My Neighbours the Dumplings

Restaurants, Chinese Lower Clapton
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(10user reviews)
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A buzzing east London dim sum joint serving up homemade dumplings.

Purists, take note: this isn’t your traditional dim sum restaurant and doesn’t claim to be. Instead, My Neighbours the Dumplings has adopted the dim sum dining style of shared small plates and given it a hip east London twist, combining traditional Chinese dishes with other popular Asian influences, including Thai-style green papaya salad and a saké-based drinks menu.

But don’t worry, these guys really do make excellent dumplings. The pastry is handmade and the meat (all free-range and from the Rare Breed Meat Company) tastes like actual meat rather than something you hope is pork. Their take on the classic steamed pork-and-prawn siu mai was light and fresh; the interpretation of a turnip cake looked alarmingly burnt but was crispy and moreish; and the sticky lotus-leaf-wrapped rice was packed with tasty surprises. Vegetarians are very well catered for too, with plump steamed shiitake mushroom dumplings and fried aubergine and sesame ‘potstickers’ trumping their meaty counterparts.

Tempting as it is to stuff yourself silly with multiple orders of the savoury delights, save room for dessert. Heavenly chocolate dumplings were like naughty, deep-fried Milky Ways while the matcha tea rice pudding with coconut jam had me licking the bowl – although I was so full it was hard for me to move even this much.

After running a series of pop-ups, MNTD has wisely chosen to settle down on an increasingly popular stretch in Lower Clapton that’s full of new restaurants, and it’s already attracting a loyal local following with friendly service, distressed walls, communal tables, glowing street food signs, reasonable prices and a buzzing atmosphere. On a Saturday night, the place is packed with hordes of hungry hipsters propping up the bar, sipping saké-based cocktails and waiting for a table (there’s no booking, obvs).

Yes, everyone knows that most of the best dim sum in London is to be found in Chinatown, but if you’re in need of a dumpling fix and can’t face battling through the throngs of lost tourists in Leicester Square, MNTD offers a pleasing alternative that feels far more like ‘the place to be’ than your average restaurant on Rupert Street.

By: Sonya Barber

Posted:

Venue name: My Neighbours the Dumplings
Contact:
Address: 165 Lower Clapton Road
London
E5 8EQ
Transport: Rail: Clapton
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Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|10
1 person listening
Judith C

I've eaten here twice and look forward to the next time I'm over in east London.  The food is scrummy - especially the sticky rice in lotus leaf - and the atmosphere hard to beat.  

Sarah (kukkiiandkoppee)
Tastemaker

Claiming to not be a dim sum restaurant yet most of their menu is small plates of Chinese dumplings. To be fair I guess it isn't purely a dim sum joint as they have partnered it up with sake as the choice of tipple. I would have liked to enjoy this place as the restaurant itself is very inviting and chilled. The dim sum dishes themselves just did not hit the mark. Actually the king of all dumplings, the crystal prawn dumpling (har gao) was the blandest ever and the wrapper layer was too thick. For that price it should have been brimming with chunky prawns. The only correct description of the "sticky spicy Korean ribs" was that it was indeed ribs. Most other dishes lacked complexity and were masked by overpowering flavours - like ginger or black pepper. I'm not really sure what all the fuss was about but at £40 for 6 dishes between 2 people this doesn't get my vote.

Kevin
tastemaker

I completely get the hype, I just don't agree with it. The food was fine, and the staff were very friendly. It's a lovely touch to have a downstairs bar for people waiting to be seated. Expect around 30 mins wait unless you're there at exactly 6pm when the doors open (we arrived around 7).


The food was about the same standard as a decent place in chinatown, but you're definitely paying for the extra "cool" factor. Unless I happen to be in the area, it's likely not a place I would travel to for the food.

Mel C

If you like dumplings this is your new favourite eaterie. It's not just dumplings though, as well as delicious chicken and non watery very flavourful vegetable dumplings we had pork belly to die for and a delicious sticky rice and chicken parcel wrapped in a lotus leaf. We left super full and very satisfied with not too big a dent in our wallets. The only disappointment was the dessert, the matcha rice pudding was nice but didn't smack us in the face with flavour and I didn't try the chocolate dumplings after finding out they were dairy milk filled but I'm sure they are delicious!

kenji w

This restaurant is amazing!!. I had the courgette and mushroom dumplings which were divine. My girlfriend had the steamed sui mai and super fresh and flavoursome cucumber salad. The turnip cakes were golden and crispy on the outside,hot and succulent on the inside. The service was friendly and attentive and although being very busy they were very charming.

The bloody Mary was probably the best I've ever tasted...there is nowhere in China town that has a patch on this place not by a mile.

We highly recommend here and guessing by how popular it is we understand why.

Nice one guys.

We will be back. Kenji and akiko.x

Pailin B

We beelined it over to this place after reading all the reviews and hearing all about it - we eat a lot of dumplings and were very excited to have somewhere local open up.  The space is great but the food is seriously underwhelming - we ordered most of the menu so had the opportunity to try their range, the flavour of the dumplings are plain, the peanut and celery salad quite unrefreshing and unenjoyable to eat. The turnip cake tasted as though it had been cooked in filthy oil. The cocktails were lacking in any lustre or panash. We love the idea and the location - but the food needs some serious sorting out - definitely not worth the 50 quid price tag we paid for it.

Emma P

Opened March 2016, this is a welcome addition to the plethora of stylish, tasty eateries popping up along the Lower Clapton Road. There is a standard menu and a specials board that offers not just food specials but also sake specials! We order a selection of 6 dishes, some were fantastic and some OK. I would totally recommend the prawn har gau dumplings, the crispy wontons and the crispy pork belly. The dumplings were very tasty, moist and the light. The wontons were lovely and crispy with a sweet(ish) prawn filling served wth a chili sauce and the pork belly was probably the best I have had. Unlike some places, the balance of fat to meat was more in favour of the meat and they came with a suitably crispy top layer. The meat was juicy and flavourful! The pork and prawn dumpling and the lamb and coriander dumplings were ok but not anything special. We also had the spicy pork ribs from the specials which were absolutely delicious and simply fell off the bone plus the portion was huge! Overall this is a lovely little restaurant with really tasty morsels! Look forward to going back!

Violet M
Tastemaker

Heard many good things about this restaurant, so was quite looking forward to it when we went one Saturday evening. We got in for about 8.30, but there was a queue so we waited for about 20 minutes until we could  be seated. The space is quite small and cramped, with diners seated at long wooden tables. It's also very loud. Don't quite remember music playing, maybe it was just the smallness of space with so many voices, but I was practically shouting to talk. The food itself was DELICIOUS, although this could of been because I was incredibly hungry at this point. Ended up spending around £25 for food and a carafe of white wine (shared with one other), which is pretty reasonable, but unfortunately I was still really hungry. I felt I could've had three or four more plates of dumplings. It could be that we were a group of five - so maybe the food went faster? My housemate has been before with his girlfriend, and said that for £20 they had a proper meal and drinks. I think I'd like to try the place again (the dumplings were delicious) but perhaps just a group or two or three. 

Overall, I had a really good night, but I think that was more with the friends I was with then the restaurant itself sadly. Do think it's worth another go however, perhaps with just a smaller group!

Sammie P

As I walked down the road with 4 friends in tow, I could already see the queue of people outside this restaurant. You can't make a reservation and it being a Wednesday evening, I thought we would be OK. I was so wrong. As we squeezed our way inside and made it the small bar, we ordered a round of Sake old fashions and waited patiently. The staff had their seating management to a T, they expertly shuffled people in, out, up and down. We only had to wait 10 minutes, which was enough time to finish our drinks and browse the menu. As it was our first time here, we decided to order a bit of everything, from a selection of dumplings to a seabass from the specials board (also a lot of sake). My favourite dish is their sticky rice wrapped it lotus leaf, it was so good we ordered seconds! As you dig through the rice you find this perfectly cooked, mouth watering piece of chicken. I will go back for this dish time and time again. The staff were amazing and considering how busy they were, they were able to deliver every dish and keep us topped up with drinks. A round of applause to this little place and I can't wait to take more friends here.