Lately we’ve been on an intense dumpling crawl, trying all the dumplings that we can find in Montreal. Seriously we’ve been out of control, even by our usual chaotic standards! It all started when Diva #1 was enjoying a delightful bowl of ramen at Ramen Misoya, and with it she ordered a side of gyoza, which is a Japanese fried dumpling. She was quickly reminded of her love of these little Asian delights and was soon driving around Montreal and tasting them prepared every which way.
Qing Hua was known as the dumpling king of Montreal, but Diva #1 wasn’t going to let anyone decide that for her. We fell in love with the steamed dumplings at Sammi & Soupe Dumpling, same owners as Qing Hua, and so far these are our favourite steamed soup dumplings. We loved the extra little adornments, like the varied dipping sauces and the intricacies of the dumplings at Trilogie, so far these are our favourite. Qing Hua and Sammi & Soupe Dumpling are in the soup dumpling category, Trilogie is separate. Yes, we have now eaten enough dumplings to be very capable of distinguishing amongst the varieties.
Qing Hua has the best fried dumplings, their steamed soup dumplings were less packed with broth than their sister restaurant, Sammi & Soupe Dumpling BUT their fried dumplings were exceptional. Needless to say, you should try all three places, they were all unique in their own way. But why does a Greek girl from Montreal love dumplings? When Diva #1 was a mini Diva her Momma Bear, Senior Diva, took her to Chinatown for dumplings. Now 20 years later, Diva #1 decided to go to Qing Hua with Senior Diva to keep that tradition alive.
We started our dumpling dégustation with two soups, a sweet and sour soup, and a wonton soup with Chinese vegetables. The soups were perfect, simple, and they opened up our appetites. Senior Diva loved the sweet n’ sour soup, especially when she added some hot chili oil that was provided.
Now we’ll give you a splash of Montreal foodie history. Most of you have guessed that hunan peanut butter dumplings are likely not rooted in Chinese culture. But you may not know that these delectable little treats did not originate just anywhere in North America, they began in Chinese restaurants in Montreal. Qing Hua serves your traditional Montreal hunan peanut butter dumplings with no bells and whistles – just that creamy peanut butter sauce made with soy sauce and ginger.
Sammi & Soupe Dumpling provided you with an Asian spoon that was perfect for enjoying their soup dumplings. You would poke a hole in the steamed dumpling, release the broth, drink the soup and eat the dumpling. Qing Hua didn’t do that, and when we asked for a spoon we received a regular soup spoon which wasn’t deep enough. On the other hand, Qing Hua steamed dumplings were filled with less broth than their sister restaurant, Sammi & Soupe Dumpling, so a deep Asian soup spoon wasn’t as necessary.
So how did we eat the steaming hot dumplings? We held the dumplings with our chopsticks, bit a little hole, drank the soup and ate the dumpling. We ordered the shrimp, pork and coriander dumplings, which are a favourite of ours. They were delicious, just look at that nice piece of pink shrimp in the picture! Qing Hua let us divide each dumpling order so that half were steamed and half were fried which is always great because we love the variety.
At Qing Hua we also ordered the lamb and coriander dumplings which were also very tasty, and we would definitely order both types of dumplings again. But we have a question: are we the only ones who find dumplings sexy? It’s amazing how they look so different at Qing Hua, Sammi & Soupe Dumpling and Trilogie – shaping them is truly an art. And we love that Qing Hua has an open kitchen so you can watch the Chinese women in the kitchen craft each dumpling. It adds to the authenticity of the experience!
Our dumpling crawl is still going strong, we’re not done yet! In sum, Sammi & Soupe Dumpling has the best steamed soup dumplings, Qing Hua has the best fried dumplings and Trilogie’s dumplings are absolute perfection if you want something a little fancier, but always authentic. Yi Pin Xiang in Ville St-Laurent is next on our list, so we’ll let you know how that goes!
Tagged: 1676 Ave Lincoln, Asian, Chinese, Chinese Food, Chinese Restaurant, Dumplings, H3H 1H5, Lamb, Montreal, Montreal Dumplings, Montreal Restaurant, Pork, pork dumplings, Qing Hua, Qing Hua Dumpling Downtown, Qing Hua Dumplings, Shrimp