Dumpling Shack, the Spitalfields Market shengjianbao hit from John and Yee Li, has expanded on plans for its new opening. As reported in January, the two-floor Sichuan Fry London Fields restaurant will be home to the new chicken burger and tender brand, as well as a basement space for Dumpling Shack; it will also, as of now, feature some very interesting fries and baking from Yee.
The Lis have developed the new Sichuan Fry menu over two years of testing, delayed somewhat by the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside chef Haydon Wong. Buttery potato rolls will be the vehicle for three main burgers:
- The Sichuan: heady with ma la from Sichuan peppercorns and chillis, savour from doubanjiang, and smacked cucumber filling the role of pickles.
- The Vegan: a fried aubergine burger, this time with a sweeter honey sauce, coleslaw, and smacked cucumber.
- The Hot and Mala Mapo: Coated in a mapo sauce, this burger is directly inspired by a Chengdu mapo tofu chain, Chen Mapo, which apocryphally “created” the dish.
Sides are set to include an idea linked to McDonald’s — not the dismal U.K. roster of specials, but its Hong Kong, China, and at times Australia options: shake shake fries, which come with seasoning packets, covering seaweed, cheese, salted egg, chilli, and more. Regular visitors to Good Friend, the Taiwanese fried chicken beacon on Great Newport Street with its roster of powders, will know the vibe.
The downstairs space for Dumpling Shack will also include some new dishes, a highlight looking to be “shallot sauce noodles,” in name, at least, related to one of the greatest condiments to exist, while Yee Li’s inventive range of desserts — often featuring milk tea and boba pearls — could also come along.