Tianze Dumpling House opened in December 2013 just down the road from my office. I don’t know if it was a sign, but the Dumpling Club executive team made its reconnaissance visit a mere week after it opened, and brought the rest of the hungry gang a couple of months later.
The food at Tianze focuses on North China cuisine. True to its moniker, Tianze has a good range of dumplings and is the first place I’ve seen more unusual seafood dumplings, – fish and squid. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to try these; we judge a place on their interpretation of the traditional pork and chive dumplings. The dumplings were fresh, and flavoursome. The steamed version are good, but I preferred the fried ones; there’s just something about biting into the crispness of the charred golden bases, then the chewy dough and finally the succulent meat.
The noodles in pickled cabbage and pork soup ($8) are a rich and flavoursome offering, the sourness of the preserved vegetable and the mild heat of the chillies was a great foil to the springy wheat noodles. The serving size is huge though, you’ll have to be ravenous to be able to finish a whole bowl of this.
For vegetables, we had a plate of spicy shredded potato ($9.80). It was different from anything I had tried before, slightly crunchy and was quite refreshing.
It was the first place that I got introduced to sautéed shredded pork in sweet bean sauce ($9.80) which came with spring onions and warm pancakes. There’s just something about warm meat wrapped in pancakes which makes it more delicious.
The milk flavoured pancakes ($6) are addictive shards of crispy, sweet deliciousness. I did my best to share them, but my fingers kept finding its way back to the plate….
Tianze Dumpling House is a great addition to the enclave of eateries in Sandringham, with a tempting menu of staples and more interesting options.
Tianze Dumpling House
695 Sandringham Road, Auckland
Ph: 09-620 8278
Open 7 days: 11:30am – 12 midnight