Lake Dumplings is a small unassuming restaurant in Takapuna, but it’s a place that all the locals know about.
Tucked away in a row of restaurants, Lake Dumplings has a simple entrance with pictures of their dishes posted on their sliding glass door entrance.
Depending on the time, you might be the only ones in the restaurant while others stop in for takeaways, while other times the place can be packed with families and groups of friends.
One rainy day we stopped in after work, craving warm comforting food. The staff were friendly and happy to help answer any questions that we had about the menu. Stefan ordered the sour spicy pork mince soup ($12), and I ordered the sweet and sour pork with rice ($20). We also got their vinegar roasted peanut appetizer to share.
The peanuts arrived in no time, cold with onions and sitting in vinegar. It might sound like an unappetizing dish, but it was sweet, tangy, salty and very addictive! The sour and spicy pork mince soup arrived soon after.
The soup had a floral tangy twist to the broth with soft noodles with pickles mixed in. The mince had a strong buttery pork taste and I found myself stealing a lot of “small bites” from Stefan. He ordered medium spice and I felt it was the perfect amount of heat mixed with the tangy, floral flavours.
The sweet and sour pork was good and what you would expect. The meat wasn’t chewy or gristly and the breading didn’t overpower the meat. The sweet and sour sauce was nicely balanced between flavours and the carrots had a nice crunch to them.
After we visited the first time, we heard that they’re well known for braised beef noodle soup – so Stefan and I decided to visit again over the weekend.
We ordered the spicy pork and chive dumplings ($12 for 12 pieces), green beans with pork mince ($18) and their braised beef noodle soup ($11). We knew we were going to have a massive amount of food so we planned on bringing some home as leftovers.
The green beans and dumplings came out right away. I love Chinese style green beans, but the portion size was underwhelming. It was smaller than I was expecting, definitely not enough for a person’s meal. The beans were not greasy and the pork mince was spectacularly flavourful and salty.
The dumpling dough was more on the chewy side (which I like) and the hot and sour broth was fantastic! It was similar to the sour soup that we loved, having complex floral and spicy flavours. Their braised beef noodle soup was massive! The beef broth tasted fresh and clean and the meat fell apart when you picked it up with chopsticks. The noodles were similar texture to ramen noodles. Sadly there weren’t a lot of vegetables in the soup.
Overall we really enjoyed both trips to Lake Dumplings. There are so many different dishes on the menu to entice almost anyone making each visit feel new and very tasty.