VIDEO: Best-Kept Secret Nominee... The Dumpling Shop
Countdown to the 16th Annual Table Talk Food Awards — Thursday, May 29, 2014
Why was I among the last persons in the Editorial Department to know about The Dumpling Shop? “You nuh want this type of food,” insisted beloved photographer Karl McLarty. “Let me be the judge of that,” I responded as I organised the funds for our 10:30 pm fact-finding mission. In less than five minutes we were stepping out of not one, but two, trusted Amoraks. Our numbers had suddenly swelled to nine. Seems I wasn’t the only one in search of a Lenten treat!
Business was brisk when we arrived, with bodies pressed against the formica-covered counter, eager to purchase mini brown paper bags of dumplings and sides of steaming escoveitch salt fish tightly packaged in foil. The dumplings, we learned, are $30 each, but cost $70 when served with salt fish. Opinion Editor Miguel Thomas was in full control of our purchase.
Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. Joy and Roy Campbell, whose dumpling shop is really called J&R Grocery & Snacks, have four daughters, notably Sophia, Susan, Donna and Tanaya, and would supplement their combined earnings by selling bread and sprats in the early days. When sprats got scarce, buoyed by a dream had by family matriarch Joy Campbell, the couple turned to dumplings and salt fish. Twenty years later, the business, now managed by the daughters, continues. Kirk Peart presides over the range, his culinary skills acquired by family patriarch Roy. The daughters, meanwhile, continue to feed not only the community but those in search of excellent, instantly filling street food — the dumplings are a satisfying treat, especially after a street dance or a long work day. Yes, The Dumpling Shop is open for business well into the wee hours of morning for those with after-midnight cravings.
The escoveitch salt fish, according to beloved Karl McLarty, “sell-off”.
A Nanny has fed all nine of us... Nuff said!
J&R Grocery & Snacks ‘aka’ The Dumpling Shop
44E Waltham Park Road
Open daily for breakfast and lunch.
The fritters are as popular during the day as the dumplings are at night.