Travel bite: The modest Wellington eatery that serves the best dumplings in the country

Travel bite: The modest Wellington eatery that serves the best dumplings in the country

Natural wonders, man-made monuments and cultural experiences typically serve as main points of interest when going beyond borders and jumping across oceans. For some, it’s local delicacies that rise like Michaelangelo’s David and make the trip worth it all.

France has its fries, Belgium has its biscuits and Australia has dark brown yeast cold cuts, but in this series we want to highlight food that is worth traveling around New Zealand for. Put these culinary delights into your passport – just do not expect lumps of pineapple flavor.

Finished are the days of choosing between fried and steamed dumplings. How you should have eaten them all the time is bathed in a pool of homemade chili oil, where the sweet vinegar kick only enhances the hand-folded pockets of goodness.

Coming from an apartment with uni students living in an attic above an art gallery in the heart of Wellington’s Cuba Street was a shock to my system moving to regional Australia. Where I could once walk out my front door to a literally melting pot of kitchens, I moved to a town where chicken schnitzel was the only thing on the menu.

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While I managed to stumble across a pad of Thai or butter chicken once in a while, chili oil buns were the only dish missing in my life. My favorite, reliable little pan-fried pockets of flavor, drowned in a soup spice that set my soul on fire.

If you’re an Aucklander, you know that Barilla Dumplings is no joke. But believe me on this; you will find the best dumplings in the country (and I have tried more than my fair share) at the other end of the island.

Rams Crazy Dumplings Restaurant is a small eatery that you would be forgiven for strolling right past, but any local knows that it is home to the best dumplings in the capital.

The famous chili oil buns from Rams Crazy Dumplings Restaurant, Wellington.


The famous chili oil buns from Rams Crazy Dumplings Restaurant, Wellington.

It’s hard to pinpoint what sets the Rams’ bits apart from the rest; whether it’s the crispy exterior or the fresh filling – from pork with chives, spring onions or cabbage to chicken and mushrooms.

Either way, the plump dumplings have built up a fan base all over the city. The restaurant offers a traditional BYO experience for the city’s student scene, but also offers a taste of authentic Chinese culture (especially with the combination of pork, shrimp and chives).

Here’s the part of a culture that many dumpling eaters do not know. The court was traditionally created almost 2,000 years ago in China’s provinces when doctor Zhang Zhongjing returned to his hometown and found that people were getting frostbite in their ears.

The court was meant to warm the body from the inside out, and although I have no intention of familiarizing myself with folklore, as a poor student living in an earthquake-prone apartment in the country’s most windy city, I can testify. the feel-good notion of this narrative.

Rams Restaurant is located down Cuba Street.


Rams Restaurant is located down Cuba Street.

To this day, you will find that dumplings remain an important part of many Chinese households. They have become a feast where some people place a coin or candy inside the dumpling in hopes of making a fortune or having a sweet life on Chinese New Year’s Eve.

When we enjoy dumplings at the beach on our sunniest days in Aotearoa, people in northern China eat dumplings at sunset in hopes of a warm winter.

For a modest $ 16 for 12 dumplings, on my more gluttonous days, I treat myself to two servings, and where I can, I always taste some of the sauce to keep me going until my next dumpling hit.

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Where to eat: Ram’s chili oil buns are served as 12 pieces for $ 16, with fillings of your choice. Find the restaurant at 171 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington. See:

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