A little group of us were lucky enough to be invited along to try out Dumpling Dumpling* located in what's better known as Westquay Watermark. Dumpling Dumpling aka Flavour Bombs as they are also known, is the brain child of Dan and Nat. You can tell their hearts and souls go into this and they have so much passion for what they are doing, just by having a little chat with Nat. The pair were living out in China teaching English, and that's where the love of dumplings grew. Nat's Chinese name was even Jiaozi, meaning dumpling in Mandarin! It was meant to be.
While in China they spent their free time finding and sampling all different types and flavours of dumplings. Once back in good ol' blighty they found themselves travelling to London to get their fix, which soon turned into trying to make their own at home. After a few tries they cracked it and are now experimenting with flavours and fillings from all around, while selling them to the people of Southampton out of Vinnie the Van! What a whirlwind huh?
When the 4 of us arrived we were greeted by Nat, and shown to a table. She took time to tell us the story behind their business and all about the food they serve. I personally was a dumpling virgin, never had one in my life, so I was looking forward to trying their take on the Chinese classic. While Nat was preparing our food, we got to give dumpling making a bash for ourselves. Nat bought out all the ingredients for us to make our very own batch of Teriyaki Tofu dumplings and gave us a mini master class to get them just right. Surprisingly therapeutic to make, and they actually turned out successfully.
Just as we had finished up making our dumplings Nat was ready to bring out the delights she had steamed up for us. The dumplings we tried were The Xmas Factor, The Hulk Smash, Teriyaki Tofu and Chicken Kiev. The chicken kiev speaks for its self, chicken and garlic. Then the Xmas factor, Turkey, stuffing, roasties, bacon and cranberries. Hulk smash was butternut squash, garlic, pine nuts and spinach, then lastly it was the Teriyaki Tofu, carrots, tofu, broccoli, Chinese leaf and spring onions. They were all so good, and so different to what you would expect to find in a dumpling. No wonder they are a hit with everyone.
When we thought we were done, Nat broke the news that there's dessert dumplings. The Indulgent, a smooth chocolate praline with peanut butter and strawberry jam in a cocoa wrap. It's as good as it sounds, warm gooey delights. Once we had finished up, the lovely Nat gave us our dumplings we had made ready to go home with us and cooking instructions so we can get them just right.
Dumpling Dumpling actually do dumpling making sessions for everyone, as long as you book in advance. I would definitely recommend, it was really fun to do. If you can, pop by, say hi and try out their special flavours!
Big thanks to Nat & Dan for inviting us in and opening our eyes to the world of dumplings.
And once again a Thank you to Alice for taking us along for another great Soton Bloggers experience.
* complementary meal