I finally got to taste the delicious dumplings of Dumpling Shack, a small but very popular food stall at School Yard Market, little sister of Broadway Market.
Dumpling Shack is due to serve its last dumplings in Broadway Market on 4 March 2017, and I thank a couple of my girls for organising a Saturday meet up to feast on these dumplings before they depart from the market. It was about time I stopped perving over their foodporn pics on Instagram (I have been following them for around 2 years) and actually indulge in the food!
By the time I arrived at the stall which was just after noon, there was quite a crowd; the dumpling are freshly made to order and customers could watch their orders take form.
My friends and I shared a portion of pork soup dumplings. In my haste to eat (I had gone for a run earlier and was feeling famished), I nearly burnt my mouth! The dumplings were impressive and juicy; the meat mix contains gelatin which melts while cooked to form a soup within the dumpling. The dough wasn’t too thick and it wasn’t bland tasting. Dumpling Shack must be doing something right because their stall had the most customers by far. The only downside was that there was a 20 minute wait between making an order and getting your food; the weather on Saturday was cloudy and breezy so the time must have felt a bit on the slow side.
While the stall is set to close after 4 March 2017, it is not the end for Dumpling Shack as the owner, John Li has got plans to take Dumpling Shack forward; following his successful pop venture in late 2016, I believe that there are plans to have a more permanent venue for Dumpling Shack. With 20,000 followers on Instagram, I reckon that his hard work will continue to reap benefits for his business. I wish him all the best!
After Dumpling Shack was a visit to Violet, which is a small independent bakery-cafe in the London Fields area, which has no doubt contributed to the gentrification of the area. Oolong tea, cupcakes and a chat with a couple of my friends added warmth to the dreary and windy weekend.
I had the chocolate cupcake with vanilla icing; I was happy that my cupcake was more cake than icing. Violet's origins are similar to that of Dumpling Shack, in that it started as a market stall on Broadway Market before finding a more permanent home.
Violet has limited seating upstairs and outside for more warmer days (or those who are impervious to the elements). It's ideal for a quiet catch-up with friends and intimate conversations.