We’ve found yet another reason to get yourself down Stockport Road, it’s time to visit one of the city’s most exciting little Chinese joints, sat just a few short steps from Levenshulme train station.
Open a little over six months, Gaijin Dumpling House have been blowing away Levy locals with their fresh take on Chinese classics which take influence from both Pakistani and Hong Kong kitchens.
There are bao buns, steamed dumplings and signature set of spicy ribs you’ll not be able to stop raving about.
First off though try the Typhoon Shelter Fried Squid, it’s something like salt n pepper, and arrives with a spicy chili mayo and wedge of lime. Bear in mind most of the dishes here come packing more heat than you might be used to from Chinese food, that’s the influence of Hong Kong coming through, where chili oil is an almost ubiquitous addition.
The main event is of course succulent, delicate dumplings served spiked with plenty of that punchy chilli oil and HK sauce. Steamed Ha Kow packed with shrimp and Steamed Chicken and Prawn Wonton are both similarly addictive, nothing lasts last long on the plate.
There are more options we couldn’t find room for too, so it’s wise to bring a friend or five and order everything.
In between courses owner and head chef Tofiq Mohammad gave us a bit of background on the Gaijin concept:
“We want people to experience homemade halal dumplings that us Pakistanis grew up with in Hong Kong.”
“I was born and raised in Hong Kong and just moved to Manchester quite recently.”
“When I first came here four years ago for a visit I felt there needed to be a change in halal dining culture.”
“It was burgers and shawarma everywhere and the Chinese takeaways here aren’t really halal so I thought why not bring the Hong Kong culture to Manchester?”
“It’s not really halal if there’s alcohol or pork being served in a restaurant and I see a lot of places that say they have halal options but would also have pork and alcohol in premises.”
With no booze on offer Gaijin Dumpling House serve sour soft drinks by Chu-lo, a Manchester-based start-up producing delicious Korean-inspired tangy, fizzy beverages. They come in peach, apple and lemon flavour and are sure to keep thirsts fully quenched.
Back to the food, and there are also a selection of steamed bao to sample. We plumped for a pair of Mr Miyagi buns, which cradle the crispiest of Fried Chicken Katsu alongside the fruity sweetness and spice of Okonomi sauce, Kewpie mayo and curry sauce- plus a little bucket of masala chips for good measure.
Finally the appropriately named Lamb on Crack takes centre stage, a platter of tender but heavily-spiced lamb ribs served with Sriracha sauce for good measure. There’s nothing subtle about either the name nor the final product but, much like the rest of this exciting fusion menu, you need to come and sample it for yourself.
Gaijin Dumpling House
948 Stockport Road