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Dumplings aren’t “little dumps” – Qing Hau Dumpling

by Jason

What’s round, warm, can be filled with almost anything and brings a smile to young and old alike? No, I meant besides me. Yes, that’s right boys and girls, DUMPLINGS. Chinese dumplings is more like it. I like to believe that I hold a degree in dumplingology, having eaten enough of these little pouches of sunshine to fully understand the complexity that is dumpling dynamics… a dumpling connoisseur.

On a mission for hot steamy dumplings on a bitter -30 degree December afternoon, we found ourselves at Qing Hua Dumplings, a local dumpling joint for what else? DUMPLINGS. The menu consisted of over 30 different varieties of dumplings, from pork, beef, lamb, seafood and even a combination of various ingredients. With descriptions sounding so delicious, it was like asking a fat kid with his nose pressed up against the glass, to pick one thing at the bakery… or a dumpling shop.

We started with what was called a potato “salad”. If it was anything, it was potato alright, but it was kind of lacking in the salad department. It was salad in the sense that it was “dressed”, and in this case, chili oil. It was crunchy to the bite and had a undertone of sweetness and vinegar which suggested to me that the potato was probably pickled – my assumptions are assumptions, as I did not get a chance to ask the one and only server who was busy shuffling between a full dining room. It was crisp and fresh.

We ordered from the lunch special menu, which came with a soup and salad. The salad was a great mix of rice noodles, cabbage, pickled radish, carrots and eggs in a sesame dressing, incredibly refreshing.

The soup was interesting. A Japanese miso soup with tofu and seaweed. Yeah, out of place, I know, but it’s ok, I didn’t expect much from it, no points lost, you don’t go to a Mexican joint for foie gras anyways, right?

So after about 20 mins our first rung of steamed deliciousness arrived. This was pork, with eggs and leak. The leak provided a really pretty color and the eggs a really funky texture not often found in dumplings. All dumplings come in 15 piece orders, additional dumplings as well as mixing orders cost extra.

It should be noted that the dumplings take on average 20 mins to arrive at your table as they are both WRAPPED and STEAMED to order. This means, the little magical dumpling fairies were busy at work, because 20 mins ago, your dumplings were still a ball of dough and a bowl of meat (apologies to any male chefs in the kitchen, I’m not calling you a fairy, I’m just saying).

Staple dumpling condiments, soy sauce, malt vinegar and chili oil.

The second order to arrive was lamb and coriander. Extremely fragrant and busting with soupy goodness. As with my track record of shoving freshing fried foods in my mouth, I learned the hard way not to bite down on a steaming hot dumpling as soup squirted half way across my face.

Why are the dumplings are filled with soup? The trick is that congealed and gelatinous soup is mixed with the meat when the masterful hands stuff the dumpling. This way, then they’re steamed, the soup melts away and is retained within the wrapper. Also, all dumplings are served steamed or boiled as ordered.

With other great and interesting dumplings listed on the menu, Qing Hau is definitly a place worth visiting more than once… or twice if not more if you’ve got a jonsing for dumplings. This place has a really big following and don’t be surprised when the place is packed with seasoned veterans ordering up a storm. Cowboy up and don’t be intimidated, immanent dumplings await.

Qing Hua Juicy Dumplings
1676 Lincoln
Qing Hua Dumpling on Urbanspoon

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haiyen nguyen December 23, 2009 - 1:00 am

Hi Jason,
First, i missed your blog, i was so busy with work n school lately…
Now i’m back;)
By reading what u ordered, i guess you ‘d checked out many reviews about QH Dumplings on Chowhound rite;) ?
you missed out their beef noodle…
Actually, their dumplings are quite worth trying, but Maison du nord can do the same stuffs…
i don’t think they wrap your dumplings right on the spot…
unless they are not busy
they steam the frozen ones or newly wrapped ones…

but thanks for the post
keep up eating dude;)

Jason December 24, 2009 - 1:50 am

Actually I was first introduced to it by a friend who’s been going there before they moved to their new location. When I decided to finally go check it out, they had already closed for the summer. I did read some reviews on CH and felt I had to see for myself. It’s tough to go with an open mind and not have high expectations of it.

Yes, I’ve been to Maison du Nord, and have yet to write about it… soon. As a matter of fact, I asked about that and they do indeed wrap the dumplings on the spot, which is kind of arduous when it gets busy, but have you seen pros wrap dumplings before?! It’s quite a sight to see!

haiyen nguyen December 29, 2009 - 11:41 pm

i had many chances watching pros warapping dumplings: in vietnam, in vancouver, in toronto and hopefully in hongkong next summer ;)…they are better than a machine if kitchenaid made one lol
About Maison du Nord, i hope you did not have the crystal noodle…Some foodies in CH crazy over it but i just found it weird, okay for the chewy noodle but the pork offal…i am not a fan of…
their pork sandwick is a hit but lil too much fat…

Samara S. January 29, 2010 - 4:44 pm

Hey Jason!

Just went there for my birthday lunch with some friends! Loved it! One of my friends is a dumplings connaisseur (he even makes them!) and therefore ordered for us. Loved the chicken curry and beef and coriander ones!

Good choice!
Samara S.


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