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Restaurant review: Dumpling Library in Belfast serves up an unforgettable meal

Even my Chinese mother-in-law loved Belfast’s latest Asian restaurant

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Assorted vegatable buns

Assorted vegatable buns

Assorted vegatable buns

My Chinese mother-in-law is incredible in the kitchen – but always talking about me with my wife in Mandarin so I’ve no idea what they’re saying.

She is without doubt one of the best cooks I have ever met though – so I guess you dim sum, you lose some.

Honestly it was a no-brainer to take her along to help me review Belfast’s latest Asian restaurant as she knows exactly how to make many of the dishes from scratch.

The Dumpling Library has only been open for a week but is already causing quite a stir across social media.

Offering a variety of beautifully-presented small dishes, the latest venture by Eddie Fung – developed alongside his Executive Chef Kit Chu – is a very welcome addition to Saint Anne’s Square.

The menu is big and showcases some famous traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese food that is not usually on offer in many Asian restaurants across Northern Ireland.

Four of us ordered nine dishes in total and there was more than enough to go around.

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Like all restaurants in China the food is served as it’s ready so there always seems to be a steady stream of plates coming to the table.

First to arrive was was a truly wonderful salt and chilli tofu. Perfectly cooked and with a lingering chilli kick it set the bar high for the rest of the meal.

The ‘Zhenjiang’ meaty ribs with pine nuts were incredible, the meat falling off the bone and the Shaoshing wine, soy sauce, honey and vinegar flavour an absolute delight.

A fried smoked beef short rib boa bun with shredded cucumber, cherry tomatoes and roasted sesame was excellent but we all agreed it was a little greasy.

Everyone loved the wok-Fried egg noodles with soy and XO sauce, minced dry shrimp and scallop, beansprout and spring onion.

My son’s favourite, however, was the Taiwanese crispy chicken with seaweed, basil and light plum sauce, perfectly fried but still moist inside.

Compared to the other plates the deep fried aubergine with yellow bean sauce was a little disappointing in terms of flavour

I’ve had much better in both Dublin and in Hong Kong but it was well-cooked and was very fresh.

The final three plates were the highlights of an unforgettable meal.

Eight fillet steak, black pepper and onion pan-fried dumplings were outstanding – juicy and packed with filling.

The fluffy steamed chicken and vegetables and assorted vegetables buns were close to perfection too.

Special mention must go to all the Asian restaurant staff who were super-efficient and very well-informed about the food and menu.

One Chinese waitress even took time to have a long conversion with my mother in law... I just hope they weren’t talking about me.

The Bill

Steak, black pepper
& onion dumplings
£10.80

Chicken & vegetable

buns£7.80

Assorted vegetable

buns£7.80

Smoked beef rib bun£8.20

Taiwanese crispy
chicken
£6.80

‘Zhenjiang’ meaty
ribs with pine nuts
£6.80

Salt chilli tofu£6.20

Egg noodles£8.80

Deep-fried aubergine £6.20

Drinks £8.55

TOTAL£77.95


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