Dominion Road, Balmoral
People often ask where to get the best and most authentic dumplings in Auckland. Barilla on Dom Road! THIS is the place. Now just like every other nice, cheap and authentic Asian eateries you DO NOT, I repeat, you DO NOT expect great service. It IS meant to be like this. Staff will be rude. The place will look dirty (newsflash – have you been to the kitchen/back of the other restaurants?) but once again, one simply cannot expect much from an authentic cheap Asian eatery/restaurant. I can understand if you’re paying lots of $$$$$$$$ but if you’re getting 20 dumplings for $10-$14 some things have to give.
But not the food here at Barilla. Ok there may be a lack of service and the place is forever busy and packed (wonder why?!), but their dumplings are the best, without losing that authentic homemade touch. They are made by traditional Northern Chinese, which is where the original dumplings and noodles and baos (buns) came from. They’ve even been on the Metro Top 100 cheap eats more than once. And it’s BYO. There are so many varieties to choose from: recommended dumplings are pork and chives, pork and coriander, chicken and celery, and chives and egg (vegetarian).
Their rice and noodle dishes are just as delicious. Special mention to the fried beans with spicy salt…just order it!!
They’ve had a renovation last year and the place is brighter and cleaner and most of all, busier than before. If you can’t wait for a table don’t forget to get the frozen dumplings so you can take home and cook it yourself! Either boil and use chicken stock as broth, or you can pan fry them covered with a bit of water at the bottom to cook them with the steam, until the bottom is lightly brown. Serve with light soy sauce or vinegar, chilli oil, sesame oil and ginger. And yes, they also do takeaways.