Shanghai Noodle House

Tattersalls Lane, off Chinatown


Price: Cheap-arse, but good

OK, forget about decor and cleanliness, but if you want the best and among the cheapest Shanghainese dumplings in town, this is the place (not the poorly named Shanghai Dumpling house a few doors up, although their dumplings are passable.) These dumplings kick arse on the Dumpling House, it's true!


Shanghai Dumpling House

Tattersalls Lane, Chinatown, off Little Bourke


Price: Damned cheap

The clatter of the corkscrew as it hits and slides across the formica after the waitress flicks it free of her impatient, hurried hand lets you know you've entered a busy, popular, cheap place to eat. Watch out for the odd cockroach, which we think adds a bit to this place's street cred, and order dumplings and maybe some leafy greens as well. We tend to stay clear of the pork, which is a bit... porky... and add a lot of chili sauce to the soy. Not exactly gourmet, but tasty and very cheap - two of us usually spend $12 to $15 between us.


Shanghai Village

Lt Bourke St, btw Russell and Exhibition

This is a new favourite for me. Big, busy and barn-like. Reminds me of the old Winston's. Sigh, RIP Winstons. But anyway, great vegie dumplings and an extensive menu of other things too including amazing salty green beans. This place just needs some pots of crunchy chilli on the table and it will be dumpling heaven. Dumplings are $6 a plate.