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Ugly Dumpling

Restaurants, Contemporary Asian Soho
3 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(22user reviews)
1/4
2/4
3/4
4/4

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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.

 

Details

Address: 1 Newburgh Street
London
W1F 7RB
Transport: Tube: Oxford Circus
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £65.
Contact:
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Users say (22)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:16
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|22
1 person listening
tastemaker

One of my favourite places for dumplings! As a vegetarian I don't think anywhere else does the spinach and tofu ones and better! This place is definitely worth a try!

Tastemaker

Mixed experience overall. My friends and my husband and I had dinner here last Saturday night and sat downstairs. It’s pretty cramped and gets loud quickly so keep that in mind. We got a mix of the platters and sides. We also ordered the red and white wine (both Romanian which I was really excited about- the white was decently dry and my husband said the red was decent- not as bold as he liked).

When the dumplings are served, such as in platters, the waitress explains what each dumpling is, but it’s done so quickly you don’t remember what. It would be much smarter if each dumpling had little flags identifying them or an idea long those lines.

The pork belly and duck dumplings earned good reviews. The prawn and chive was a huge disappointment though- too fishy and yet bland at the same time?! The spinach and tofu was tastier. The cheeseburger was likely the most divisive: my friend’s husband wasn’t a fan whilst my husband said it was his fave! The mushrooms and truffle was by far my favorite with the Parmesan atop. Yum!!! The miso cod on the other hand was also bland. I loved the goat cheese and beetroot; the beetroot is quite creamy. Onto the sides: the miso-glazed courgette and avo is actually quite spicy and the broccoli and almond slaw is quite tasty. We also had a mix of the dessert dumplings: I liked the apple cheese and the pecan pie the best.

So overall food hits and misses. Service was ok- friendly if a bit hit and miss.

tastemaker

I have been walking by this cute mint colored spot and finally got to try it over lunch with friends. Everything we had was delicious - my favorites were the truffle dumplings (veg) and prawn & chive (I guess that's more traditional). There was a delay with our food so we got a dessert platter for free, I didn't love everything on that one but the pecan one was really good. Love all of their inventive fillings and will definitely be back to try the others and order the favorites again.

tastemaker

So great to see that Ugly Dumplings started off as a successful food market stall and has now opened up a restaurant in the buzzing area of Soho. I went with my now vegan friend who was in town from Dubai. The menu catered for both of us, great vegan and meat/fish dumplings and side dishes. I would recommend getting there quite early, we went on a Thursday around 8.30pm and unfortunately they had run out of a few dishes, which was quite disappointing - I guess I will just have to go back so I can try out what was missed! 

tastemaker

I loved the idea of a restaurant concept for this humble 'snack'. Although seating seemed limited as you first walked in, there were more spaces in the basement. The dumplings on show could easily pose as a filling meal in their own right. I thought the lamb and harissa dumplings were the most flavoursome and even the waiting staff agreed. For the vegetarians, the spinach and tofu were equally as tasty. The shredded broccoli and almond slaw was a perfect side dish. I washed this down with the recommended Hitachino Nest Blue, a Belgian white ale, with extracts of coriander and nutmeg. A perfect accompaniment to a plate load of dumplings. The services was faultless and I could envisage this restaurant being a big hit with all the various subcultures that this part of Soho attracts.

Tastemaker

We Polish love dumplings, any dumplings. So I was delighted to be invited for the tasting of the new dumpling place just off buzzy Carnaby Street. The place is cute and cosy, the staff and owners clearly love their dumplings too and are happy to tell you all about them. And trust me, once you try them, you will be talking about them too as they’re amazing!

I’ve tried spinach, tofu along with prawns and chive in my first round and their both were moist and very tasty. They were topped with fried dry onion chillies spring onions and sesame seeds. But the rest of the menu looked so tempting that I had to order more. I’d eat anything with truffle oil, so don’t ask me for an objective opinion on the Mushroom with truffle oil because can only be the ace.

The sides are substantial, so don’t order too many. The tempura aubergine was delicate in flavour, slightly sweet. The (very lightly) pickled watermelon with avocado, mint, peanuts was probably the biggest surprise for me that night, completely new flavour. Broccoli and almond slaw was a great variation on the English classic that I’m normally not a big fan of. Beetroot noddle salad with edamame, and courgettes was refreshing but it was completely underseasoned.

The prices are really reasonable. You can order a portion of one kind or mix and match from 5 different types £1 each. The dumplings are pan fried and come in two shapes. All are handmade daily in the restaurant, we could see them in making upon arrival. A visit is a must!

Tastemaker

My first time to experience a dumpling restaurant and it was the best dumplings of my life.

I went on Wednesday night and my friends and I were in for a treat! My friend and I ordered one of each and he ordered the lamb and harissa. The flavours were just divine!

Service came with a smile and they were all very helpful.

My favourite dumpling has to be the lamb, I'm still salivating as I write this! I can't wait to go back and they also have a loyalty card, so now I can get it stamped everyone I go!

I can't wait for my second, third and forth visit.

tastemaker

Well... If you're a dumpling fan than this is where you need to be!!!

I had the pleasure of devouring some of their delectable dumplings and I won't be forgetting that experience anytime soon let me tell you!

We got greedy but once you taste these dumplings you'll understand why. Trust me.

From duck to prawn and chive...mackerel ... Truffle & mushroom and even chicken satay!

The fillings were scrummy! Very flavorsome and well prepared . Also at the price they come at I have to say its a bargain!!! You can get some at £1 a pop (5 min) .... Wow right...

Then there are the sides!!!! Woah woah woah... The shredded broccoli is to literally die for!! And the aubergine tempura is unlike anthing I've ever had ..... I'm still dreaming about it!!!

I honestly couldn't recommend this place enough to be fair. Best dumplings in Soho!!!

tastemaker

I had the opportunity to attend a pre-opening at this lovely restaurant just a few stones throw away from Oxford Street tube station and oh well, it was definitely a good night. The Ugly Dumpling's concept is to be a fusion between Asian and Western ingredients, as to make dumplings a surprising and interesting dish. I sat at a table of four including myself and three fellow TOTastemakers and immediately after looking at the menu we decided to give most of the dishes a go. The menu is not very big, which I see as a great plus, compared to those restaurants which offer lengthy menu, but not so memorable food. A not-so-big menu for me is a symbol of trusting the quality of one's dishes. The dumplings that really stood out for me were the Spinach and Tofu (Vegan) one and the Courgette & Halloumi (Vegetarian) one, whose filling was creamy, tasty, and whose ingredients perfectly blended together. A non veg dumpling combination I enjoyed was also the Aromatic Duck, which was truly an explosion of flavor with the Duck cooked perfectly and with the homemade Chili dipping sauce which surely gave a little extra kick to an already perfect dish (so make sure to order them with the sauce). The dumplings that didn't really stood up were the Satay Chicken one which was too dry for me, also, I'd serve it with a bit of Satay sauce glazed on the top of the dumplings; and the Mushroom & Truffle, as you could have just smelt the truffle, whereas when tasting it you could have only felt the mushrooms.

When it came to the sides the choice was as hard as choosing the dumplings. I went for a Tempura Aubergine with Honey dressing and Peanuts (Vegetarian) and I believe I couldn't have made a better choice. The Tempura was crunchy, easy to digest and not greasy, while the Aubergines were pan-fried to the right point as they were tasty and not watery. The dressing didn't suffocate the tempura, but still, was an added plus to the side. Also, I had a taste of the Beetroot Noodle Salad with Cucumber and Edamame (Vegan) and I must say that I absolutely loved it! The beetroot's texture was amazing and the dressing made it all more savoury. 

In terms of desserts I really enjoyed the Steamed Blackberry dumplings served with Creme Fraiche, which reminded me of Russian Pierogi, as they have the same recipe; whereas I didn't think that the filling of the White Chocolate & Macha dumplings was excellent, as I could hardly feel it. 

Overall, I had a really great experience, the staff was friendly and helpful and the venue being tiny, offers a great cozy and intimate atmosphere. I will definitely be back! If you love dumpling, reasonably priced and filling lunch, then The Ugly Dumplings is the place for you! 




tastemaker

Thanks to a fellow Tastemaker, a group of us had the opportunity to experience Ugly Dumpling’s new restaurant in Soho. Located less than five minutes from the Oxford Street tube station, it’s nestled within Carnaby Street, one of my favourite areas in London.


I sat at a table of four, including myself, and we had the following:


Dumplings

  1. Aromatic Duck – Although the filling was good, I felt like these dumplings were missing something. Later in the evening, we were offered some chili sauce to accompany our dumplings and that was exactly what it needed! The duck was well seasoned and flavourful but it lacked a bit of moisture. 
  2. Satay Chicken – Much like the duck, the filling was lovely. I thought the spices and flavour of the satay chicken were on point and delicious! However, I’m not sure it works well in a dumpling. My mouth and brain were rather confused but I suppose that’s what the concept behind Ugly Dumpling is, a fusion of Western and Asian flavours and cuisine. 
  3. Spinach & Tofu – The best dumpling from our first round! It tasted quite familiar, much like a spinach filled steamed dumpling you would get when having dim sum but made with a different type of spinach. The filling was very moist and so it didn’t need any additional sauce.
  4. Lamb, Harissa, Yogurt – I am a fan of lamb, especially when it’s prepared with these flavours so I was quite excited to try this. Once again, the filling was great – flavourful, moist, and a nice blend of spices. However, I thought there was too much yogurt drizzled directly on top of the dumplings.
  5. Mushroom & Truffle – In my opinion, these were the best dumplings! Mushrooms in a dumpling are not an uncommon filling in Chinese cuisine so this had a familiar taste and texture. The addition of truffle oil made it fusion and actually worked! 
  6. Smoked Mackerel – My least favourite dumplings because it was a weird sensation. Like the Satay Chicken, my mouth and brain were rather confused. The mackerel itself was strong in taste, as it normally is, but just didn’t go well with the dumpling skin. These were served with some crème fraîche on the side, which did help to lighten up the flavours but the taste of mackerel still overpowered everything. Not the biggest fan!
  7. Courgette & Halloumi – Although the filling was nice, I didn’t think it worked in a dumpling either. I love halloumi cheese and I love courgettes but as a filling together in a dumpling, it was strange. 
  8. Cauliflower & Potato – Immediately after reading this, I thought of the Indian dish called ‘aloo gobi’, which is a combination of cauliflower and potatoes in spices. The filling did resemble this Indian dish but tasted less flavourful. I could taste the spices but they weren’t very strong. In terms of texture, it was soft due to the potatoes so it worked out well inside of a dumpling. I think it would taste even better if the spices had more of a kick!

Sides

  1. Tempura Aubergine – Hard to go wrong with something deep-fried! I liked that the cubes of aubergine were de-skinned and remained moist and soft in a good way. I couldn’t taste much of the honey dressing and peanuts that came with it though.
  2. Miso-Glazed Courgette & Avocado – It was an interesting combination to put courgettes with avocado. I’m used to the taste of miso with courgette as that’s something I cook on my own at home but to add more creaminess from the avocado was something new! 
  3. Burnt Corn & Mango Salsa – Another interesting combination! This was served cold and tasted really refreshing. I liked the addition of fresh mint leaves, which lightened up the dish and also reminded me of an Indian raita/salad! It was also a nice variety of textures – the crunchiness from the corn and the softness and gooeyness from the mango.
  4. Shredded Broccoli & Almond Slaw – This was probably the most recognisable side dish for me. It’s quite a common combination to have broccoli, almonds, and raisins mixed with a sort of mayonnaise. It was creamy, crunchy from the almonds, and a sweet from the raisins. I probably wouldn’t eat an entire serving of this on my own because it did start to feel a bit heavy after a while but it was delicious! I liked the addition of crushed red chili peppers on top to also give it a slight kick.
  5. Beetroot Noodle Salad – This was another winner! The beetroot noodles really resembled noodles in terms of its texture – almost like al dente pasta! It was also very light and refreshing to eat, all while getting your daily veg in.
  6. Pickled Watermelon – I was quite surprised with this side dish actually. It was amazing how they got the pickling of the watermelon cubes all the way through! They were still juicy like fresh watermelon but less crunchy due to the pickling. They were garnished with mint leaves, which helped to keep it fresh too and the perfect side to all the spices in the fillings of the dumplings we had.

Dessert


  1. Steamed Blueberry Dumplings – My favourite of the two dessert dumplings we tried because they were steamed, which was different to the pan-fried ones we had for our mains. They were also jam packed (pun intended) with blueberry compote, such that each bite had a nice mouthful of it! The compote itself was sour, which I appreciated because with that much filling in each dumpling, it would have been sickly having it super sweet. These were served with a dollop of crème fraîche on the side, which was a nice touch but I think would have been even nicer if it were yogurt instead. This gives the same refreshing sensation but with a lighter ingredient. It could also have used some mint leaves on top, which were actually placed on the White Chocolate & Matcha dumplings.
  2. White Chocolate & Matcha Dumplings – These dessert dumplings were deep-fried and filled with a white chocolate and matcha paste. I liked that they came out hot and fresh because I don’t think they would’ve been nice to eat at room temperature or when cooled down. The filling was nice because it wasn’t too sweet either but I thought there could’ve been more matcha – it didn’t have a very strong flavour and I think it should’ve because there was a lot more dumpling skin than filling. These were not served with any sauce and I don’t think it needs any. It’s flavourful on its own but like I said, just a slightly stronger matcha taste would make it perfect!

Overall, it was a great experience! I’ve never tried their dumplings before at their street food stall but I’m glad I have now at their new restaurant. I’ll definitely be coming back because even without the 50% discount, they’re priced reasonably! The staff were lovely and our food came out pretty fast after ordering. The restaurant is small with a few tables on the ground floor and a few more on the lower ground floor but the kitchen was able to make food at a good pace!

tastemaker

Ugly Dumpling is one restaurant in London you must visit! They've been super clever about it all:


- Location: wonderful, right in the centre of Soho meaning its the perfect place to start your day/evening!
- The menu: although quite small it means everything is prepared, cooked and serve to perfection, not to mention really quickly too! They even have delish vegan friendly dishes
- Staff: so friendly!

- Atmosphere: the restaurant is dinky but creates a lovely intimate feel. There's a downstairs area too so no need to worry about squeezing in.

- Price: totally affordable! And they offer loyalty cards...


The entire menu is delicious but the ones to try would be the Aromatic Duck and Mushroom & Truffle dumplings (make sure you ask for their homemade chilli dipping sauce for that extra oomph of flavour), the Tempura Aubergine with Honey and Peanuts (somehow they managed that beautifully crisp tempura batter with a creamy aubergine underneath), and the Blueberry Dumplings as a dessert which is just a burst of stunning sweet fruit to finish it off. The prosecco is a good one too for anyone who likes to add a bit of sparkle.


I'm already planning my next visit...

tastemaker

Ugly dumpling is perfect for a quick bite in soho - with eclectic flavours in a traditional Chinese dumpling.

Street food is huge in London right now. Ugly dumplings started at markets across London and now has a permemnant base next to Carnaby Street. It's a fusion between Chinese Dumplings and western flavours - with delicious sides to match.

The restaurant is really cute and has really nice modern vibe. The staff knew all about the flavours and were very attentive. Phill the manager told us all about his new adventure and what motivated him to quit his job and open this cute restaurant in soho.

tastemaker

Hidden away on a little corner of Soho, this new dumpling fusion eatery is going to be top of my list for Friday night drinks and nibbles.  


I was very lucky to get to sample Ugly Dumpling’s delicious offerings at an exclusive TimeOut Tastemakers preview event – and what a wonderful experience it was!


I started off with the street food selection of dumplings and a side of tempura aubergine. The tempura is an absolute must-try! Soft and fluffy with a delicious honey and peanut topping. 


My favourite dish of any meal is always dessert, so naturally I had to try two! The white chocolate and matcha filled dumplings where perfectly crisp with a creamy filling (although they could have done with a little more of this!). The blueberry compote filled dumplings where mouth-watering – zingy and sweet, though slightly let down by the soft, plain outer shell – perhaps they’d be better in the crispy shell so as to resemble more of a blueberry pie?


Overall, I found the experience to be five-star! The staff were friendly and polite and the prices very reasonable. 


I predict they will be very busy when they officially open on Saturday, but make sure you get in there quick – it’s a small restaurant so tables will soon fill up! 

tastemaker

Ugly Dumpling should be re-named Yummy Dumpling!


I had the chance to attend their pre-opening night and have a sneak peak at their new menu. Their concept, very simple DUMPLINGS! All sorts combining traditional Asian recipes with western ingredients, suitable for both meat lovers and vegetarians.

As I wanted to try everything, I went for their 'Street Food Classics' 5 pieces set (pork belly, aromatic duck, prawn & chive, satay chicken, spinach & tofu) and two sides (miso-glazed courgette, avocado & sesame, tempura aubergine, honey dressing and peanuts). It was absolutely delicious, very flavored and generously portioned. Almost had no space left for desserts! I definitely recommend it for a cheap'n'cheerful lunch or dinner with friends.


tastemaker

I attended the Ugly Dumpling preview night for their lovely new restaurant just off of Carnaby Street. The restaurant itself looks lovely and fits more people than you'd expect. The staff were so lovely and very attentive!

Now, most importantly, the food - was AMAZING! I love dumplings and would definitely go back for these! Too excited by the menu, my mother and I ordered quite a few: mushroom and truffle, courgette and halloumi, and cauliflower and potato. The mushroom and truffle were definitely my favourite! For side dishes, we had broccoli slaw, miso glazed courgettes, and burnt corn and mango salsa. The burnt corn, while nice, I probably wouldn't order again, but only because the others were so tasty!

Then, because we were truly committed to eating the entire menu, we moved on to dessert! Blueberry dumplings and white chocolate macha. While I found the macha to be a bit dry, I fell in love with the blueberry and am already craving more!

Overall, I was very impressed and would definitely reccomend to a friend! Reasonably priced and great location. Most important to me, as a vegetarian, however, was the amount of choice! While still serving meat options, there were so many veggie options to choose from!

Tastemaker

I love dumplings, so I was very excited to preview Soho's newest aptly named spot to enjoy these oriental little bites. With a superb location just off Carnaby Street (shopping spree break, anyone?), the place is cozy and friendly, with a very well balanced combination of classic flavours, currently served on their food market stall, and delicious inventions, exclusive to the brick-and-mortar side of the business. 


They are pan fried, which adds to the yumminess, and come in flavours like duck & hosin and prawn & chive going for the traditional side, and the favourite lamb & harissa on the more creative selection. Complement your meal with sides like the beetroot noodle salad, or the group's favourite aubergine tempura with honey glaze, chilli and roasted peanuts. The best part is that everything is delicious to the last bite, and the menu was crafted to allow for you to pick and choose according to your cravings and hunger. Don't miss out on the exotic red rice Hitachino Nest japanese beer to wash everything down, another lovely discovery of the evening. Prices don't break the bank, which makes Ugly Dumplings a superb option for lunch, dinner and - why not? - happy hour.

tastemaker

I visited Ugly Dumpling yesterday for a pre-opening event before their official opening on Saturday. It was a great event and the people at Ugly Dumpling were all so nice, friendly and keen on pleasing us!


Now let’s get down to business; the dumplings! I love dumplings and I have definitely had my fair share but with all honesty Ugly Dumpling’s dumplings were some of the best I have tasted! The menu is not very big, which for me is a big plus for a restaurant as it usually means that the things on the menu are all good. There was a good selection of dumplings, sides and desserts to choose between and as much as I would love to try them all, I was stuffed after my choice of 5 dumplings, as they are generously sized and filling. I went for a selection of 5; 2 x aromatic duck, 2 x shrimp and chives and 1 x satay chicken. I loved them all but my personal favourite was definitely the aromatic duck - it was to die for! The filling was so tasty and beautiful flavours were coming through. The shrimp and chive dumplings were really good too, again very flavourful and perfectly balanced. I tried some sides as well with my favourite being the broccoli slaw, which was delicious.


Even though there were many dumplings I didn’t try I could only hear positive comments from the people around me. As far as I could tell the lamb dumpling was a favourite among those who like lamb and so was the spinach and tofu one.


I can’t give Ugly Dumpling anything less that 5 stars as everything was flawless - from the service to the food to  the location right in the heart of Carnaby Street. I can’t wait for their official opening on Saturday to go back and I have a feeling this will be my new go-to place for delicious dumplings!


tastemaker

The delightful venue behind Carnaby Street had a pre-opening venue. Although it's a case of precious things come in small packages, there is more seating area downstairs. The two-seater tables were attractive and comfortable to lean on. A small but important detail. I hate sticky, wooden tables and these were neither sticky nor your average wooden table. The concept is a great one. Choose your dumplings. Great choices of filling my favourite being the mushroom and truffle and aromatic duck. Choose your sides. These were divine and different: tempura aubergine coated in caramelised honey. Yum yum. Shredded broccoli and almond slaw. Also extremely delicious. Miso-glazed courgette with sesame and avocado. Wow! The service was great and the owner even greater! The air-con was extremely effective so when I asked for it to be turned down, co-owner Phil switched it off for me. By the end of the evening my fellow diners had grown warmer with every dumpling consumed! Phil, I only meant It to be reduced but thank you for thinking of me! Fabulous food. Fabulous space. Fabulous atmosphere. This is the type of place where you can make friends. Go! You're welcome!

Tastemaker

Last night I had the pleasure of going to a pre-opening night at Ugly Dumpling – a brand new (you guessed it!) dumpling place, just off Carnaby St.



I went with my mum, who is also a Tastemaker, which was lovely. We go to a lot of new places together, and have loads of fun…. I even bought my place eight doors from her and Dad!


We sat down on tables of two. We were next to my friend Jane, and her daughter Katie. The venue was closed to the public, which gave it a feeling of exclusivity, which was great!


There was so much choice, and it all sounded delicious! We went for aromatic duck, chicken satay, and spinach and tofu dumplings, with the aubergine tempura, miso-glazed courgette and shredded broccoli slaw.

Our food came very quickly, and it looked so colourful and tasty!


It was all absolutely delicious. The only dumplings we might not order again are the chicken satay ones – they needed some more flavour, and possibly some satay sauce drizzled on top. The duck ones were great, slightly crispy on the outside, which definitely added to it.


The miso-glazed courgette with satay sauce was unbelievable – I could eat that all day! The ‘slaw was creamy, and the aubergine was delish (though could’ve done with a drizzle of honey on top, too).


As if this wasn’t enough, we then ordered some MORE! We went for mushroom and truffle dumplings, some more duck ones, and burnt corn and mango salsa. The mushroom and truffle dumplings were absolutely divine – the best thing I ate all night. Wow. So soft, drizzled with oil, and the flavour of the filling was beautiful.


We obviously had to try dessert – blueberry dumplings (the steamed kind), and white chocolate and matcha ones – these were more crispy. I would’ve loved the blueberry dumplings in the crispy casing, but the creme fraiche they came with was great!


All in all, a really delicious meal – we came out feeling SO full! Thanks, Ugly Dumpling!

tastemaker

'A dumpling a day keeps depression at bay'....


...or so Phil and Ping believe, the masterminds behind Soho's new Ugly Dumpling outlet. The restaurant builds on a highly successful street food market business (The Ugly Dumplings) and marks their first brick and mortar venture which will see it's doors officially open this coming Saturday (27th July '17). 


The Ugly Dumpling represents homemade dishes which combine Western ingredients into Asian home recipes and specialises in, you guessed it, dumplings! Myself and fellow TimeOut Tastemakers were treated to a pre-launch taster extravaganza and it was...INCREDIBLE!


The staff, including co-owner Phil himself, were an absolute joy - diligent, helpful and friendly. And then came the food; the menu itself (which I have included) is pleasingly concise but given that every single item had me salivating, it still made choosing very difficult. With eyes bigger than my belly I went for the five-piece street food classic variety (one of each of pork belly, aromatic duck, prawn & chive, satay chicken and spinach & tofu), the five-piece new favourite lamb, harissa and yoghurt dumplings and sides of shredded broccoli & almond slaw and picked watermelon, avocado, beetroot and mint salad. Waddling from fullness I then even managed to try a bite of both the new favourite smoked mackerel AND a sweet steamed blueberry dumpling. Overall, I can't fault any of the tastes, textures or value for money; for me, it ticked every single box and was perfection. 


In speaking to Phil he said of their vision, 'we know that Londoners love dumplings and wanted to give them what they want...and maybe a bit more!' And a bit more they have delivered. 


I recently crowned another dumpling chain 'King of the Dumpling Realm' but for both traditional and more contemporary potsticker-style dumplings, The Ugly Dumpling is clearly the front contender and I will absolutely be returning. Go, go, go!



tastemaker

This is a cute little restaurant tucked away from Carnaby Street.  We visited during the soft opening and had a great night.  The concept is to a fusion between Asian and Western and to try and do something a little different with dumplings, which it certainly does.  The flavours of the dumplings were great and the veggie ones in particular stood out - the mushroom & truffle and the spinach and tofu being the favourites at our table.  Some of the dumplings needed a little sauce accompaniment so try with and without to see what works for you.  I wasn't convinced by some of the combinations - the mackerel and satay fillings being great in themselves but not quite working in a dumpling form for me.  However, the real revelation were the sides and all of them were fantastic - yes, we worked our way through the menu.  A reasonably-price, cute start-up worth a visit or two!

Tastemaker

Attended a preview meal at the new Ugly Dumplings restaurant and have to say GO! The venue is conviently located. It is a tiny restaurant so I imagine the lines will get long once word gets out that it's open.

Dumpling were amazing utterly amazing, my three favourites were the lamb, truffle, and the potato/cauliflower. The sides are almost better than the dumplings!! The broccoli slaw was delicious but the Star of the evening was the courgette with miso! It was exploding with flavour. Just when I thought I couldn't stuff another bite in...the question of dessert arose. Dessert dumplings needed to be explored so I bravely ordered both as not to miss out. The Matcha white chocolate were excellent but a tad dry with the crispy dumpling. The winner of this match was the blueberry dumpling. It was nothing short of delicious. The group I was with thought perhaps it would be best served in the crispy dumpling and after consulting, found that after opening customers will be allowed a choice.

I was especially impressed with the staff. They were friendly, chatty, genuinely happy to have us around and knowledgeable about their food.

Watch this space as the rave reviews begin!

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