Sometimes it’s easy to follow the hype of a new place. I read about the fish dumplings at Shandong Mama and said to myself yes I want to try those. A bazillion food bloggers have already reviewed this new place but whatever, I’ll add to the chorus.
I was sad to discover when I went to find Shandong Mama in the Midtown arcade that it is located in the space previosuly occupied by one of my favourite 2011 lunchtime haunts, Laksa House, which I’d last eaten at sometime in the second half of 2012. I suppose it’s progress.
We started with the smoked fish, which may look like an old shoe but is very tasty. It is served at room temperature, is firm and about the size of your hand. It may look rubbery but the flesh comes away from the bones readily (with a bit of effort) and has a delicious smoky hoisin flavour. We also had the sweet and sour cabbage salad, and the two go well together.
Dumplings – we had the fried mackeral dumplings and the steamed prawn, black fungus and chive dumplings. They’re both fantastic. I love the emphasis on fish, which is one of my favourite foods. Also, I probably eat too much pork so it’s good tobe able to choose fish instead.
Shandong Mama has been heavily reviewed. Two that stood out for me are by Fika and Kuidaore and The world loves Melbourne. Depending on popularity you may need to time your visit to outside business lunch hours to get in, but it’s worth it.