This one's probably going to be controversial given we can't cover every single amazing example of dim sims around Melbourne. But, we've called upon the heavy dim sim hitters at Dim Sims 4 Lyf to help us out here.
If you're interested in the how the dim sim originated right here in Melbourne, have a read of this great interview with Angie Chow, granddaughter of the inventor of the dim sim, William Chen Wing Young.
The family legend goes like this. In the early 1940s, William Young started a business, Wing Lee, opened a factory in Melbourne and started pumping out giant pork dumplings. These weren’t the traditional, delicate yum cha variety, designed to ‘dot the heart’ without touching the stomach. These were steamed meat bombs wrapped in a glutinous exoskeleton, “large enough to satisfy western appetites and strong enough to withstand freezing, reheating and transportation.”
From then on the humble dim sim has called fish and chip shops, bakeries, and restaurants home.
Here's where to find the best dim sims in Melbourne in 2021:
South Melbourne Market Dim Sims
South Melbourne, Emporium, Queen Vic Market, Preston Market
Let's rip the bandaid and kick off with South Melbourne Market Dim Sims to get us off to a good start. Probably the most well-known peddler of dim sims, South Melbourne Market Dim Sims has been selling their enormous and delicious dim sims since Ken Cheng founded the business in 1949.
The only diner we’re aware of with its very own life-size train set, Easey’s is a must-hit destination in the dim sim game. Their Melbourne Bitter-battered thrice-fried dimmies are perfectly crunchy and are a quintessential stop on the dimmy tour of the city. Coming in serves of four, they’re best enjoyed paired alongside an Easey’s burger or a pint.
Read more about Easey’s here
The Dim Sims from D’Lish are top-notch. The golden fried little hand grenades are a damaging blow of flavour, and they’ve absolutely nailed the cooking time giving you that perfect crunch.
A top contender for the best dim sims in Melbourne, they also offer a range of GF-friendly dimmies and potato cakes, opening up a whole new world of dining for anybody gluten-intolerant.
Read more about D’Lish Fish here.
Catch the #11 tram to the West Preston terminus and you'll find Moon Palace sitting unassumingly on Gilbert Road. Their homemade dim sims are popular among the Dim Sims 4 Lyf crew and they sell them individually or in packs of three.
If longevity is an indication of quality, Tai Wah must be in the top echelon. The Mentone Chinese restaurant has been around for decades and makes what has been described as the "best dim sims in Melbourne". Order them steamed, or fried.
Seven Stars has been serving delicious Chinese cuisine to the locals of Bentleigh for 22 years. Alongside chef specials such as Peking prawns, and lemon duck you'll find steamed and fried dim sims which are the talk of Bentleigh.
In the leafy and hilly surrounds of Upwey, you'll find Pearl Garden, another Melbourne Chinese restaurant that has been feeding the community for decades. They sell their dim sims in servings of three, but let's be honest, you're probably going to want more.
And now for something a bit different...
The Dim Sims 4 Lyf crew have also alerted us to a couple of different concoctions around Melbourne that feature the humble dim sim.
The Famished Wolf
Braeside & Patterson Lakes
The Famished Wolf is best known for their burgers, but their Pai Mei Death Treats take dim sims to another level. You've heard of loaded fries, now we've got loaded dim sims. The dim sims are topped with kewpie mayonnaise, sweet soy sauce, sambal oelek, crispy shallots, and spring onions.
Four words. Dim sim sausage roll. Enough said.
Check out the best dumplings in Melbourne.
Image credit: South Melbourne Dim Sim