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Ugly Dumpling

Restaurants, Contemporary Asian Soho
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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A dumpling restaurant just off Carnaby Street.

Set across two snug, blonde wood floors on the corner of Newburgh Street, Ugly Dumpling is just about cute and quirky enough to live up to that cute, quirky name. A cartoon of a pretty, smiling dumpling decorates the windows, beckoning you in, everything’s very brightly lit and there’s a pop-heavy playlist. It’s fun.

Dumpling-dominated (obvs), the menu is roughly divided between ‘street food classics’ and ‘new favourites’. The best of them, unexpectedly, was a ‘classic’ vegan spinach and tofu number. Filled with fresh spinach and dotted with nutty sesame, this was a juicy little pocket of veg; a warm, umami smack. Also excellent, and more obviously classic, was a prawn gyoza. New favourites were less impressive: salmon, lobster and tarragon confirmed my belief that you should never put salmon in a dumpling: it was unpleasantly rich.

The sides were also good, and again, the best option was meat-free; that being a delicate tempura aubergine with honey and peanuts. Pudding was a low point – suffice to say there is nothing remotely cute about a deep-fried matcha and white chocolate dumpling. Avoid that item, though, and this is a cosy, oh-so-kawaii spot to indulge in that most luscious of Asian snacks.



Address: 1 Newburgh Street
Transport: Tube: Oxford Circus
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £65.
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