If someone asked me where they could get lucky tonight, I would tell them to head to the Las Vegas Club on Karangahape Road. But not to the actual club itself… but rather to sip on cocktails, eat plates of dumplings and groove to the music in your seat.
Enter through a bright red door, up a few stairs, through a bead curtain and you will find yourself at Lucky Lucky Dumplings, a new pop up bar and eatery situated inside the Las Vegas Club.
The first thing that caught my eye was the decor. Plush red booths, bar stool style seating, black carpet, red curtains, Chinese lanterns, and on the tables, Lucky Fortune cats, food court style chopsticks and laminated menus – very funky and cool. And if you are into the eighties era (like my dining companion) you’ll love the music – think hits from The Clash, Pink Floyd and Cyndi Lauper to name a few.
Cocktails are the star drink of choice, with only three options to choose from. And most surprising of all, they are served in plastic bubble tea cups. Not very practical at first, with the stiff straw and all, but as the night went on, it was actually a fun idea!
My favourite cocktail of the night, the creamy Wong Island Iced Tea with Stolen spiced rum (wow), house made chai syrup, crème de cacao, malteasers and tapioca balls ($12) definitely hit the spot. We also tried the Gin Ping Pong, consisting of Tanqueray gin, house made kaffir syrup, melon liqueur and citrus topped with Chi ($12) which was a refreshing way to start the evening.
The main menu is simple, with only 10 items to choose from. We were super excited to try their dumplings, but ‘8 for $10’ (or 18 for $20), sounded a bit steep and it did seem more economical heading to Dominion Road for a dumpling feast… but hey, once you look at the menu, you won’t want to leave your seat.
The likes of ‘Prawn w/ lotus root & oct vinegar’ sounded intriguing, while the ‘Lamb w/ cumin, spiced vinegar, shallots & black beans’ was not a combination we had seen in a dumpling before, and the good ole ‘Gzoya w/ free range pork mince, black beans and chili sauce’ sounded right up our alley. Our waiter recommended the Prawn + Lotus Root dumplings as they have proved to be the most popular so far, and we could definitely see why! They were cooked perfectly, very flavoursome, and gone in a flash!
We also couldn’t go past their Crispy Pork Bao (2 for $12) complete with ‘lucky sauce’, cucumber and spring onion – the waiter claimed that they were even better than the pork bao at the Blue Breeze Inn! For something more substantial, we also ordered the Dirty Fried Rice, but to be honest, it tasted like microwaved packet rice, the only freshness being the seafood and a fried egg.
Other dishes worth coming back for include their mushroom bao, pickled cucumber salad, and slow cooked duck pancakes. But here’s a heads up – they will be changing their menu over the weeks!
I had an enjoyable night at Lucky Lucky Dumplings. There were a few misses, but mainly hits. I loved the location the most, mainly because it is like a secret hideaway, a place where you go to get out of the hustle and bustle of the CBD. And what better way to hide with dumplings and crafty cocktails? Absolutely nothing beats this.
Lucky Lucky Dumplings
339 Karangahape Road, Auckland
Open Wednesday to Saturday, 5pm to 10pm
Note: They only take bookings for 5 people or more
The best bit: All but one of their dishes is under $12!