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Posts Tagged ‘dumplings’

By Matt

Doesn’t look like much, does it?  Little would one know that the dumpling deal of the century is just beyond that bamboo blind in the doorway.  This recent, and welcome, addition to The Pointe’s restaurant scene, located at the corner of Laprairie and Chateauguay streets does mainly your average Chinese-American stuff (fried rice, General Tao, etc.) but hidden down at the bottom of their brief menu are dumplings.  Fried dumplings.  Six for $2!

I may be wrong, but I don’t think that there’s another place in town that does pork and vegetable dumplings this cheap.  There was no choice in how to have them done but I wonder if maybe they would consider boiling or steaming them if requested.  As far as the dumplings themselves they were actually pretty good.  Nice pork and cabbage flavour with carrot and onion among, I’m sure, other things that I couldn’t pick out.  And for $2?  Ridiculous.  If you live in The Pointe you’ve got a new, ultra-cheap dinner or lunch option.

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m:  i love this place.  in fact, i think it’s my new favourite place.  $4 dumplings?  20 dumplings?  yessir.

j:  and the soup! for me, it’s all about the hand pulled noodles in the lamb soup. they’re dense and chewy, but somehow not doughy. love.

m:  yeah, those noodles…  …  yeah…  and cctv never gets boring.  ever.

j:  yeah, it might if we could understand what the heck they were saying! but that brings me to another thing i love about this place – it’s like your at somebody’s house and they’re just cooking food for their friends and family. it’s absolutely delicious, but it’s not there to impress anyone – they make the food that they want to eat, and then we get to eat it, too.

m:  taste is underrated.  why do people make stuff that tastes bad?  or just not good?  make it fantastic, fer chrissake.  it’s not hard.

j:  no, i think it is hard. it’s easier to create a trendy atmosphere and serve mediocre food. some people value a trendy atmosphere. but putting in the work, every day, to make really exceptional food that doesn’t cut corners is hard. that’s why we like lotus bleu’s kind of minimalist atmosphere – it really is just about the food there.

m:  granted, it takes a certain amount of effort to make dumplings in the first place but it shouldn’t be unique.  it’s just effort, not talent.

j:  agreed… (awkward silence)… now back to those dumplings. of the two kinds we ordered (pork and chive, and pork and cabbage), i liked the ones with chive the best. and the chili oil and black vinegar is perfect with them.

m:  i mean, just make the damn dumplings like you mean it.  and not like you THINK i want them.

j:  do you have a secret past full of dumpling related trauma that you’re keeping from me?

m:  i was once tied up and pelted with dumplings but that’s none of your business. nor is it here nor there.   it’s just that a dumpling is such a simple thing.  it stinks to have bad dumplings, you know?  you know?  we could go to, say, qing  hua and end up paying twice the price for pretty much the same dumpling.  now, lotus bleu doesn’t have the variety of fillings that qing hua has but they’re just as good. and there aren’t enough places making them that good.  you know?  just good dumplings like i would assume my chinese grandmother would have made had i been chinese.

j:  first, you’re all talk. make some dumplings like a man instead of kvetching about everyone else’s dumplings. then you can say with some  authority that it’s a “simple thing”. another thing, qing hua’s dumplings are kind of semi-soup dumplings, and lotus bleu are just straight up dumplings without any broth in them. i agree that lotus bleu is far better value, but they’re not really the same thing. i don’t think they’ll ever get blown up like qing hua, either, being out in verdun and not really set up for it. but i think we should discuss the lamb soup, and that strange man who was babbling about “knife cut” noodles last time we were there.

m:  yeah, i think that guy was nuts but for all he was wrong about (montreal was originally english?  ?  because some buildings have english names or text above their doors?) he was right about the knife cut noodles.  at least we have to assume he was because we can’t get them in montreal.  the lamp soup is amazing.  now THAT’S craft.  it’s so much harder to make a broth like that and noodles like that than a good dumpling.  i can understand why virtually no one does it.  that soup is reason enough to go back again and again.  i give lotus bleu my highest rating of five hands… to mouths.  julia?

j:  well, thanks, resident broth expert. i’m glad you’re familiar with the relative difficulty levels of chinese dishes. but seriously, slurping those thick noodles out of the spicy, cilantro scented broth is heavenly. especially when the noodle seems to go on forever. my only complaint is the orange oil stain it leaves in the corners of my mouth. it’s tasty orange oil though. gingery and sesame-y. and the lamb bits are quite tender and pleasantly salty.  i also have to give lotus bleu five hands. also to mouths.

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