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Monday, July 30, 2007

July 26, 2007: Camy Shanghai Dumpling & Noodle Restaurant

It should be no surprise that Michael and I booked tickets to see The Simpsons Movie on its opening night and Tracy, Lee and Brett were just as keen to see the yellow-skinned quintet up on the big screen. (We've all been enjoying Simpsonising ourselves on the website - check out Michael and I here!) In addition, the more normally-toned trio had a restaurant secret to share with us: Camy Shanghai Dumpling & Noodle Restaurant.

This is one of the most bustling restaurants I've ever visited, and I was glad to have Lee take the lead. A small but commanding man yelled in our direction and Lee confidently yelled and gestured "5!" back. We had a few minutes to wait but the next yelp of "5!" arrived as our cue to follow the maestro upstairs to another bustling room. We couldn't see a vacancy anywhere, until we saw our host shooing two sleepy-eyed students away from their table (all the while continuing to yell "5! 5!"), shepherding us into the seats even before they'd managed to pick up their coats. This set the pace for our entire visit: menus were presented, orders taken and food plonked on the table in the minimum of time - we couldn't help but instinctively bolt down our dinner before we, too, outstayed our brief welcome.

My hasty flick through the menu revealed a variety of different bits and pieces, with vegetarian options scattered throughout. I think I even noticed "vegetarian duck" in there somewhere, at the incomprehensible price of $3.50. Here's what we shared:

a large plate of greens ($7.90)

steamed vegetarian buns (4 for $4.50)

The star attraction is really the dumplings - these vegetarian ones were 20 for $6.50. Incredible! Very tasty too - as you can see, they contain discernible pieces of mushroom and spring onion rather than homogeneous mush. For fast and cheap food in the city, this dumpling plate alone has Camy Shanghai outdoing my previous favourite, Nila City.

Address: 25 Tattersalls Lane, Melbourne CBD
Ph: 9663 8555
BYO
Price: veg meals $3-12

20 comments:

  1. Just wanted to let you guys know that this blog is awesome, it's my favourite! And I'm glad you've finally reviewed 'the dumpling place' - the secret that everybody seems to know about ;) Try the red bean fried cake next time you're there, its sweet/crunchy/greasy demeanor is a perfect contrast with the steamed vege dumplings.

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  2. Hi Birchy, thanks for leaving a comment! I will try to remember the red bean fried cake for next time, I should really sample a few more things beyond the dumplings and sweet/crunchy/greasy sounds like just my snacking style. :-)

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  3. i love camy's, (though fellow fff blogger jfox mentioned a recent change in management from the camy's of past)! i love the rustic charm, the slightly chaotic atmosphere, the plastic crockery and ...oh yeah, the cheap as chips tasty dumplings!

    hey btw how did you guys get simpsonised??? i wanna try! did the flick live up to expectations for you simpson addicts? i hope to see it very soon too.

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  4. Ah huh, I read that review of jfox's and didn't quite make the connection! I may have missed Camy's in its prime but I still like it. :-)

    Simpsonisation is available at the movie website. You'll see "create your Simpson avatar" along the top!

    As for the movie, it was pretty fun. It had a wholesome family story at its core but some surprising adult themes along the way. Some vintage slapstick, a refreshing absence of pop culture jokes but lacking the cynicism or sharp characterisation of past episodes. But enough intense cartoon analysis - go see it, have fun, and don't think too hard! :-)

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  5. Is this the restaurant with the hot pink walls?

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  6. I don't think so, Marina. Geez, you'd really think I'd notice some hot pink walls, so probably not! :-D

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  7. You can't beat the Camy for value. I love a plate of steaming dumplings for a cheap post-work dinner with friends. It sounds like things are still good after the management change.

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  8. Although I have many a lovely memory of the dumpling house- you must try the place next door, Shanghai noodle house. It's much smaller and there are not as many options, but the vegetarian dumplings and buns give the other place a run for its money. Plus service is marginally better/faster.

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  9. looks great - I keep meaning to go here - hope to sample some of the dumplings soon!

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  10. Truffle, I didn't visit it in its former glory days but it certainly hit the spot for me!

    Jen, thanks for the recommendation! I will keep it in mind.

    Johanna, I think it's worth a try - sounds like the place next door is worth a visit too. :-)

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  11. Oh, the Camy Dumpling Hut. Among some of my friends it's known as Soup Kitchen with the obvious connotations that has.

    I, however, am not sure I am going to be able to go back there. I recently partook (is that the past tense of partake?) in a dumpling eat-off there...I managed 50 of the vegetarian ones, which sounds minor but is no small feat. Now I don't know if I could face them again!

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  12. Holy crap, 50 dumplings?! Harriet, that's way more than I could ever eat in a sitting. I hope one day, after a loooong break, you can find some more love for dumplings - they are just too good.

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  13. i concur with jen, be sure to try shanghai dumpling house next door...its smaller, slightly scarier (in a "should we call the health inspector?" kind of way) but they serve delicious FRIED dumplings as well as "gluten" meals and some sort of vegetarian fried cake of deliciousness (name escapes me).

    i must say, those greens do look tempting, whilst i'm here at work with only charity box chips to eat :(

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  14. Will do, Buttons - if there's one thing I like more than vegetarian dumplings, it's FRIED vegetarian dumplings. :-)

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  15. It's so cheap too! The vegetarian duck is usually called mock duck, and it's tofu. Really great if you get a chance to try it.

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  16. Gin, I am quick to try new mock meats so will probably grab the duck one day - unusual that it's tofu rather than gluten!

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  17. this place is not a vegetarian place. they use chicken stock for their soup to boil the dumplings. I'm a vegetarian and after finding out I've never step foot into the restaurant again.

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  18. Hmmm, I'd be surprised if that were a problem for the steamed dumplings but it'd be worth finding out.

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  19. is Camys BYO everything?? Beer and Wine

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  20. Hi Mark! Camy's is BYO wine only, I think - they sell beer on the premises.

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