David Adamson gets absolutely steaming on Stockport Road

What: Gaijin Dumpling House

Where: 948 Stockport Rd, Levenshulme, M19 3NN

Food/ Drink type: Steamed dumplings, bao buns and asian dishes, all halal

When: Mon: Closed // Tues: 5pm - 9pm // Weds to Sat: 12-3pm, 5 - 9pm // Sun: 12 - 9pm  

Independent or chain: Independent

2024 04 08 Gaijin Review Exterior
Outside Gaijin Dumpling House Image: Confidentials

Levenshulme's main drag, Stockport Road (or the A6 to you and I), is positively spoiled with places to get a very good shawarma. If you're after fried chicken there's no shortage of shops for that either. What you perhaps don't expect to find is a dedicated dim sum restaurant. 

Gaijin Dumpling House (translation: foreigner) was set up by owner and head chef Tofiq Mohammad in 2021 as a place for the sort of authentic dumplings he had growing up in Hong Kong, the only difference being they are halal. They say if you want something done well, do it yourself.

2024 04 08 Gaijin Review Interior
Inside Gaijin Dumpling House Image: Confidentials


The interior gives both slight nods to Hong Kong in its neon sign and dimly-lit red lampshades, and a not so slight nod in its mural fresco of Bruce Lee. While the amount of covers probably only stretches to about thirty, there are plans to expand to upstairs. But in the meantime, you can have whatever you like delivered to the bar over the road, Overdraught, a savvy solution to a lack of space that in my view just doubles the temptation to eat what Gaijin has to offer. Why go for crisps and nuts when you can have wontons?

2024 04 08 Gaijin Review Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee fresco Image: @gaijinmcr / Instagram

The Main Event 

Firstly I chose the steamed chicken and prawn wontons (£13.50 for eight). After all, if it's in the name on the door, it should probably find its way onto your plate as well. In reality these are perfect for sharing, but as I was eating alone due to a last minute cancellation, I soldiered on through all eight. This was hardly a battle though, as they were fantastic. Well minced and mixed, well seasoned and well wrapped. Well well well, who knew a gaijin could make dim sum this good.

2024 04 08 Gaijin Review Dumplings
Steamed chicken and prawn wontons Image: Confidentials

I decided against one of the more 'main' dishes - katsu curry and the like - in favour of seeing how Gaijin got on with bao buns, that most ubiquitous of East Asian foods that has certainly spent the last few years being dragged from pillar to post and 'fused' with just about every cuisine you can think of. Therefore I went simply for the Dynamite Bao (£14 for two, with chips), a balanced combination of fried chicken, lettuce, white onion, spring onion, fried garlic, Toragashi chilli and 'Dynamite sauce' (a spicy mayo number). 

Baos can be a little pillowy and overfacing, but these were a delicate and sweet dough that weren't blown up to the size of a bean bag and crucially were mostly made up of the actual filling itself. The chicken was coated liberally with a seasoning not shy on the chilli, salt and pepper, that dastardly trio that when done well gets its claws into you. The onions were fresh, fragrant and crunchy and the dynamite sauce a welcome, slightly warming addition. I'm not sure the chips are necessary but I imagine if i'd ordered these to the bar over the road I'd certainly find myself nibbling away at the chips soon enough. 

I'd go back and tackle a main such as the amusingly-named 'Lamb on Crack', but realistically I was full from the dumplings and baos, as expected. Sometimes it's nice to not have a full plate in front of you to get through.

2024 04 08 Gaijin Review Bao Buns
Dynamite Baos Image: @gaijinmcr / Instagram

Judgement Day

As a halal take on East Asian food - where should you choose you can bring your own booze - Gaijin Dumpling House is doing a roaring trade for young muslims in Levenshulme, largely the makeup of the tables around me, with that very contemporary appetite for dim sum and East Asian flavours. 

It also takes that decision to be as much a takeaway place as a sit down restaurant, which can give people the impression that you're not serious. But Gaijin certainly is. The dishes are executed with real precision, but more importantly with all the flavours you'd hope for. I'll be returning, albeit with a bag ready to rush my dumplings away to a table in Overdaught, where you'll see me greedily tucking in amongst the rising steam.

Gaijin Dumpling House, 948 Stockport Road, Levenshulme, M19 3NN

2024 04 08 Gaijin Review Sign
Gaijin Dumpling House Image: @gaijinmcr / Instagram
  • Food 8/10

    Steamed chicken and prawn wontons 8, Dynamite Bao 8

  • Service 3/5

  • Ambience 3/5