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Gourmet Dumpling House

October 16, 2011

While wandering around Chinatown with the lovely Tai sisters, we walked past the very crowded Gourmet Dumpling House. I have been getting more interested in non-Cantonese Chinese food and made a mental note to return here. I also came home to discover that this place was already on my spreadsheet of places to eat in Boston. The next day, on a long walkabout with my parents from Kendall Square to East Boston to the Public Gardens to Chinatown (no, we did not walk the entire way but certainly a lot was on foot), I got to pick where we were having dinner and so seized the opportunity.

Even though the restaurant was still pretty busy, we were seated immediately at two small tables put together. There was a funny moment when our waitress started to take our order but then had to stop us to go get pen and paper – we figured she was accustomed to her regular customers (from the looks of it, college and grad students) ordering one item each and not prepared for the long list of dishes we had selected. All in all, we got seven items for the three of us (granted, some of each was going home to Nick).

Where GDH shone was anything involving dough – the bamboo basket buns with hot broth inside, the golden Shandong potstickers, and the beef chow fun which was distinctively different from its Cantonese counterpart of the same name. The noodles used in that dish started off obviously wetter than the Cantonese version and while lacking in the hot sear that my father loves so much, made up for it with undeniable freshness and bounce. Unfortunately, that’s the one dish I forgot to take a photo of.

A different vegetable was used in the filling, but I can't for the life of me remember what. Boasted hot, sweet juice in addition to a crisp golden outside.

 

These xiao long bao tested the nimbleness of our fingers as we sought to move them onto the soup spoons while tearing the delicate casing that kept the delicious bun broth inside.

 

My father's choice of fried pig intestines that were very well-cleaned and crispy rather than rubbery or smelly. We were all very impressed with how well this turned out.

 

We were looking for something substantial to bring home to Nick and settled on Qingdao chicken as something new we hadn't had before. Lightly breaded chicken chunks in a savory sweet sauce quickly stir-fried with onions. It was good but overshadowed.

 

We were interested to see if this oyster pancake would be the same as those from my father's hometown in China. It was and it wasn't - whereas Dad's try to go for a lot of crunch on the outside and firm egg dotted with oysters on the inside, this pancake was still crispy, crunchy, and eggy but had an additional ingredient of what we think was rice vermicelli added that changed the texture and structure of the disc. It was super tasty with a sweet, slightly spicy thick sauce on top and perfectly blanched spinach rested below to soak up and provide a soft base for the textures and flavors.

 

I loved this dish for the just done state of the bitter melon slices, the delicate but pervasive flavor of umami created by the judicious use of seasoning and broth, and the nibs of super savory salted duck egg yolk. We had been expecting the salted duck egg to be a crispy batter covering each bitter melon slice but this alternative preparation was surprisingly pleasing.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Tiff permalink
    October 17, 2011 1:31 am

    YUM.

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