Our last minute plans to initially go to Portello Rosso didn’t turn out so well without any advance bookings. Just over a week before Christmas on a Friday night, walking in at the time didn’t seem like such a bad idea, until my friend and I were turned away from the restaurant. With not a lot of time, and no plan B we decided to walk around the city and ended up in an the small shopping strip where China Town is in front of Shandong Mama. We took it as a good sign that the place was just bustling with activity and customers and decided to give them a try as well.

2013-12-13 Shandong Mama (3)‘Little Rachel’ Dumplings (Prawn, calamari, salmon, chives, Chinese cabbage, sesame oil) $13.80

These little dumplings had a nice little hint of sentimentalism with story about a grandmother who loved her granddaughter very much. It was like eating a variation of home made dumplings, simply boiled without the excessive commercialized Chinese flavours and oil. I enjoyed these dumplings as they were without dipping sauce and they were seasoned just right. In my opinion a well made dumpling does not need any sauce and these ‘Little Rachels’ did just that. No frills, just simple and tasty.

2013-12-13 Shandong Mama (4)Homemade milk tea  $3.5 (Tasted like English Breakfast)

As you are able to spend a little more time perusing the menu, you’d immediately notice that a small backstory to the restaurant is printed on the first few pages of their menu. Meiyan Wang (Mama) was an accountant from China with a passion for cooking. It was only until 2009 that Meiyan Wang arrived in Australia, and with the encouragement from family and friends to share her food with other people by opening her own restaurant that Shandong Mama came to be.

2013-12-13 Shandong Mama (5) Kung Pao Chicken on rice $8.9

I enjoyed the Kung Pao Chicken, considering it was my first time. I liked how everything was just bite sized. The portions although appear to be small, was just the right amount for two people. I finished my meal satisfied and not overly full. Staff and service were prompt but still polite. When we ordered, we received a receipt and as food was being brought out, the waitresses would cross off the item off the tax receipt. Shandong Mama is certainly a cheap, quick and satisfying place to eat if your in a hurry and have no time to sit around and relax. Nice new place to try some dumplings out.

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