We’re finally back to the comfy confines of home. As much as I love going away, there’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed, drinking your own tea, and forgetting your own keys and having to ask the concierge to buzz you up to your own apartment.
Our last full day in Montreal was a double dumpling day!
The first place had only been in business two days and, clearly, still has some kinks to iron out on its menu and service. We did the hunan (peanut butter) dumplings, har gow (shrimp dumplings), siu mai (pork dumplings), sweet pork dumplings, “vegetarian” dumplings, and beef curry dumplings.
A mixed batch. The sauce on the peanut butter dumplings was too weak, the shrimp dumplings cold and fishy. There was no discernible pork flavor in the sweet pork dumplings that were veggie heavy. Ironically, the “veggie” dumplings, though good, were not, exactly vegetarian. And by not exactly, I mean not at all. As our waitress served us our order, she informed us: “By the way, the vegetarian dumplings have shrimp in them.” Oh. Okay. The beef curry dumplings were pretty good however – though not good enough to convince me to come back. The service was clunky but touchingly earnest. You could tell she was really trying, even going so far as to ask all of our names and asking if we’d be back soon.
I’m not one to put much stock in fortune tellers and the like but the fortune cookie I received at the end of the meal really gave me pause. So uncannily accurate was it that I experienced a frisson of terror. HOW could this cookie know me so well?
The second dumpling place was our dinner stopover where we enjoyed another dumpling medley: peanut butter, pan-fried beef curry, pan-fried lamb and coriander, steamed veggie, steamed pork and leek, and steamed chicken and coriander.
The service was terrible. There was only one server and she didn’t seem in much of a rush, fielding take-out orders for a full ten minutes while we waited at the door. We finally got fed up and bused our own table, seated ourselves. She finally came over, gave the table a casual once-over with a rag – prompting my sister to do a proper cleaning with hand sanitizer and some bathroom paper towels. She took our order in a perfunctory manner but, thankfully, didn’t screw it up or otherwise delay us. Halfway through our meal, one of the two women at our neighboring table asked: “What’s good?” “Dumplings,”was her curt response.
The peanut butter dumplings were good, but still not great. Better quality dumplings overall with steamed pork and leek and the beef curry being the true standouts. Here, the vegetarian dumplings truly WERE vegetarian dumplings, so they were mostly ignored by everyone except Akemi who ordered them.
We concluded our evening with a visit to that place that does dipped soft serve cones. My last indulgent before my last indulgent before I’m back on the program.
We concluded our Montreal trip with a visit to Smoke Meat Pete (It’s a holiday tradition!). Surprisingly, one of the only times I’ve come away disappointed in the sandwich. I asked for medium-fat but the meat in my sandwich was far too lean for my liking. Those double fried fries are always a winner though.
A fond farewell to mom, sis, and Daisy until next time!