Dumpling demand leads to new shop
Move over stodgy dumplings - a new breed of "sexy" dumpling has taken the capital by storm, thanks to aficionado Vicky Ha.
Ha has been serving Wellingtonians dumplings from her portable bike stall for 2 1/2 years, creating long queues wherever she goes.
The high demand has led to her opening a permanent shop, The House of Dumplings, in Taranaki St, with plans for another in Manners St later this year.
Her delicious morsels are a far cry from those at many takeaway stores, and she says they can make for a healthy meal, provided you swap the deep fryer for a steamer.
Ha dishes up her dumplings at all times of the day and says they can be eaten whenever. "And I actually quite like dumplings and beers - but that's me."
Most of her recipes were brought to Wellington from her mother's kitchen in Hong Kong, where she learned the art of dumpling making from a young age.
Ha says the most popular flavour is the chicken dumpling, which is also her favourite.
She tries the odd Western flavour to combine her two cultures. The latest is smoked warehou and horseradish cream, which has had a good response from customers.
"Wellingtonians are very, very open-minded and they are interested and experimental.
"It's a perfect place because you've got to keep it fun, and I think Wellingtonians are up for anything that tastes good."
All of Ha's products are sourced locally and she uses free range and fresh ingredients.
Once a competitive swimmer and windsurfer, she used to be able to eat 30 dumplings in one session.
She says the current record at her stall and shop is 37, held by a Wellington man. "It was amazing. I bought him a bottle of wine."
Although the shop is up and running, The House of Dumplings crew can still be found at the markets twice a week.
The Dominion Post