Place: The new home for Vicky Ha (aka The Dumpling Queen) and her handcrafted Hong Kong dumplings.
People: Vicky earned her title off the back of success at a local artisan food market in April 2012, where she sold dumplings that tasted like the comforting food her mother would make. We were lucky enough to interview her for our June/July issue that year, and were amazed by her hard-working and determined attitude. She began making dumplings with just two manual pasta machines, but quickly expanded thanks to popularity at events such as Beervana, and through supermarket trade.
Despite the growth, dumplings are still carefully hand made and made with local, fresh ingredients. Vicky's determined to keep the integrity of her original venture.
Decor: Kind of like an ancient Chinese haberdashery, but for food. The interior is clad with rough recycled wooden panels and canvas, whilst drawers, shelves and cupboards all appear stuffed with exotic spices and balls of string. Outside, House of Dumplings leans into the street thanks to a hut-like awning and bamboo covering. Vicky states the goal of the design was to impart a 'made-from-scratch' feeling to the space, as well as echo Hong Kong heritage buildings.
On the menu: A build-your-own approach, which means diners choose from a selection of fresh, handmade dumplings, meat skewers, salads and drinks to takeaway. Everything on the menu is assuredly local, seasonal and ethical. As such, the menu changes with the weather, giving plenty of reasons to plan future visits.
In the cup: A really interesting selection of refreshing and unusual drinks, from fresh mango lassis and lemon lemon ice tea to Hong Kong milk tea, organic Samoan cocoa and miso soup.
Go tomorrow: And be one of Vicky's first customers at the new spot. Return time and time again for a varying menu of authentic and yummy hand-crafted cuisine with delicious fresh and exotic flavours.
Open: The grand opening takes place tomorrow (Saturday 2nd of August). Hours haven't been set yet, but it's suggested that lunch and dinner services will operate.
Address: 117 Taranaki Street, Wellington (opposite Briscoes).
To find out more and keep up-to-date with opening hours and seasonal menus, check out the House of Dumplings website.