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We tried the dumplings nominated for a national award

PUBLISHED: 08:57 27 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:09 27 March 2019

Chef Sonny Ngai, ready to steam the dumplings at the Baby Buddha Chinese Teahouse, which have been nominated for a national Golden Chopstick award. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Chef Sonny Ngai, ready to steam the dumplings at the Baby Buddha Chinese Teahouse, which have been nominated for a national Golden Chopstick award. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2019

Dumplings have long been a flavour of Norfolk's history and now a city restaurant is vying to be named the best place to eat them in the UK.

Dumplings (and spring rolls) at the Baby Buddha Chinese Teahouse, which have been nominated for a national Golden Chopstick award. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYDumplings (and spring rolls) at the Baby Buddha Chinese Teahouse, which have been nominated for a national Golden Chopstick award. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Baby Buddha Chinese Teahouse, located in Ber Street, is one of the finalists in the best dumpling award category at The Golden Chopsticks Awards 2019.

The awards were founded in 2017 by TV presenter Gok Wan, managing director of SeeWoo UK Lucy Mitchell and food and drink PR and communications specialist Sarah Lewis.

Baby Buddha, which has been in the city for 10 years, is run by Ying-Kit Ngai, aged 36 from Costessey, and all the dumplings are made fresh at the restaurant by his father Yuk-Sun.

Yuk-Sun moved to Norwich in his 20s and learnt how to make dim sum at the five-star Peninsula hotel in Hong Kong.

Ying-Kit Ngai, front centre, with his family, dad Sonny, mum Lai-man, and his wife Anna with their son, two-year-old Lucas, at the Baby Buddha Chinese Teahouse, which have been nominated for a national Golden Chopstick award for their dumplings. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYYing-Kit Ngai, front centre, with his family, dad Sonny, mum Lai-man, and his wife Anna with their son, two-year-old Lucas, at the Baby Buddha Chinese Teahouse, which have been nominated for a national Golden Chopstick award for their dumplings. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Ying-Kit Ngai said: “My parents ran the Win Lee takeaway in Poringland when I was growing up and after I graduated we decided to open a Chinese restaurant ourselves.

“Dim sum means touch of the heart and it is like sushi and is an overall name for that style of eating and includes buns and dumplings and we have over 40 on the menu.”

Among the buns on offer include king prawn dumplings, pork and prawn bean curd rolls and dessert dim-sum including custard cream sweet buns.

Baby Buddha is up against London restaurants Din Tai Fung, Dumpling Shack and Yauatcha for the prize, which is voted for by the public.

The Baby Buddha Chinese Teahouse, which have been nominated for a national Golden Chopstick award for their dumplings. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Baby Buddha Chinese Teahouse, which have been nominated for a national Golden Chopstick award for their dumplings. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Ying-Kit Ngai added: “We have been established for 10 years and before we started people weren’t that familiar with dim sum but we get people coming in to have a taste of something they may not have tried before.

“The independent scene in Norwich has done very well over the last few years whether it is a restaurant, takeaway or Norwich Market.

“We won’t be disappointed if we don’t get the prize as it is like we’ve won anyway.”

There are 22 categories in The Golden Chopsticks Awards include best restaurant, best takeaway and best noodle dish and the awards ceremony takes place on April 29 in London.

The custard cream dumpling at the Baby Buddha Chinese Teahouse, which have been nominated for a national Golden Chopstick award. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe custard cream dumpling at the Baby Buddha Chinese Teahouse, which have been nominated for a national Golden Chopstick award. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Lucas Ngai, aged two, tries the spring rolls at his family's  Baby Buddha Chinese Teahouse. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYLucas Ngai, aged two, tries the spring rolls at his family's Baby Buddha Chinese Teahouse. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Chef Sonny Ngai, steaming the dumplings at the Baby Buddha Chinese Teahouse, which have been nominated for a national Golden Chopstick award. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYChef Sonny Ngai, steaming the dumplings at the Baby Buddha Chinese Teahouse, which have been nominated for a national Golden Chopstick award. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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