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soup dumplings in MTL?

I was stalking another chowhound and came across a post about Shanghai style soup dumplings. I was living in the General-Taoland for 2 years, so I almost forgot that such a thing has existed. It has been perhaps 2 years since I had some (in NYC, during a vacation), and the taste is still in my mouth. Is there a place that I can re-live that feeling when the dumpling first bursts into your mouth with its fatty brothy warmness? Pretty please.

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  1. Hmm, I fear for the worst, no responses... something as inspiring as a soup dumpling should evoke immediate visceral response. Is it possible we don't really have them here? I have never had a soup dumpling and yet I am obssessed. Fortunately we are planning a junket down to NYC next weekend, and this is on my lis of must do things. Also, we are planning to try a soup dumpling recipe soon after return from our trip... But of note: I went to the Fu Kam Wah website (which Carswell kindly found for us) and there is an item in the appetizers section called "Shanghai style dumplings, 8 for $7.95". Could this be the elusive Shanghai soup dumpling? I haven't yet had a chance to try this restaurant's dimsum, but now I will have to make a point of it. It'll have to wait until after Manhattan, but that is probably for the best for comparison's sake.

    1 Reply
    1. re: moh

      Update: I have bad news, the Shanghai dumplings at Fu Kam Wah are not soup dumplings. I have now returned from NYC, and understand the glory that is the soup dumpling. I have started Plan B: making them from scratch. I understand what needs to be done. I have begun gathering ingredients and will continue the experiment. I will report back....

    2. they sell something similar at the asian store I go to in the Norgate plaza at Cote Vertu & Decarie. The store is called Poissonerie something, and they're sold frozen. In fact, they have a pretty decent selection of dumplings there- the pork and cabbage ones are fantastic.

      3 Replies
      1. re: C70

        I buy frozen japanese dumplings at Myamoto in westmount. I add them to hot broth with some finely minced green onion. Not bad but lets face it not something you can't find vastly improved upon in New York City.

          1. re: SnackHappy

            If only someone actually makes them in this city.. Any volunteers up to the challenge?

      2. i had been looking for the same dumplings filled with soup inside the bun, but I gave up long time ago. I was totally disappointed every time I tried, cause they serve totally different stuff in Chinatown or other Chinese restaurant in Montreal. Actually most of people don't know what it is, seriously.

        It's better go to NY or try frozen one which you can find at Chinese glossary store in Chinatown or Kim Phat. It's called "xiao long bao=小龍包". Steam up with a bamboo container and serve with a sauce which i make with soy sauce, sushi vinegar and piece of ginger. Actually it's pretty good.

        1. Sadly, I have to concur with the others who say you cannot find such thing in this city, even though I sometimes get cravings for it big enough, that I start to dream about making them myself.

          I also have had some excellent ones in NYC, and some passable and less passable ones in Toronto. I have also bought some frozen ones from one of the big grocery stores here, those that expressly said "soup-filled"... and got sorely disappointed.


          3 Replies
          1. re: tarteaucitron

            Pardon the interruption, but we've split a discussion about where to find soup dumplings in NYC to the Manhattan board:


            Please keep the discussion here focused on Montreal.


            1. re: The Chowhound Team

              Okay. It's just that this thread actually included discussion involving Montreal, Toronto, NYC and General. This way of splitting a conversation into two (or four) pieces simply doesn't fit very well into the natural model of how people communicate =)

              Not that I have a better suggestion. Duplicating the threads to their respective boards would be unimaginable, for example. I do really appreciate how the Chowhound team maintains this site, nonetheless =)

              1. re: tarteaucitron

                In Toronto a few places to get soup dumplings but mostly in the burbs. Downtown there is Asian Legend, on Dundas near the Art Gallery of Ontario.

          2. I had those dumplings today Maison Kam Fung on St. Urbain during offered during dim sum. They were a bit heavier than what I was expecting.

            5 Replies
            1. re: morebubbles

              They call it xiao long bao, but it's fake!

              1. re: sa ra

                How do you mean it's fake? They have the same look if that means anything.

                1. re: morebubbles

                  How much broth was in the dumpling? The soup dumplings I had in NYC were full of broth, you really had to take a bite and slurp out the soup before attacking the rest of the Dumpling. I couldn't bring myself to just eat the whole thing in one go (Way too hot, would have burned my entire mouth).

                  1. re: moh

                    Not so much. I was expecting it to be more brothy, this was more meaty. I thought that there were probably different kinds. They do call them xialong bao, and my Chinese friends didn't think there was anything awful about them...I just found the dough a bit on the heavy side.
                    Now I'm curious about the dumpling full of broth idea though.

                    1. re: morebubbles

                      I mean xia long bao is originaly from Shang Hai and also famous in Taiwan. So in Kam Fung, who offers dim sum which is originally from Hong Kong, they make it differently.
                      We can find a good Contonese food in Montreal, cause there are many people from Hong Kong. But if you want to try real xia long pao, not meaty and full of soup, you need to go to Shanghai restaurant in Tronto or New York.

            2. I haven't come across any Xiao Long Bao here in Montreal but I have had them in a Shanghai-style restaurant in First Markham Place shopping centre on Highway 7 in the 'burbs of Toronto. If you ever drop by the entrance of the restaurant opens onto the parking lot and is not in the main mall. It's on the right-hand side of the lot.

              1. If you are looking for one of the best selection of fresh and frozen dumplings for purchase (as opposed to eating at a restaurant), your best bet would be Marche Hawaii on Marcel Laurin. Their selection includes a number of regional varieties, including Taiwan, Chinese, Korean and Japanese.

                I have been told that they xiao long bao can be found frozen in packages of 12-16 at both Hawaii and in some of the stores in China Town....

                Now the real challenge is finding a place that serves Goon Ton Gao The soup dumplings that we used to find at Dim Sum at Mon Nan back in the 80's. This dumpling is served in a small bowl, where you open the top of the large dumpling to expose the soup inside, and pour in a small quantity of red vinegar and ginger. The Goon Ton Gau is filled with Kon Poy (dried scallop), Shark fin, pork, and water chesnut. Damn, they were soooo good.

                35 Replies
                1. re: fedelst1

                  Oh yum. Why does Mon Nan no longer serve these beauties?

                  Also: re frozen soup dumplings, I heard they are not really soup dumplings in that they don't actually have a lot of soup in them. Any word from our source about which ones are the most likely to have a lot of soup in them?

                  Because they really need to have a lot of broth. My second batch of homemade dumplings were good, but still did not have enough broth in them. I am beginning to contemplate the need to make my own dumpling skins to try to get a bigger dumpling that can hold more soup. But this seems daunting.

                  Also, heard a rumour about a potential place in Brossard, but have not had a chance to investigate.

                  1. re: moh

                    The Mon Nan story is a whole other thread, but here is my theory. Having thrived on Dim Sum in Montreal since the early 80's, I used to go every Sunday with a group of friends. The food at Mon Nan in the mid-80's was excellent. However, one weekend there was a noticeable change in the quality of the food. It went from great to blech, and never improved.

                    It seemed that the kitchen staff were raided by another restaurant. So, we moved to Tong Por, where for some reason the Dim Sum had suddenly improved. A while later Lotte / Furama was doing a great Dim Sum and Tong Por dropped off. Perhaps I was imagining things, was getting blase, or in fact, there was a roving team of dim sum chefs who would go from one place to the next.....

                    It happened at Kam Fung not too long ago, we went for a banquet one night, and everything was excellent. Then a couple weeks following we were back, and both the front and back staff were not the same. Not only was the service poor, but the food was sub-par. We asked the manager why the food so different and not as good, and she told us about the whole staff being raided by a competitor.

                    I heard that the food at Mon Nan has improved, but have not gone back yet.

                    BTW If anyone finds a Dim Sum serving Silver noodles, please let me know. I miss these too. And, if ever you are having dim sum in the summer or spring, look out for the JellyFish salad. Yes, it sounds disgusting, but it is sooooo goood. You will recognize it by the plate with shredded marinated daikon and carrots, topped with cold rolled roadt pork, and a mass of shredded gelatinous jelly fish julienne on top. Seriously, it is good.

                    1. re: fedelst1

                      Mmmmmm...Tong Por. Their halcyon days were definitely the late 80s, but as you said, the quality seemed to drop off for some reason. I went to Furama back in about 1983-4 for a big dim sum family banquet on New Years, and that one occasion was easily the best dim sum I've ever had in Montreal.

                      1. re: bomobob

                        So, where is the good dim sum these days?

                        1. re: hungryann

                          Well, I have been hitting both Tong Por and Lotte / Furama lately, and both are just passable. Neither is a really wow experience. Although my last visit to Tong Por a couple weekends ago was by far better than usual.

                          My bell weather for good Dim Sum is:
                          -Is the fried Squid not greasy and hot.
                          -Is the Har Gao (Shrimp dumpling) wrapped in a thin slightly chewy wrapper that is not wet and mushy (over steamed, or returned to the steamer)?
                          - Are the carts steaming or do they look tired.
                          - Do the fried rolls look cold and translucent, or do they look like they just came out of the kitchen?
                          - Do the dumplings taste Fresh?

                          Of course it is best to go to a place that has good volume, as there is a better probability that the food will be fresh. Kam Fung used to my a favorite, but after a number of lousy Dim Sum, I stopped going about a year ago. I also refuse to go to Ruby Rouge just because of their less than honorable way that they ended up there (Ruby Rouge is owned by the owner of the building, This is the place that Kam Fung had been for years. When KF had developed a steady clientele, the owners took the lease renewal as an opportunity to force KF out of the space. Once out, they expected that most Dim Sum diners would just keep coming back a la dawn of the dead, and eat at Ruby Rouge). Of course, Kam Fung's clients were not zombies, and figured out this trick and followed Chuck to his new location on St. Urbain.

                          KF may be worth a try, but I have not been there in some time. I should go back. BTW their Banquets are still very good at Kam Fung... the cheapest way to feed a large group... Unless you order the super deluxe menu.

                          1. re: fedelst1

                            I would agree that the fried squid at tong por is the best I've had in MOntreal. and I love that honeydew melon jelly dessert. But I am sometimes disappointed by the other dumplings at Tong Por.

                            I still enjoy Kam Fung dim sum. The deep fried squid are a bit greasy and cold. But the rice rolls with shrimp and the shu mai and the Har Gao are very consistent. The turnip cake is not greasy and tasty, the baby squid are delicious, and sometimes they have these really great whole fried fish with roe in them, very well done. And the Chinese chive pork pancakes are great. The "footballs" (don't know their real name, deep fried football shaped rice flour dumplings filled with prok and mushrooms, very sticky exterior, lke fried mochi) are greasy but still very tasty. Very good potstickers too.

                            Just tried Le President, also very good for dimsum, they also had those little fried whole fish. But it's a little further away.

                            Dang, I'm hungry.... stupid diet!

                            1. re: moh

                              The footballs are actually Taro stuffed with minced pork. They are always a bit greasy. Kind of like frying mashed potato.

                              1. re: fedelst1

                                I'm pretty sure moh is talking about hom sui gok -- outside is similar to sesame ball, minus the sesame. The taro ones (wu gok?) are entirely different.

                                Also, I suggest giving Kam Fung another try. Hit it around 11, just before cart service kicks in, and you'll get to order à la carte and/or snag the carts on the first run.

                                1. re: Mr F

                                  The hom sui gok, that sounds right. They look the same as sesame balls, but are shaped like footballs, and the dough is very sticky. I must admit, I was surprised that they would be made from taro, they really remind me of a glutinous rice flour product.

                                  1. re: moh

                                    Yup, they are glutinous rice, not taro. So hard to find good ones, alas. They and sesame balls go downhill super-fast once they leave the fryer. Whenever possible, it's best to make a special order.

                                    1. re: moh

                                      Oh, American footballs, now I get it.

                                      I agree, all that, and the Taro Balls/Puffs (Wu Kok), should come straight from the fryer to the mouth.

                                      And being the inquisitive person, I looked up and confirmed that the footballs are *not* made from taro. They are indeed made with glutinous rice flour like you first suspected, being sticky and sweet and all.

                                      Here are some pics just so that I won't be the only one craving for those things right now :)

                                      1. re: tarteaucitron

                                        Oh sorry, yes, I am a huge fan of American football. I am about to go into major withdrawal (last game of the season in less than 2 weeks, Probowl doesn't count), so you may notice my posts becoming even crazier than before.

                                        The pictures are great, and the footballs I am referring to are the paler smoother ones (the first picture on the left). I see that this picture demonstrates the amount of filling that is perfect!

                                2. re: moh

                                  I had always wondered about Le President since I used to go often (not for dim sum) and everything was excellent but I stopped going as often because they raised their prices quite a bit in the past year.

                                  1. re: moh

                                    Both the fried squid and the deep fried pig intestines were second to none at Tong Por (pronounced Tung Pow, for those who're wondering). This was in the 1987-91 period, roughly. Then something happened, and it started going downhill. Less carts, less crowds, food lukewarm, with the same carts going round and round.

                                    I also will not eat at Ruby Rouge for the same reasons stated earlier.

                                    I find Kam Fung is still the best of the bunch, but a lot of it has to do with the timing. If you get there too early in order to beat the crowd, you won't have as much selection. On the other hand, if you do go early and just linger too long, waiting for the crowds, you'll get daggers from the boss. It's a slippery slope.
                                    Their green pepper stuffed with shrimp is always cooked to perfection, as is the sublime eggplant.

                                    1. re: bomobob

                                      Of course... I forgot about that great eggplant... (drool)

                                      Eggplant can be terrible. But in the hands of a master, it is truly sublime...

                                      Bomobob, if you haven't tried it, go to the M.M. Legende bakery on dela Gauchetiere and get their Yu Hsing eggplant and rice. About $6 and it is also a sublime expression of eggplant.

                                      The other sublime expression of eggplant: Cuisine Bangkok's squid and eggplant. Medium for me.

                                      1. re: moh

                                        You mean the Bangkok upstairs in the Faubourg, of course, and not the wretched pretenders down the street...right?

                                        I would also like to add Kum Mon's hot garlic eggplant.

                                        1. re: bomobob

                                          Cuisine Bangkok in my posts always refer to the Fauberg location! Although we had a funny experience. I've eaten at the Wretched Pretenders down the street (hereafter referred to as WPDTS) and been disappointed in the past, only because they cannot compare to Cuisine Bangkok. But I will go when it is too late to get food at CB (after about 8:30 pm). Well, we did takeout the other day from WPDTS, and the food was delicious! CB quality! In fact the squid eggplant was exactly like they make it at CB. The reason we did takeout at WPDTS was because CB was closed for a week. So now we have a theory. When CB is closed for a period of time, I wonder if some of the cooks from CB don't moonlight at WPDTS... Just a theory...

                                          Am I the only one who finds the name Kum Mon funny? Almost as good as "New Big Wang Restaurant"in NYC... By the way, where is Kum Mon? I always love hot garlic eggplant...

                                          1. re: moh

                                            I'm going to pretend I didn't read what you said about WPDTS. Blasphemer!

                                            I was introduced to Kum Mon by a Chinese-Indonesian friend whose favourite expression just happened to be "aw cum onnnn". It's on Cote des Neiges, just a bit South of where Kam Shing used to be when they were on the murder Harvey's side of the street. (sorry, but as much I like a Harvey's burger now and again, I just can't bring myself to go into that one)

                                            I actually haven't ordered from them for a little while, but assume they must still be there. Lately our attentions have turned to Jardin de Pekin on Queen Mary, which happens to be pretty conveniently located for us, and quite good if you ask for the Chinese menu.

                                            1. re: bomobob

                                              I've always felt a little abashed about mentioning Jardin de Pekin (one of my friends calls its cooking Jewish Chinese) but love its convenience (since it's near the Snowdon metro and I'm on the blue line, it's the easiest decent Chinese resto for carless me to get to) and find several of the dishes, including the eggplant, to be pretty good. In all my years of going, however, I've never heard tell of a Chinese menu. How does it differ from the Western menu? What dishes do you recommend?

                                              1. re: carswell

                                                Carless carswell. Make up your mind :)

                                                I remembered it as being Jewish Chinese as well, serving rice latkes and moo goo guy oy, but it turns out not be the case. (If you want Jewish Chinese, you have to go to Hot and Spicy) Obviously, the clientèle's demographics are determined by the location (you also have to keep in mind there is also both good and bad Jewish Chinese food), but every time we've been there recently, there have always several huge tables occupied by Chinese families.
                                                A few points on the menu. The take-out menu is incomplete and I have been bugging them forever to update it. There is lots of stuff on the sit-down menu that is not on there. The Chinese menu is on the walls, and changes periodically. Neither of us can read it, but the waiters can. One time, a double sided, plastified Chinese page fell out of the regular menu, and of course the waiter told me I wouldn't like anything on it. I wish I could recall the names of things, but I'd say it yielded about 75% satisfaction. There was a beef dish on the regular menu, and when we enquired about it, he suggested "maybe you'll like this one better", pointing to something I can't read. He was right.
                                                Damn, now I have to wait itll I get home to find the starting points on the menu for the stuff that we love. I'm having a brain freeze.
                                                Their shrimp is usually superb. I mean, plump, perfectly cooked shrimp that makes a juicy SNAP when you bite it. Most of their tofu dishes are top notch too.

                                              2. re: bomobob

                                                EEEEK! No! Please Bomobob, do not stone me today! I take it all back! Only Cuisine Bankok Fauberg! I have seen the true light!!! (but i'm just saying, they have the same owners... there could be moonlighting involved....)

                                                Now I have to ask, "murder Harvey's???" Did I miss something?

                                                  1. re: zekesgallery

                                                    Oh dear. I'm sorry I asked... But I was moved by the article.

                                          2. re: moh

                                            I really miss the old Niu Kee's eggplant...must try MM Legende...

                                            1. re: cherylmtl

                                              Oh great..thanks! I was doing just fine in withdrawal therapy, and now you had to go and ruin it!

                                            2. re: moh

                                              "The other sublime expression of eggplant: Cuisine Bangkok's squid and eggplant."

                                              Eight times out of ten, that's what I order too (spicy though). The single best dish on the menu.

                                              1. re: moh

                                                Hey moh, I had the eggplantt with squid yesterday and it was great! The eggplant is indeed divine...all that smokiness!! I did find it a tad oily though and the squid could have been more soft but overall a great addition to my choices at Bangkok. Maybe next time, I will try the eggplant with shrimp but I also want to sample the green chicken curry and the garlic pepper shrimp or squid. Sigh...so many dishes so little time and space in my tummy! Of course, it does not help that my DH refuses to order anything else than the pad thai. Sometimes I get the uncontrollable urge to grab strangers from Ste-Catherine and make them eat with me so I can try more stuff but I digress. Do you have other items I should add to my ever expanding waist line...err I mean list.

                                                1. re: hungryann

                                                  Their beef with basil on rice noodles is wonderful.

                                                  1. re: hungryann

                                                    Hungryann, I must admit, I am so addicted to the squid eggplant and to the chicken soup and the tofu pad thai (and in the past the duck in red curry) that i just cycle through those dishes everytime I go. I am ashamed to admit this, but I have tried very few of their other dishes... Their green curry is delicious too though. that squid eggplant just makes me go insane!!!

                                                    1. re: moh

                                                      I have just tried their "seafood eggplant" the other day when quiet wokmaster was in charge of the station. This dish not only had the squid (not as abundant as the squid only version), but nicely seared tiny scallops, some shrimp and two big pieces of mussels. Nice! But I think the star of the dish was still the eggplant.

                                                2. re: bomobob

                                                  Funny, I've never been hassled or given nasty looks for going early or for taking all the time I need at Kam Fung -- even when there's a line down the hall, I always have to flag down a waiter for the bill. (Not to say I'm special; I just find your comment surprising.)

                                                  When going early, I just order à la carte (with help from the small book of photos -- if you've never seen it, it has about 40 of the most popular items) and, sometimes, wait for the carts to get rolling. If cart service is just getting started (or winding down) and you're not seeing what you want, they'll usually take special orders.

                                                  1. re: Mr F

                                                    Well you know, we had one of the best ever Chinatown dining experiences at Kum Fung a couple of years back. We had to satisfy the craving, and so went there on a Saturday night, of all times. The place was about 7/8 full with a bunch of reserved tables for a banquet, but they found us a little table anyway. The boss lady recognized us and I swear, she treated us like we her long lost white cousins. She wouldn't even give us menus. We told her we felt like fish, so she hauled over a waiter and we worked out the details of a meal including a whole steamed dory with ginger and green onion with a hoisin-based sauce, and it was the best we've ever eaten. She was doting on us the whole night, despite the full house. I was sure she wanted to adopt us.

                                                    So the short version is that yes, their a la carte food is fabulous.

                                                    1. re: bomobob

                                                      "So the short version is that yes, their a la carte food is fabulous."

                                                      That's generally been my experience, too (though based on maybe three evening visits over the years).

                                                      To be clear, the point I was making is that I've had quite a few good experiences with their à la carte *dim sum*, both before and after cart service. No pressure to hurry up, excellent freshness and overall quality, wide though not exhaustive selection.

                                                      In other words, my experience has been that going early to beat the crowds is a great idea.

                                                3. re: moh

                                                  I discovered that honeydew melon dessert a year ago; actually I think they called it a winter melon dessert. Isn't it amazing ?

                                          3. re: fedelst1

                                            Rereading this thread. The Silver noodles sounds very intriguing. Any Chinese restaurant in Montreal currently serving Silver noodles(never heard of it before)?

                                      2. So I don't want to get people's hopes up, but...

                                        I was told that Jing Hua in Brossard has soup dumplings. I tried to call to confirm, and the woman on the phone seemed to say yes they did, BUT of course, not sure if she understood what I was asking. I am going to try it out this Sunday to see if they have them.

                                        Off hand, can anyone direct me to a place where I might be able to find the chinese characters for soup dumplings? Maybe I'll have a better chance.

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: moh

                                          Ah, just found it on Wikipedia, there is a lot of info there!

                                          1. re: moh

                                            Yes, please report back on the soup-filled dumplings. I usually get my fix at Asian Legend when I go to Toronto although they are actually "juicy" dumplings, not the kind that contain only soup. Haven't had that kind for years. Juicy are not quite as messy.

                                            A friend of mine tells me that if you order in Chinese at Kam Fung you get a 10% discount and if everyone in your party is Chinese (or looks it I guess) you get a 15% discount. Could this be true?

                                            1. re: Plateaumaman

                                              Hmm, I do know that if you get take-out at Hong Kong and pay cash....well, no bill, no tax. They used to give you 10% on top of that, but not for some time now.

                                              1. re: Plateaumaman

                                                I must admit I have never heard this. But I do not speak Chinese, and I rarely travel in completely Asian parties, on account of the fact that my partner is not Asian... So I am not the best person to answer this.

                                                1. re: Plateaumaman

                                                  Some Chinese restaurants don't charge tax if you pay cash, which translates into a 10 or 15 percent discount.

                                                  I wouldn't be surprised if English or French-speaking parties didn't get this special treatment. It happens often enough to me and my girlfriend, even though our dinner parties are usually ethnically mixed, but that might be because there's usually someone ordering for the group in Chinese.

                                                  1. re: KT MTL

                                                    I see from checking many menus of Chinese restaurants in Montreal, the prices listed already includes tax(it's stated on the menus).

                                                    1. re: BLM

                                                      Right, which means they'll give you the (unlisted) pre-tax price.

                                                  2. re: Plateaumaman

                                                    > A friend of mine tells me that if you order in Chinese at Kam Fung
                                                    > you get a 10% discount and if everyone in your party is Chinese (or looks it > I guess) you get a 15% discount. Could this be true?

                                                    I can partially confirm this first-hand. I'd been going to my favourite resto in Chinatown for years. (I'm non-Chinese and it's not Kam Fung.) One day about 7 years ago, I go in with a large group from my workplace at the time, among which is a colleague originally from Singapore, who spoke with the waiter in Cantonese.

                                                    From that day on, whenever I go back, no matter who I am with, I'm given a clearly marked 10% discount on my bill, about 9 visits out of 10. (Not sure what happens that 10th time!)

                                                    The really funny thing is, my Singaporean former co-worker stopped going to that particular resto shortly after our joint visit, telling me that "all the other places in Chinatown give me 15% off, so why should I accept 10%?" I thought that was pretty amusing. ;-)

                                              2. OK! We are getting closer people!

                                                Just got back from dim sum at Restaurant New Jing Hua in Brossard : 8050 boul. Taschereau. Here is the scoop on the soup dumplings:

                                                With my wikipedia cheat sheet in hand, I asked some of the waiters if they had them. They responded, 'Sometimes". I confirmed that the soup was inside the dumpling, and they said "yes, Shanghai style". But they did not have them today.... They say they might have them next weekend, but they did not specify Saturday or Sunday. They said they run out quick when they do have them.

                                                Then later during the meal, they pointed out another dish which they said was similar, so I got one. It is a large dumpling the size of a fist that is served in a small bowl (like a souffle ramekin. It is sitting in a clear broth, with a few pieces of fake crab. The soup is ok, nothing special. But when you open the dumpling, a thick rich broth, clearly made from a very good stock pours out. Very rich in the mouth, very meaty, and lots of broth. I had wisely eaten some of the outside broth up first to try to prevent it from diluting the wonderful collagen laden broth inside the dumpling. There is also a loose filling of pork, shrimp, some green onions, inside the dumpling. This was very good with the red vinegar and ginger sauce they serve on the side. This dish sounds somewhat similar to the Goon Ton Gao The dumplings that Fedelst1 described in an earlier post, although the filling is a little different. It was delicious!! I got the waiter to write out the name for me in Chinese on a piece of paper. I am very hopeful that the soup dumplings will also be legitimate here. The broth inside this dumpling was really wonderful!

                                                So next weekend may be the golden day! Unfortunately, we are flying back home for a short trip, but I am trying to figure out if we have time to make one stab at it before we have to go the the airport....

                                                Here's a report on the rest of the dimsum:

                                                The steamed dumplings were excellent (Har gao, shu mai, shrimp and scallop dumplings with coriander), as good as Kam Fung. The rice noodle rolls with shrimp were very good, but not as good as KF and Le President (texture was not quite as perfect, this is one of my favorite items, I am very fussy). Fried squid was a little tough, the batter was tasty but also a little greasy. The footballs (hom sui gok, deep-fried rice flour balls filled with pork) are by far the best I've had in the city, less deep brown colour, but much less greasy than at other places. But I wish they had just a little more of the yummy pork filling. Deep fried fish with roe were delicious, they are spicier and more flavourful than others I've had. Turnip cake was ok, but not as good as KF. Sticky rice, only so-so. Eggplant with shrimp, very good, on par with KF. Spareribs with black bean sauce, ok, not as good as KF. We also had a very unusual dish which I've never had. It is in the category of "dishes made in an Earthenware Pot", and indeed it is served in one. It is a stew of richly braised pig foot, ginger and eggs. Everything was a rich brown colour. The pig foot is good if you like collagenous cuts of meat, but I found the whole stew a bit too sweet for my taste. The egg was quite firm, and had an unusual texture, a bit rubbery (but in a good way if you can believe it), but again the whole thing was a bit sweet for me. Too bad, I really like pig foot. ALso had a lovely BBQ pork pie, the pastry was simliar to puff pastry and it was delicious!! Very flaky and rich.

                                                Dishes I didn't get to try (too full, there goes the diet again): tofu fa, the dessert tofu in ginger sauce. They also had a stew with tripe, blood sausage cubes in a stew, some unidentified large bread loafy things, some unidentified tofu wrapped in pastry thing, sticky rice wrapped in a bread covering that was cut into strudel like rolls, the usual fried wontons, custard tarts, white coconut jelly, deep fried taro balls (I think)... My head was flipping from side to side, trying to see all the choices and figure out what everything was! I looked like a scene from the Exorcist! My friends had to step in and "just say no", because I was stuffed but still wanted to try everything! They have a very interesting selection of items, and it is worth going just to see what they have. The dim sum is very good, so I'll be back even if the soup dumplings don't pan out. But I think there is hope!

                                                20 Replies
                                                1. re: moh

                                                  Wow, we'll have to give it a try, though it's a little out of the way.

                                                  We tried President today for the first time, and I have to say that every single thing we had was really top tier. Moh, we seem to have made very similar choices as well...

                                                  The dumplings, both shrimp and scallop, were exquisite, with the most perfect wrappers, light yet slightly chewy yet mouth melty. The fillings were delicious, the texture right on.
                                                  The sticky rice (the one molded into a bowl, not in the banana leaf) was so so so good, but we both are glutinous rice fanatics, and have kao niow at least 3X per week. But his was beautifully done, with a slightly nutty flavour that almost made it taste like brown rice, which is stretch as I don;t care much for brown rice most of the time.
                                                  The shrimp eggplant was nirvana, but honestly, with those long, thin violet Chinese eggplants, it's hard to go wrong. But these were exemplary.
                                                  What else? Oh the fried shrimp/green onion/yum choi sum cakes were out of the world.
                                                  The honeycomb tripe was simple, but seriously, the best I've ever had anywhere in the world.
                                                  We both felt as good as everything else was, the shrimp and bamboo wrapped in bean curd skin was the highlight. They were so juicy inside, each bite exploding in your mouth with rivulets of gingery liquid. Ohmygawd, it was sensational.
                                                  The thick rice sticks with green pepper coated with curry was also amazing. It takes good timing to do rice stick that thick perfectly, but texture was so wonderful.

                                                  What a great place. We'll be there with our friends next week for sure.

                                                  1. re: moh

                                                    Thanks for your in-depth report moh. Restaurant New Jing Hua is right in my backyard so to speak. I went to Restaurant Congee on Friday & enjoyed it.

                                                    1. re: BLM

                                                      That's funny. We went to Congee on Friday, as well. It was pretty good and I think we'll be back. We also checked out Jing Hua as I had to go on a dumpling run at marché Heng Heng in the same mall, but didn't go in.

                                                      Next time I can rustle up some friends for dim sum, i'll try and go there.

                                                      1. re: SnackHappy

                                                        What time did you go Friday. I was there around 12 noon.

                                                        1. re: BLM

                                                          We were there around 8pm. We were the only people there.

                                                          1. re: SnackHappy

                                                            We were the only people at Congee at 9:30 pm on a Tuesday. The guy seemed really surprised to see us. It seems it is not a late evening food. But they are open to midnight...

                                                    2. re: moh

                                                      moh: I really applaud your passion to find the good stuff. I wish there were photos to show better what you had.

                                                      Thanks for sharing!

                                                      1. re: tarteaucitron

                                                        Yes, I find moh's posts super helpful, (just made notes for a lunch at Maison Bulgogi too, not even ready for Brossard yet). And bomobob too, great post .. where is Le President?

                                                        1. re: Plateaumaman

                                                          Address for President:

                                                          12242 boulevard Laurentien
                                                          Montréal, QC H4K 1M9

                                                          I am looking forward to trying the shrimp and bamboo in tofu that Bomobob described, it sounds goooood...

                                                        2. re: tarteaucitron

                                                          Yes, it would be better to have photos, because the pictures are so much easier than describing things like the footballs. But I must say, I feel a little shy about taking pictures in restaurants. We shall try to sneak a few on our next few trips... especially of the elusive soup dumpling!

                                                          1. re: moh

                                                            I know. There were so many times when I looked at the food and wanted to take a picture with the camera that was already waiting in the purse. But I end up not, because I am shy (as opposed to blatant), and I worry that it might change the dynamics on how the restaurant would treat me for the rest of the meal.

                                                            I always wondered how people managed to. There are so many pics of good meals on the web! Looking forward to seeing some pics from you and others then.

                                                            Also, it seems like the soup dumpling has acquired a definite character of being "elusive" on our board :)

                                                            1. re: tarteaucitron

                                                              It's hard to stop to take photos when you just want to dig in! But something that does help to make it more discreet is to take them without flash. Lighting in restaurants can be really dim though so you might need a little portable tripod or you can balance your camera on a glass on the table. And you might need to use the macro mode. Oh, I see we can attach photos here on our posts, I didn't realize that. Here's a flash free har gow photo to keep this post on topic somewhat ...

                                                              1. re: Plateaumaman

                                                                Let me try that again with a smaller file ..

                                                                1. re: Plateaumaman

                                                                  Dang, Plateaumaman! Those dumplings look goooood! Sadly, hubbie feels a run out to Brossard before the airport would be highly unfeasible (so sad, he rarely kyboshes food trips :( but I do understand it might be tight for time...anyhow, we are about to be force-fed large amounts of Korean food, so I can't really complain!)

                                                                  If anyone makes it to New Jing Hua this weekend, and if anyone sees the elusive soup dumpling, please report back!

                                                                  I found the waiters at New Jing Hua very friendly, and so don't be shy about asking about the soup dumplings (the Wikipedia entry helped, it had the Chinese characters on it.) If enough people bug them about soup dumplings, maybe they'll have them more regularly?

                                                                  1. re: Plateaumaman

                                                                    They look.. succulent!

                                                                    I'm embarrassed to say, I have just moved back to Toronto, even though my heart is still in Montreal (and of course have already helped myself to a couple of dim sum lunches).

                                                                    The Montreal dim sum / authentic Chinese food scene needs people like you all to support and improve it!

                                                                    1. re: tarteaucitron

                                                                      Our loss is Toronto's gain... But Montreal will always be here for you.

                                                                      Happy Soup Dumpling Hunting in Toronto, sounds like you will have fun! And congratulations on your avoidance of fish! Here's hoping everything goes wonderfully for you and your family!

                                                                      1. re: moh

                                                                        moh, thank you too :)

                                                                        Even though I haven't even met you guys, I'll miss the chow community in Mtl!

                                                                        But I'll be watching..

                                                            2. re: tarteaucitron

                                                              I agree, Thank you so much for pioneering in the dumpling hunt, Moh. Now I need me some wheels to go to Brossard.

                                                              1. re: emerilcantcook

                                                                I first tasted some xiao long bao in Xian last year, in what looked like an american-style mall food court... and I had to go back 3 times before I left the city.

                                                                I saw a thing on the menu called (in weird English) : «Crab glands dumplings». I like weird food so I had a try. I think I burned myself the first time not being familiar with the concept a soup dumpling. But this was one of the most heavenly feelings I have had in my life, intense creamy seafood taste that explodes in your mouth.

                                                                I did a bit of research when I came back, and it seems this variety is really made with the ovaries of crabs (seafood offal ?). The ones in Beijing and New-york weren't as good, not as seafoody. Guess I'll have to learn how to cook them meself (anyone knows a good crab ovaries provider in Montreal ?)

                                                                1. re: Hákarl Durian

                                                                  I think you will find the soup dumplings here the same. the Soup dumpling like soup product that is at New Jing Hua is more pork than seafood, although there is some seafood in it too.

                                                                  My friend mentioned that her dad took her to a place in Vancouver that had a crab soup dumpling that was out of this world. If you head out that way, you may want to research this possibility...

                                                          2. Speaking of dumplings, are the momo Tibetan dumplings worth checking out in Montreal? There're a couple Tibetan restaurants in Montreal serving momo(they're a kind of soup dumpling?).

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: BLM

                                                              The momos that I have eaten have been very different than soup dumplings. I've had the cheese ones, and the meat filled ones. The dough is very bready. They are a satisfying filling snack! Om on St. Laurent has nice ones if you want to try them. But I don't crave them like I crave soup dumplings.

                                                              1. re: BLM

                                                                I haven't been there for years, but the momos at the Tibetan place on Ontario were always very good. Momos aren't like soup dumplings, but quite different from Chinese ones.

                                                                1. re: bomobob

                                                                  I remember that place as well, but similarly, it has been years since I ate there too. You don't remember the name by any chance? I recall the momos being very delicious there too.

                                                                  1. re: moh

                                                                    Gatse is the name, as I recall. I seem to remember their momos are virtually indistinguishable from those found in Nepal. Geez, I should go back there. The yak butter tea is amazing too.

                                                              2. I just tried Kam Fung's Xiao Lung Bao and they weren't the Shanghai-style dumplings with the meat filling surrounded by soup broth. They looked like Xiao Lung Bao but were just filled with a meat filling.

                                                                1. I was cleaning out my kitchen drawer and sorting my take-out menus (yes, I need a life) when I came across the menu of the now defunct Maxi Nouilles on Poirier in VSL. I know it isn't much use now but it had a menu item called Shanghai noodle soup. Could this have been a version of what the OP is looking for? I think someone had mentionned in an older post having went there, maybe they had tried it?
                                                                  Unfortunately I never got around to going which is a pity since quite a few items seem interesting.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: hungryann

                                                                      Hey Hungryann,
                                                                      As much as I love Shanghai style noodles (thick ones and thin soupy ones), they are a completely different thing. But thanks for thinking about this elusive quest :)

                                                                    2. I was recently reading Kylie Kwong's new cookbook "My China A Feast for the Senses" and she spoke of a "Dong Bao (literally translated-- Soup Bun)" a Shanghai soup dumpling that people in Shanghai had with their dumplings. She had a photo of it and it was a large dumpling served in it's own steamer basket with a straw sticking out of it. people would drink the soup through the straw while they ate their other dumplings. I haven't seen this at any place in Montreal or Toronto but next time I'm in T.O. I'll see if my Shanghai restaurant in First Markham Place has it.

                                                                      1. In today's Mirror, A.J. Kinik reports a local sighting of xiao long bao (Shanghai soup dumplings) at Soy. Unfortuanately only on the menu, however, as they were sold out of the elusive treat when he visited. And the rest of the review, which jibes with most of my Soy experiences, doesn't exactly inspire confidence. But hope springs eternal. And maybe it's the harbinger of a trend?


                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                        1. re: carswell

                                                                          I went to Pret A Manger recently and noticed they had XLB on their menu. They call it vapour dumplings or something like that. The skin was a bit too thick and doughy, and it was a very meaty filling (that stuck together in a ball inside the wrapper), but there was soup inside the dumpling. Not close enough to the hot fatty soup explosions with a soft meat filling I had in HK, but when you are having a bad craving for XLB, it helps.

                                                                          I recently moved to Montreal and have been searching for some yummy Northern Chinese food. I am looking for a place for some yummy XLB, green onion pancake, drunken chicken, Shanghainese fried rice cake (literal translation) etc. I searched through the board, but after reading this thread and others, am fearful that maybe it just doesn't exist. If anyone can shed some light on this (or point me to the right thread), that would be great! :)

                                                                          1. re: toaster8

                                                                            Qing Hua at Saint-Marc and Tupper has great northern food. For soup dumpling, The Noodle Factory on Saint-Urbain is also great. (I love their Shanghai style noodles also) Also, there is the Mongolian Hot Pot on De la Gauchetière and Clark, second floor. Please keep us posted with all your discoveries, I'm also totally into northern China cuisine these days...

                                                                            1. re: mcLo

                                                                              «Qing Hua at Saint-Marc and Tupper has great northern food.»

                                                                              Qing Hua is temporarily closed and when they reopen -- reportedly in September -- it'll be in larger premises on Lincoln between St-Mathieu and Guy. Walked by the new location on Saturday. Renovation was under way and a sign near the door said "Qing dumpling open soon" or words to that effect.

                                                                                1. re: carswell

                                                                                  I've been using the green onion pancake recipe on this site which mentions a place on St-Mathieu that serves it, Friendship House.


                                                                                  1. re: Plateaumaman

                                                                                    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll definitely try them out! :) I live really close to the new location of Qing Hua, so I look forward to trying them out then.

                                                                                  2. re: carswell

                                                                                    went to Qing Hua a couple days ago, and there wasn't any xialongbao on the menu. tried asking the waitress to make sure, but no luck :(

                                                                                    so far, I've only had XLB from Noodle Factory in Chinatown

                                                                                    and after reading the entire discussion, I will try out the XLB from Pret A Manger and from Soy

                                                                                    last but not least, does anyone know any other locations where they serve xiaolongbao? :)

                                                                                    1. re: yozyoz

                                                                                      Qing Hua never had XLB.

                                                                                      You can get XLB at Fu Yuan Xiang in Verdun. More details on this thread:


                                                                                      1. re: yozyoz

                                                                                        Went to Qing Hua on Lincoln on Tuesday and had their steamed lamb and coriander dumplings. The dumplings were done in the soup dumpling-style that is meat filling within a dough wrapper pocket of soup broth. The dumplings were about only half the size of Shanghai-style soup dumpling I'm used to at Ding Tai Fung in Markham Ontario, but they were definitely soup-filled dumplings. The dumplings were very tasty.

                                                                                        I wasn't very impressed with the won ton soup which someone had mentioned as being very good on another thread here. The soup stock was a bit too mild in chicken/pork flavour and had a bit too much oil floating in it for my tastes and there were only 4 small won ton dumplings for $3 and served in an one-person-serving rice bowl.

                                                                                2. re: carswell

                                                                                  It's been over 1 1/2 years since that Mirror article, has anybody gone to Soy to check out their offerings and share their experience here?

                                                                                  1. re: reelection

                                                                                    Soy was reviewed recently in the Gazette and again the reviewer wanted to try the XLB but they were not available. Do they ever carry them? Has anyone found any other place that serve the infamous soup dumplings? Any updates since this thread?

                                                                                3. I have found an authentic Shanghai-style restaurant in Verdun located on De l'Église and Joseph called Hao Hao. I was walking by the other night and all I saw were Chinese people inside so it peaked my interest. It may be misleading from the retro sign but they do indeed serve real xiao long bao. I had them and they were delicious. They specialize in Nanjing salted duck, which is served cold and kind of reminds me of Dakao chicken, and Shanghai style duck in soy sauce, served hot. They also have various other dishes, fish, pork, lamb, noodle soups and Shanghai-style dim sum. Please check it out if you have a chance.

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: mattmtl1213

                                                                                    I tried the Xiao Long Bao and they are delcious. But like the XLB that I have tried elsewhere in MTL, there was no more than a few drops of soup in them. I also tried the fish steamed in soy sauce and it was excellent. Will be going back.

                                                                                    1. re: hala

                                                                                      That one didn't have bones, did it? I had the braised fish and it was good but way too many bones for my liking.

                                                                                      1. re: mattmtl1213

                                                                                        No bones at all. It's possible that they use different types of fish for different dishes.

                                                                                  2. New location of Qing Hua (St Catherine near Fort) has legitimate XLB. Both of the dumplings on the menu are different than the other locations (fried dumps are formed as little unsealed cigars and are equally amazing). Hands down best dumpling offering in town.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: wokhei

                                                                                      It really is awesome. Been three times already in the past two weeks since I found out about it!