Nanjing Story, Melbourne CBD

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MELBOURNE | Nanjing Story is a small restaurant in Chinatown that focuses on the cuisine of Nanjing. I was invited to check out the offering, and was keen to try a style of Chinese cuisine that I wasn’t too familiar with. Nanjing Cuisine a subcategories of Jiangsu, or Su cuisine, one of the Eight Culinary Traditions of Chinese cuisine. It emphasises even taste and matching colours, with a particular focus on river fish/shrimp and duck.

The space is small, simple, and bright, with light wooden furnishings and a large mural on one side. The menu is quite extensive, with dishes from Nanjing, and other parts of China. Xi long bao are tasty, and are available with pork, beef, or chive as a filling. I was offered the pork, and was quite happy with it. You might be thinking to yourself that xi long bao are from Shanghai, not Nanjing, which is the same thing I thought when I saw them on the menu. It turns out that tang bao, a soup dumpling very similar to xi long bao, is the dumpling that Nanjing is known for. I did not that the soup to filling ratio and thickness of the dumpling skins was slightly different than most xi long bao that I’m familiar with, so perhaps they’re actually tang bao, with the xi long bao name being used for the sake of familiarity?

Also delicious are the pan fried beef buns. These are a highlight – A mixture of minced beef, diced ginger, and spring onion is put into a thick casing then fried until golden and crispy. The inside is soft and moist, while the outside is crispy – a textural, flavoursome delight. The chive heavy signature steamed vegetable dumplings are also quite good if you’re looking for a vegetarian option.

A must order dish, and my favourite thing on the menu, is the duck blood vermicelli soup. This iconic Nanjing dish sees long, translucent, vermicelli noodles sharing a light broth filled bowl with fried tofu, cubes of duck blood, gizzards, liver, and herbs. The intensity of the offal is offest with the delicateness of the broth and freshness of the herbs, and it all combines for something quite wonderful. If you can only eat one thing at Nanjing Story, eat this.

For dessert, it’s the very popular in the region dumplings in red bean soup that you should go for. It’s a bowl of glutinous soup made with sugared red bean paste, Osmanthus honey, and pearls of soft mochi-like dumplings. It’s quite sweet, but very tasty.

The non-Nanjing dishes that arrived at the table included Mongolian beef, Peking style shredded duck with pancakes, and deep fried tofu with sweet chilli sauce and pepper. They were all tasty, with the Mongolian beef being the pick of the three, but I couldn’t help that they were on the menu more as a safe option for those not ready to dive headfirst into a completely Nanjing focused meal. You’ll enjoy them if you order them, but the Nanjing specialities are the way to go.

Nanjing Story

219 Park Street
South Melbourne
Victoria 3205
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9645 5800
E-mail: n/a
Website

Open
Sun – Thu: 11:30am to 3:00pm; 5:00pm to 9:30pm
Fri – Sat: 11:30am to 3:00pm; 5:00pm to 10:00pm

Nanjing Story Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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