Dumpling Shack founders to launch 2-in-1 site in Hackney’s London Fields

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

Dumpling Shack founders to launch Sichuan Fry in Hackney

Related tags: Dumpling Shack, Sichuan Fry, Chinese cuisine

This June will see John and Yee Li launch a Hackney site that will be home to both their Dumpling Shack brand and their more recently created Sichuan Fry brand.

The main event at the  Westgate Street site will be Sichuan Fry, which majors in fried chicken burgers, with Dumpling Shack taking the smaller of the two spaces in the unit.

Originally launched as a special menu item at the pair’s Dumpling Shack site in Old Spitalfields Market, the line up of burgers at Sichuan Fry includes The Classic (spiced with Sichuan peppercorns, chilli’s and coated in a sauce made from doubanjiang then topped with pickles); The Vegan (fried panko coated aubergine with Sichuan sauce, honey mala sauce, pickled cucumbers and slaw on a vegan brioche bun); and The Hot and Mala Mapo (with mapo sauce-coated chicken). 

Having a dedicated space will allow the team to expand the menu to include more vegan options, sides, and - together with development chef Haydon Wong - ‘experiment with some more flavours’.

A full menu is yet to be created but chicken burgers will be supported by wings, tenders and fries that take inspiration from a McDonald’s concept in Asia known as ‘shake shake fries’ with various different seasonings including seaweed powder, salt and pepper, salted egg and chilli. 

The Dumpling Shack part of the space will stay true to the original as a 'fast-paced, quick-service food joint' dishing out signature shengjianbao, wontons in chilli oil, dan dan noodles, spring onion pancakes and will cater predominantly for pick up, takeaway and delivery with a few spots inside on the ground floor (10 seats). 

Being back in Hackney holds ‘huge prominence’ for the pair, who launched Dumpling Shack as a small street food stall serving shengjianbao, wontons, and dan dan noodles eight years ago on Broadway Market.

The new site will join Dumpling Shack locations in Old Spitalfields Market and South Quay (in Docklands). 

A skilled baker, Yee has also teased the possibility of creating a doughnut brand: "Doughnuts have always been a love of mine, I remember coming back from Hong Kong in 2013 and the artisan doughnut was really taking off."

"It's such a great vehicle to carry sweet flavours. I've loved watching and tasting the tweaks I’ve made to my doughnut dough recipe, adjusting the amount of yeast, and the proofing time has been key to getting the doughnut to be the perfect amount of fluffy lightness without it losing its shape."

"It's allowed us to play with flavours that we have grown up with such as milk tea, salted duck yolk custard, pandan, coconut, brown sugar, yam, and red bean to name a few. It's currently just a bit of fun, but who knows, maybe we'll branch out, but it requires a fair amount of equipment to do it on a larger scale.” 

Related topics: Openings, Casual Dining

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