Monday, August 3, 2009

Hao Ma Wang Dumplings

Northeast China is known for dumplings, but so far I have been underwhelmed. The filling here lacks substantial meat and is drenched in oil. The dumplings that mom and I make are very lean and meaty with just a tiny drop of sesame oil.

Hao Ma Dumplings is the recommended dumpling joint that is closest to work.

I was surprised when the waiter gave us a menu that left out dumplings. We had to ask that they bring over the dumplings menu, which only had like 8 varieties. A famous dumpling restaurant that I want to try in this city has over 100 kinds of dumplings, so I was sorely disappointed to see such a small selection at this dumpling restaurant.

I asked the waiter to recommend a veggie dish for us, and we ordered mutton dumplings and pork with winter melon dumplings.

Plating that is supposed to allay sanitation fears
The mutton dumplings were not particularly interesting. The texture of the mutton was too tight, and the characteristically dull, musky taste of mutton made the dumplings just sink in my mouth. The pork with winter melon dumplings were especially delicious. They were little purses of meaty juice. The dumplings had enough flavor to resist the condiments, but high sodium level wasn't the factor that was holding us back. The condiments were out in the open for who knows how long in the smokey restaurant. It's simply not safe to use them.
The stir-fried Chinese brocolli stems and bamboo shoots were addictive. The waiter's recommendation almost made up for the ridiculously bad service.

Peach Juice; Mutton Dumplings and Pork with Winter Melon Dumplings

Stir-fried Chinese Brocolli Stems with Bamboo Shoots; Dumpling Condiments

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