticky, the glass surfaces greasy and the bathrooms, abominable.  But if you are a patron of Camy's and the like, you'll just take such things in stride!

After so many new and exciting dishes, we couldn't go home without an encore, so the little theatre of Pho Tam's delicious iced coffees was a very worthy final act.

1+1 Dumpling Noodles, 84 Hopkins St, Footscray (opposite the market)

1+1 Dumpling Noodles on Urbanspoon


  1. Excuse moi but I believe it was your darling sister who cooks this regularly!!!

  2. I do not want to interrupt familial disputes but a brief note to thank you for your entertaining and informative blog. As a resident of the inner west for the last 5 years and having worked in Footscray a decade or so ago, I have enjoyed exploring the restaurants and shops of Footscray over the years. When visitors arrive from interstate and overseas I hussle them off to the unlikley tourist attraction of Little Saigon market and the surrounding shops to pull together the ingredients for a meal. Luckily most seem to like it if only because it does not correspond with their idea of Australia. Keep up the excellent blog and I look forward to eating at some of the places you have written about. Cheers Patrick

  3. Sister, ma cherie - you may cook it regularly but not for me! Hint hint!

    Patrick - ignore our bickering, we only fight about food anyway. Thank you for your kind words! I too am one for "alternative" destinations for visitors. My husband is a migrant and after a few weeks of us living here, after having eaten Sydney Road, Victoria Street, Vic Market etc he finally begged to be taken to Southbank (for an overpriced gelato, it turned out). Poor thing!

  4. Just a quick note to say that I also really enjoy this blog. Having just moved to West Footscray in the last few months, we hadnt made it out to the local places because we didnt know where to start! Thanks for making the decision process a lot easier! keep up the good work!

  5. Angela - thanks so much for your kind comments and support!!

  6. Hi there - want to get take away from Ebi tonight and ended up on your webpage. Fantastic! I moved to Yarraville nearly 20 years ago and am ALWAYS on the hunt for good/new restaurants. Have you tried the newie on Hopkins Street called Sapa Hills? 112 Hopkins Street, Footscray (PH: 9687 5729). Really fresh - their Bo La Lot is fantastic....served on a large place piled with Bo La Lot, covered with freshly crushed peanuts, with a side of really fresh, home made pickled veggies and a veritable garden of Vietnamese fresh herbs. Some of their main dishes are a bit so so....salt & pepper calamari was crispy, tender & fresh, but there sure wasn't much salt & pepper in the equation.
    I was also going to tell you about Dumpling Noodles...but just found it on your blog. I thought that was a real find - tastes & combinations I hadn't had before. Their cucumber/spring onion salad is to die for. Love their Bok Choy & scrambled egg too.....and their glass noodle salad. Last time I tried their Port & garlic/onions shoots...absolutely delicious. Little too much dressing/sauce on the salads & steamed greens. I had a chance to look in their kitchen....really clean & organised. Sapa Hills is really clean too...being brand new helps!
    So....thanks for your food blog - it's really great!

  7. Oh, thank you so much!!! That is so funny because I just ate at Sapa Hills today at lunch! Enjoyed it a lot, expect a post soon.

  8. I used to love this place so much but the quality isn't as good as it used to be. I remember a woman who i always used to see (i think the owner or wife of Victor) was not to be seen anymore the countless times ive been. Since her disapearance the place has just gone well...kinda bad.

  9. I have been having the vegetarian dumplings which are hand made lately....DELICIOUS!!! AND!!! They were out of dumplings yesterday so he made vegetarian noodles for me and they were the best thing I've ever had! Really friendly staff and cute place. Very relaxing. YAY!

    1. Anon, that is great to hear! I have heard rumours they may have new owners, or just a facelift. I'll have to try them again soon. How nice about the noodles!


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