A dinner with my brother’s family has us reliving uni days of driving into Footscray. My brother introduced me to 1+1 Dumplings 4 years ago. Ever since he left Melbourne after graduating, I hadn’t returned to the restaurant. There isn’t a lack of want but with Melbourne and too many new restaurants on the ever-changing food scene, it just slid further and further down my eating wishlist.
1+1 Dumplings specialises in Xin Jiang cuisine and we were specifically after the lamb skewers and ‘big platter chicken’. The dishes here seem to include a lot more spices than in typical Chinese dishes, with aromatic cumin, cinnamon and star anise giving flavour and fragrance to the food.
We started off with a tangy appetitser of chilled cucumber. The julienned vegetable was pickled in vinegar and tossed with garlic, chilli and coriander. It was the perfect palate cleanser, refreshing and zingy all at once.
The lamb skewers were a favourite amongst the table. The meat was tender and seasoned with just the right touch of ground cumin and chilli. Not much of a fan of lamb, even I thought these were pretty good.
An impressive platter is quickly set down and this is my favourite of the lot. The literal translation of the dish is self-explanatory. Accompanying the chopped up bits of chicken are braised vegetables like potatoes, wombok and capsicum. Dried chilli, cinnamon and star anise contribute a sweet fragrance to the mix. The starchy flat broad noodles are coated in this wonderful sauce and gives a comforting oomph when slurped and chewed.
We ordered a plate of dumplings only because we thought there wasn’t going to be enough food. These were alright, not the best I’ve come across, but decent in their own right. The filling was juicy although could use a tad more seasoning.
We left happy and full although The Angmoh needed a quick pitstop at 8Bit for a milkshake. He didn’t dig the chicken noodles the way we did, and I for one am very happy to have caught up with 1+1 dumplings after all those years.