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A while back, I attended a dumpling masterclass with the owner and founder of Oriental Tea House.

Why you ask? Although growing up and learning at a very young age in my grandmother’s kitchen and my mother’s kitchen the techniques and style of making dumplings, I don’t think one can ever stop learning.

So it was with great pleasure that I attended the event to learn from the si-fu (master) himself 🙂

Having been to Oriental Tea House numerous times with my work colleagues (it’s near work and they like it), I hadn’t been to the newly opened branch located at Melbourne Central.

I brought along the one person I knew who’d squeal whenever the words Oriental Tea House were spoken. Miss Sunshine. She really really really likes OTH and won’t hear a bad word about them. She could be their number one champion!

She was seriously excited and jumped up and down in the office the day the masterclass was to go ahead.

Whilst we settled in and looked around at all the eager faces around us, David Zhou took to the spotlight and proceeded with the cooking demonstration. He was engaging, and I was a bit surprised at that, as he seemed really reserved and shy off the camera. Yes, there was a camera and live streaming projected to a screen for the people (like us) at the back, so we didn’t miss anything 🙂

Agnes, Thanh, Miss Sunshine and I were seated together and amidst giggles and laughter, Miss Sunshine seemed to be the only one in our group taking down notes. Such a good girl!

After David demonstrated the art of making simple dumplings, we were left to our own devices and were told to make 4 dumplings to place in our bamboo baskets before giving them to the kitchen to be steamed.

Thereby, started the “competition” in which the 4 of us raced to not only display our dumpling folding skills, but the number of dumplings we could make!

Typical of food bloggers, we made 5-6 each and laughed raucously when we realised what we had done!

One of the dumpling “Aunties” who took our baskets away exclaimed to our mirth that the dumpling skin would stick to each other as we had packed them too tightly together.

We politely told her, we knew, but we were also greedy 🙂

When our baskets were brought back to us, and passed out to each of us (we had labeled the baskets with our names), the waiter exclaimed, “Oh My God! Why so many??!”


David Zhou came to inspect our dumplings and declared us all competent! Yayy!

Fortunately, the dumplings we made weren’t the only food provided that night. It actually started off with some Char Siew Paus (which I didn’t photograph!).

We were also served seafood dumplings (each!) and happily stuffed our faces 🙂

Then, rice came out, and we had a soya sauce glazed stir-fry chicken to go with it. Apparently this was the Szechuan Pepper Chicken but as I couldn’t detect any tongue numbing elements, I figured that the key ingredient had been cut down.

It probably didn’t look like enough, but we were full to the brim. Kids, let this be a lesson to not be greedy and make too many dumplings!

Thankfully, being what they were, Oriental Teahouse provided us with a cleansing white tea to wash all it all down.

The whole process of serving tea properly is taken very seriously here, as you can see with Master Tea Man above. He’s pouring, draining, pouring and serving each pot of white tea before it is served.

The result? Very good tea.

For other stories about this Dumpling Masterclass, please visit:

Mel: HOT or NOT
Off the Spork 

[Ms I-Hua dined as a guest of Code Name Max and Oriental Tea House]

*Disclaimer: All food ratings are purely based on my own experiences and how I feel about the service, food and quality at the time of visit.

GD 068/69 Melbourne Central Shopping Centre
Melbourne Central
Melbourne VIC 3000

Opening Hours:
Sunday to Wednesday, 10am – 9.30pm
Thursday, 10am – 10:30pm
Friday to Saturday, 10am – 11pm

Retail Tel: (03) 9066 0208, or, Restaurant Tel: (03) 9066 0207


How to get there: