Heather Johnston has made tens of thousands of dumplings since she started making them in 2015, but as of this week, she’s making them in her very own permanent dumpling eatery, Hey, Dumplings!
Over the past six months, you may have either attended or caught wind of Johnston’s uber-popular pop-ups that went down in a temporary space on Chinatown’s Gore Avenue.
Now the traditional Russian-style dumpling maker is almost ready to open her doors in the same neighbourhood where she’s been rolling, folding, and boiling for the last while, at 208 Keefer Street.
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You won’t be able to miss the bright pink and green signage and interior of the new Chinatown haunt. Small but mighty, you step in and are immediately faced with the unfussy, drool-worthy, and affordable offerings from this new establishment.
The system at Hey, Dumplings! is simple: choose your Pelmini (meat and potato, vegetarian, vegan), choose your sauce, and choose your serving size: $10 for a meal size, $5 for a snack.
This spot offers seven varieties of savoury dumplings at the moment, Pelmeni Poutine, Pesto, Vegan Beet Pesto, Spicy Ginger Scallion, Creamy Dill, Buffalo Hot Sauce, and Butter Chicken. Dessert selections include Berry Pelmini and homemade chocolate chip cookie ice cream bars.
There will also be sides such as sour cream, dill pickles, crunchy beet salad, and “The Other Salad” up for order so you can truly have a low-key feast.
Not unlike Johnston and the menu of suped-up dumplings, the space itself at Hey, Dumplings! is incredibly charming and quirky – AKA Instagram’s favourite interior.
Cheeky and vibrant prints made by Johnston’s husband line the wall of the 20-ish seat dining area (a custom-mad bench is on its way), a nice contrast to the Dungeons and Dragons-inspired hand-painted pattern of the floor.
On your way to the restroom, you’ll clock an old school Pacman arcade game, and once you step into your destination you’ll find wallpaper with all eyes on you (and we’re not talking about Tupac here).
Whether you want to come sit for a while, grab a box to go, a frozen kit of dumplings and sauces for your weekend dinner party, this place is going to be a great spot to head and a soon-to-be affordable favourite in Vancouver.
Just like that warm and fuzzy feeling Johnston’s made-fresh-then-frozen dumplings give you, this eatery has all the good vibes.
You can head to Hey, Dumplings! from Thursday to Monday at 11 am starting opening day, Thursday, April 19.
Address: 208 Keefer Street, Vancouver