Saturday, 25 August 2012

Mings Dim Sum (Crown Casino) - MELBOURNE

Address: Crown Casino, Level 1
Cuisine: Chinese

Mushroom Ratings:

Food: 8/10 (for Shanghai Dumplings)
Value: 8/10
Service: 5/10
Ambiance: 6/10

We’ve been to Mings a handful of times now. The prices here are quite decent, at around $5 per tray of dumplings (each tray having the standard serving of 3 dumplings) – which is what you’d expect to find in most Yum Cha places in Chinatown.

1. The location is definitely a bit awkward to get to.
What I did find odd was that you had to actually know this place existed to go there. It is located inside Crown Casino, but hidden upstairs, away from the main restaurants, and shopping outlets. Upstairs, was generally a series of poker tables, which you had to walk past before you get to Mings.

2. Food was good, but the Xiao Long Bao was amazing!

Above: Har Gow (Prawn Dumpling)
We tried most of the dishes on the Yum Cha side of the menu (although there are mains, such as noodles for $10). Most of dumplings were only ok to say the most. But they were quite a good price at $5 each. The Prawn Dumpling (Har Gow) had skin that was soft, it was also over-steamed, and a bit sticky, which led to it falling apart. Bit of a shame, considering the prawn filling is quite nice and juicy.

Above: Siu Mai (Pork Dumpling)

The Pork Dumpling (Siu Mai) was better, but there’s a funny taste to it, it tasted like the skin was pre-bought and not hand made. Makes a big difference if you're picky on your dumplings, but otherwise not bad at all.

The other dish that's quite nice is the Spring Onion Pancake filled with BBQ pork (Cha Siu). Almost like a chinese version of a kebab! 

Above: Spring Onion Pancake

Best Shanghai Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) in Melbourne
However, the golden dish of the menu is the Xiao Long Bao or Shanghai Dumplings. I will come back to Mings just for this dish. It is possibly one of the best Shanghai Dumplings in Melbourne! And I am a Shanghai Dumpling enthusiast. The Xiao Long Bao was mouth-watering! Much better than the overrated reviews for Hu Tong in Chinatown. At Mings, the skin was masterfully thin, the soup inside plentiful and flavoursome, and the pork juicy inside. A must try for any dumpling fan!

Above: Shanghai Dumpling (Xiao Long Bao)

If you have heard of the Taiwanese food chain giant, Din Tai Fung, internationally known for their Xiao Long Bao, then I can tell you the Xiao Long Baos at Mings are almost on par.

3. Surprise… Hair!
As it is a relatively new restaurant, I tried to be more understanding of the slow service. The first time we went to Mings, it was on their opening day, around opening time. It was a little slow with no more than 40% of the tables filled. We waited over 40 min for our first dish. Then our Xiao Long Bao was forgotten altogether. Our Mango pudding also had a hair in it… (extra flavour?), which was later replaced with a cleaner one. But I guess things go wrong on the first day. All was forgiven by the end of the meal, with our stomaches full and happy.

Our second visit, was much more improved. Food was on the table within 15 minutes, and to our relief there was no hairs on our food. We found ourselves returning here a few more times in the last few months. The service itself is always friendly.


Despite the odd location and initial service experience, Mings is still a good place for the quick and casual dining, especially if you have a mid-night craving for dumplings.

Mings Dim Sum (Crown Casino) on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

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