quick lunch at Gourmet Dumpling in chinatown
Had a quick lunch at Gourmet Dumpling House over the weekend. Tried their XLB w/ pork/crabmeat and the taiwenese noodles w/ eel.
The XLB had liquid inside and were cooked on top of a cloth instead of the usual lettuce/banana leaf. It had a decent amount of crabmeat w/ curry in the middle of the pork ball instead of the usual "crabmeat" where a tiny amount is mixed w/ pork.
The taiwanese noodles are egg noodles stir fried w/ onions and slivers of green hot peppers (it's a spicy dish) and eel fillets (small eel w/ maybe 3/8" tall fillets). Tasted great and I was just happy the eel wasn't the typical chinese preparation of "steaks" where you end up pick out bones for most of the meal :-)
The place is supposedly run by the same folks who run Taiwan Cafe (lots of taiwanese dishes here as well) but I found the food better here or at least these two dishes were tastier than what I remember at Taiwan Cafe. The place is fairly small and seems to be crowded most of the time even on weekdays so sharing of tables happens if they run out of space. Worthy of a return visit if just to try all the taiwanese dishes that you don't have at the usual cantonese places in chinatown...
Mrs.Jimbob and I had a quick bite at GDH last night (Friday 12/5/2008) before a night at the opera around the corner. We were only two, and didn't want to bring leftovers into the theater, so we limited ourselves to three starters and a main.
We did the crab meat XLB. I did not recognize crab liver in the meat, I did recognize a far more generous than usual helping of crab meat in the filling, as many other CHers have. I might be nuts, but these may be the best XLB that I've had outside of Shanghai Cafe in New York and the Old Country itself.
A cold seaweed starter was simple, but very well done, with shreds of raw scallion and garlic adding a nice piquant punch to a simple, basic dish.
Pipa Doufu are bean curd and egg fritters, possibly also with crab meat in them, made into balls, deep fried and served up with a thick dipping sauce. It's interesting that every time I've eaten Pipa Doufu, I've gotten something different at every place I've had it, including several places in mainland China. These are quite tasty, if something like a Chinese version of a hushpuppy is to your taste.
The Taiwanese style stir fried rice cake (Tai-shi chao nian gao) were exquisite -- lovely bits of rice cake fried to the perfect level of al dente without swimming in pools of oil, and a nice pork and mustard green topping to flavor it.
In short, I'm impressed that this is one of the finer Taiwanese style eateries that I've sampled; there are other Taiwan-specific things on the menu including my beloved oyster omelettes. I wouldn't be surprised at all if this was the same ownership as Taiwan Cafe, but this is a step up on execution. I definitely want to go back with a bigger crew, but preferably at a time other than 7 pm on Friday when there was a wait into the street to get a table.
Gourmet Dumpling House
52 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111
i continue to like GDH, but my colleagues and i are become increasingly exasperated with how closely packed together the tables are, especially at lunch. if we're not getting our elbows and shoulders bumped by waitstaff every two minutes, sending hot XLB juice up our nostrils or into our laps, we're having live lobster juice dripped onto our clothing as the fishmonger rudely barges through the dining room with his fish bucket during his regular mid-day visit to drop off seafood.
still, the food's good. have enjoyed the: XLB, basil eggplant, three essences chopped chicken legs, sweet and sour flounder, curry chicken, etc.
You know, i really want to like this place and it is packed at lunch. I've been twice having the xiao long bao, noodles with ground pork and noodles with eel. Everything has been tasty but both times, I've had severe intestinal problems afterward. Perhaps they cook with something i'm allergic to since i don;t have this problem elsewhere in Chinatown (Taiwan cafe for example).
Stopped into GDH last night for a late bite. Only one other table occupied.
Chinese Healthy herbal soup with pork ribs and conch was lightly flavored and probably not something I would order again(compared to pork and lily bulb soup at TC) and there were little bits of protein specks floating around it.
XLB with pork and crab were awesome. Perfectly formed dumplings with the little hole on top still there to allow a bit of steam to escape and I actually utilized that hole to pour the liquid onto my spoon. All of the dumplings contained a good amount of liquid.
They were all filled with pork and crab liver with no real discernible(visually) crabmeat. Taste was delicious and while the liquid did pour out orange(from the liver), I did not sense any curry overtones as mentioned above. The dumplings were excellent and I think the cloth napkin actually released the dumplings a little easier than lettuce or cabbage would.
Julienned Beef with Longhorn peppers was also delicious. Lots of thin sliced peppers that were perfectly cooked(a little bite left to them) and lots of beef. The flavor was subtle and yet intense in pepperyness at the same time. Hard to point the sticks in another direction with this dish in front of you.
Home Style Eggplant with Basil is similar to the dish at TC. Deliciously braised little bits of eggplant in perfectly spicy sauce, although I think they reduced the sauce just a tad too much. I think that TC executes this dish better but it was the first try at GDH.
Lots of interesting stuff on the menu to try. I will definitely return.
Regarding the TC connection, someone mentioned to me that one of the cooks from TC left and opened this, second hand info so take it for what it is worth.
This morning it felt like I ate a wolverine(Times reference) but it was worth it.
$35 before tip.
i don't know in their case, but i think it's not uncommon for restaurant owning families in chinatown to own multiple restaurants in the neighborhood, because i guess it's not as though there's a shortage of potential customers.
oh regardless, while i liked GDH, i actually prefer Taiwan Cafe.