What are some of your food goals? Some people might strive to bake the perfect cake or want travel the world to eat at a Michelin starred restaurants. Others may want to compete and crush 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes or try and have their bodies process dairy without fireworks and regret. Mine are pretty simple. One was to try and find the best pho in Montreal and more recently, to eat at all the dumpling restaurants in the Westisland. Seems so funny to be saying that, as if there are options in the west, but there are! I checked out this new spot called Dumpling King to add to the list!
The menu has a little bit of everything on it, appetizers, dumplings, and hot dishes. We started with the fried wontons. Six pieces to an order, they were served with sweet garlic sauce. The filling was negligible, it was dry and barely noticeable. This dish was just an excuse to eat crispy fried wonton skins dipped in a sweet sauce.
We had the popcorn chicken with the fried wontons. Strips of dark meat battered, deep fried
and dusted with chili powder. The chicken wasn’t very spicy, but it had a bit of a kick. Fun to nibble on, but it wasn’t anything mind-blowing.
We ordered the pork and shrimp dumplings steamed. The dumpling Classic.
Delicately steamed homemade dumplings. The skin was perfectly chewy and inside each dumpling had a shrimp nestled atop of the pork filling. Not called “soup dumplings”, but there was some savoury liquid that did come out of the dumpling. They were delicious.
We also got the beef and coriander dumplings pan-fried. The skins were delicate and and the filling was beefy. If you ever happen to order multiple kinds of dumplings prepared differently, try to take note of the dumpling wrapper. I prefer steamed dumplings – the dumpling skin is usually chewier when steamed. The skin on pan-fried dumplings are often inherently more fragile because of the preparation. The dumplings are boiled in the pan and the water is left to evaporate to eventually sear the bottom of each yum yum pouch. The skins take on too much water and become fragile. Do it, you’ll see.
Most places make dumpling wrappers by hand and you can tell by their irregular shape and texture. Dumpling King makes their own dumpling wrappers – any place that calls themselves “DUMPLING KING” has no excuse not to. The dumpling options aren’t overly extensive, but they have the usual suspects including a couple of vegetarian options. The owner tried to sell us on the lunch specials; the general tao chicken and vegetables with rice, or the pad Thai but we insisted that we wanted dumplings. I guess that’s their proverbial bread and butter regardless of what they call their restaurant – the hot meals. Rough around the edges made the food taste better knowing it was a couple-owned and run family restaurant. As quoted from their menu, “We wish you the best and most memorable moments with us.” -Jarry and Helen
In the past couple of years, dumpling shops have been popping up west of the 13 faster than a 15 year old’s acne before class picture day . Why? Who knows! Who cares! With this visit to Dumpling King, I can say that I’ve eaten at all the dumpling spots in the Westisland – for YOU!
4559 Boul. St-Charles