Opening a dumpling house in Melbourne is a tough gig. First, there is ridiculous competition in Melbourne, so you better have what it takes to make your dumpling house stand out. Second, intoxicated customers will be a frequent guest at your restaurant, which is only made worse by the byo policy which is expected from cheap dumpling houses. Third, customers expect prices so cheap that even a Mc Donalds happy meal is starting to look expensive by comparison. Luckily for dumpling house Mao Please, it looks like they have what it takes to stick around for awhile.
Situated in China Town, Mao Please offers the standard dumpling house offering - although its no frills venue is a little more brighter, the staff a little more friendlier, and the food a little more fresher than many of the other dumpling houses on the strip.
Mao Please's fried Singapore Noodles were some of the best I've had in Melbourne - the vegetables were crisp, the meat was tender and everything was covered in the perfect amount of sauce. The dish also wasn't too salty, which can often be the case with a dish of this kind.
The pork wontons in chilli oil was another winning dish. The meat was again was tender, the wonton wrappers were firm but not chewy, and the overall dish was drenched in the perfect amount of chilli sauce.
Unfortunately the xia long bao didn't quite make the cut. Whilst they were tasty (lets be honest, I still managed to finish the whole plate), the dumplings themselves were far too fragile and kept breaking apart, meaning that the soup spilt everywhere.
Whilst I wouldn't call Mao Please my favourite dumpling house in Melbourne, it definitely makes the top five and, being open until 10.30pm (compared to the 9.30pm close on a weeknight for many of my favourite dumping houses) it is the perfect venue if you are after some late(r) night dumpling treats.
Verdict: like - get around to trying it at some point