Tuesday 28 May 2024

Lucky Little Dumplings at Pentridge, Coburg

Lucky Little Dumplings is a fine Chinese restaurant in the Pentridge Shopping Centre which opened in late 2020.  As it was opened in the midst of covid restrictions, it took a while to go there.  My first experience was through Uber Eats but more recently we have enjoyed it being right next to the cinema.

Over a series of visits to Lucky Little Dumplings Sylvia and I have tried new dishes each time and getting better at knowing works for us.  What started as plates of beige food has become more colourful and interesting.  As well as the wonderful dumplings, I would highly recommend the eggplant dishes.

This was my first Lucky Little Dumplings meal.  It was an Uber Eats order in August 2021 during lockdown.  At the time any meal from a restaurant was exciting.  I was a bit indulgent in this order because I had won a voucher on a work quiz night.  I also had quite a few dishes so that Sylvia had quite  few options as I knew it would not all be to her taste at the time.

A vegan friend had told me about ordering the excellent eggplant terriyaki on a night out with her extended family.  The eggplant is the sort of dish that would feed a small village.  It doesn't look huge in the picture but it goes a long way.  I had plenty for leftovers including some on a pizza.

Other menu items we tried were spring rolls, fried dumplings, fried buns and spring onion pancake.  as you will see they came with a few sauces.  I loved the food but I would have preferred it fresh at a restaurant rather than delivered in plastic tubs.  Since then we have had all these dishes in house except the spring rolls.

It took us a while to visit the Lucky Little Dumplings restaurant at Pentridge.  They were unlucky in opening between the first and second long lockdowns in Melbourne.  Many of us were wary about going out even as the covid restrictions gradually lifted after the end of months of lockdown towards the end of 2021.  In July 2023 we first ate in at the restaurant, which is upstairs at the Pentridge Shopping Centre with doors opening into a space mainly occupied by the Pentridge Palace Cinema.

On this first restaurant visit, I had to have the Crispy Eggplant in Teriyaki Sauce..  It is so so so good with crispy batter and a tasty sauce.  As with the eggplant I had as a takeaway, I had plenty left at the end and was pleased to take home the leftovers.

The Spring Onion Pancake is a favourite with us.  This one is fried to crisp flakes and is delicious.  We have only ever ordered one to share.  It never seems enough but Lucky Little Dumplings is a place to order a few smaller dishes.  We are always satisfied, and occasionally achingly full, at the end.  It necessary to be careful not to over order just because could happily scoff down more of every dish (except the generous serves of crispy eggplant).

For years I only had steamed dumplings and it was a wonder to discover fried vegetarian dumplings.  These Fried Vegetarian Dumplings are delicious with crispy fried bottoms, soft steamed tops and nice vegetable filling.

I also love Pan Fried Vegetarian buns.  This buns again are crispy down low and have wonderful steamed soft thick dough up top.  However they have quite a lot of egg as well as greens.  I don't like egg so I am not so keen on them.

On our second visit in July, we tried more dishes and I had Jasmine tea.  Again we had the spring onion pancakes as well as some bao dumplings and a stir fry.

The Steamed Vegetable and Mushroom Bao Buns are fantastic.  The soft bread-like dumplings are filled with lots of mushrooms and greens.  I much prefer this filling to the egg one above, though I wish I could have these with a crispy fried bottom.

It often seems that Chinese food does not offer much in the way of vegetable dishes compared to the beef, chicken and seafood ones.  On this visit I think I had seen someone with a flat rice noodle dish and wanted some.  I ordered the Stir fried noodles with vegetables and requested flat right noodles.  It was nice with bok choy, broccoli, carrots and I think there was also some cabbage as well.

Our third visit was in March this year.  On this occasion, after our European travels, Sylvia was feeling more adventurous.  We had some of the dumplings we had ordered before and also had edamame, fried rice and more magnificent eggplant.

The seasoned edamame is a fine addition to any meal.  Who doesn't like a dish that is both green vegetables and legume!

When we ordered the Vegetarian Fried Rice we were given the option to have it without egg but Sylvia loves egg so we declined.  My mum used to serve me fried rice with egg so I am used to avoiding the large chunks.  We also ordered another excellent eggplant dish (below) which was so delicious and even better with the fried rice.

I took the below photo of the Crispy Eggplant Bites with Sweet and Sour Chilli Sauce on our fourth and most recent visit about a month ago.  It was so good that we ordered it again after first having it on the previous visit.  Sylvia had decided to try eggplant, which is not normally something she eats.  When we ordered we were told the sauce was made in-house and was quite spicy.  It was such a nice sauce.  Not too spicy.  Not as sweet or sour as the sweet and sour sauces I grew up with.  It was a sticky, sweet, salty spicy delight coating the crispy battered chunks of eggplant that are meltingly soft inside.  We both loved it so much and had lots to eat and still leftovers to take home.  So while it is not a cheap dish at $26.80, it goes a long way and is so amazing that it is worth trying.  No wonder they are listed under Chef's Special on the menu.

As in our previous meal, on that fourth visit we found that the Crispy Eggplant Bites go well with the fried rice.  We also ordered edamame for extra colour and protein, and as a fresh complement to the sticky rich eggplant.  

On this occasion, we didn't have much time before seeing a film at the cinema next to the restaurant so we kept our order simple and quick.  I was surprised that a couple of women near us told us they had been waiting too long and had to leave.  Every time I have been there we have been served in a reasonable time and had good service.  When we have questions or additional items to order, it never takes long to get the attention of the staff.  We have enjoyed all our meals at Lucky Little Dumplings and are looking forward to going there the next time.

Lucky Little Dumplings
T101/1 Champ St, Coburg VIC 3058
Open: 11am - 9pm, 7 days a week


  1. What an amazing place- truly a dream restaurant for me- everything pictured looks appetizing, and eggplant is my very favorite vegetable. The Chinese way of cooking it is perfect- flavorful and melt-in-the-mouth. What a great idea to use leftovers on pizza.

  2. It looks fantastic! Wish I lived nearby!

  3. So many wonderful things happening in your kitchen dn garden. Thanks for sharing the journey with us.


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