Camy Shanghai Dumpling
Tattersalls Lane (between Little Bourke & Lonsdale)
Well… this is a sad review. Camy Shanghai Dumpling has occupied a special place in my heart for a while. Sure, I like David and Camy in Box Hill better; but Box Hill was not the CBD post excessive amounts of Friday night after-work drinks.
I loved the whole ritual of it:
- Meeting up with friends at the Vintage Cellars nearby;
- Purchase of drinks to consume BYO whilst chowing down on spectacular amounts of dumplings;
- Waving at the guy “table for five!” and trying to get his attention while in the long queue snaking down Tattersalls lane;
- Getting your own tea and bowls, and drinking the wine out of little plastic glasses;
- Wiping the aforementioned bowls because they were always mysteriously wet;
- Singing the ‘happy birthday song’ at least 20 times an hour;
- And last but not least, begging the waiters to bring the friggin’ vegetarian dumplings that they forget all the time for that one vegetarian in your group that has remained hungry for the past hour while excessive amounts of pork dumplings have come out.
BUT NO MORE!
I stuck with them when they introduced the silly banquet menu for large groups. Maybe they need to do it; maybe it’s too annoying ordering different things for every table. And anyway, everything I like to order (pork dumplings steamed and fried; vegetable and mushroom dumplings; pumpkin cakes; chinese greens with oyster sauce) was on the banquet menu anyway. Still, bit of a ripoff at $15 a head (meals used to work out to around $7 each and we’d stagger out, replete).
This time it was just ridiculous though. Here’s another bullet-pointed list of things that drove me away this time, Camy:
- Once again, you never brought vegetarian dumplings and or spring rolls, unless we begged umpteen times;
- You forced us to move tables halfway through our meal when both tables were fine where they were and actually complained about the move;
- You charged us $95 for 5 people – $20 BYO fees for a bottle of wine and some ciders?! Come on! That’s more than we paid!
- The pork dumplings were overcooked and the filling barely resembled meat any more;
- The skins of the dumplings were uniformly tough as;
- The pumpkin cakes were sodden with oil as were the spring rolls;
- The stupid banquet thing forced us to get plates of rice and noodles that we didn’t want, a waste of food, your staff and food costs, and our table space;
- But the one unforgivable thing, and I’m not even vegetarian here, is that you kept telling us things were vegetarian when they weren’t.
Vegetarian spring rolls? They don’t have pork in them. What you gave us? Porky. Surprising given that it’s a cost cutting enterprise, you’d think they’d cut down on the meat.
Vegetarian dumplings do not have prawn in them, for chrissake! For a start, what if someone was allergic to seafood?! Let alone, oh, I don’t know, choosing vegetable and mushroom dumplings because they didn’t want to eat seafood or meat? I quite liked it – but I’m an omnivore and I like prawns. I shouldn’t have had to be the food tester for my vego friends all night. We should be able to trust that when you’re plonking the plate down and saying they’re the vegetable and mushroom dumplings, they actually are.
Lift your game, Camy. There are too many other dumpling joints in this town for me to care about giving you the time of day any more. Sorry – but that’s it. Our relationship, which lasted all through uni and into the early part of my working career, is over. Finished. Kaput. (I might still have a fling with your brother in Box Hill though, on the side).
Many other bloggers have reviewed Camy Shanghai Dumpling, but for me Melbourne Gastronome setting up the facebook group (back when that was sort of a main feature of FB, pre pages, timeline and a host of other annoying things) “I ate at David and Camy’s Shanghai Dumpling and survived (but only just)” takes the cake.
The porky/prawny vegetarian thing is just cavalier isn’t it! I was disappointed at my fave Vietnamese place last night when they subbed in prawn spring rolls for the pork ones in the dish I’d ordered. They didn’t bother to tell me until I’d spat one out in revulsion.
Yeah, I don’t get it. They’re offending seafood haters/allergic people/vegetarians… or all of the above!
Where’s your fave Vietnamese place? I just went on holiday there, so I’m kind of obsessed with seeking Vietnamese food out in Melbourne now. 🙂
Ha! Glad you appreciated the FB group, I’d forgotten about it. I haven’t been back to Camys for years, last time I went the dumplings had a really nasty filling with the consistency of spam. *shudder*
Heh. Yeah, I don’t think things have improved in the interim!