Liz and I met up at Gourmet Dumpling House in Chinatown for dinner over the weekend after reading good things about their scallion pancakes. It was one of the few busy places on Beach St. on a Friday night which was a good sign. The menu is staggering and there are many many things that I wanted to order. The different pork parts and interesting combinations of flavors made me want to come back even before I ate a thing: bitter melon with salty eggs, pork intestine with long horn peppers, pork kidney with sesame oil and chili sauce, pickled mustard with intestine and blood pudding, chilled spicy pork ears, roast pig heart, pig’s feet over rice… the list goes on. Eventually we settled on the following: spicy dried anchovies, sauteed pig’s blood with leeks, roasted pig tongue, scallion pancakes, Taiwanese style pan-fried pork dumplings, and mini steam buns with pork. As you can see, we like pork.
The dried salted anchovies combined thin pieces of anchovies with some sort of sliced pepper to create a wonderful combination of salty and spicy. The dish is cold, which surprised Liz, but it was a great way to start and it kept nicely through the next day as well.
I’ve been trying for a while to get fresh pig’s blood from various butcher shops around Boston to make sanguinaccio, a dish my mom used to eat growing up in Calabria, so I had to see what else could be done with it. The texture was almost like tofu, and on its own the blood didn’t have much of a flavor, but the sauteed leeks made this dish worth it. I wouldn’t order it again, though. I’d rather have those leeks on a tastier piece of meat.
The texture of this tongue differed from most other tongue I’ve had. It had more of that chewy pork chop feel than the squishier rubbery tongue. That was mildly disappointing to me and pleasing to Liz, but either way the sauce was quite tasty.
Liz and I agreed that these were the best scallion pancakes we’ve ever had. The dough was more like pastry than the typical pancake, and it was like eating a savory dessert.
The dumplings were solid, nothing special going on here…
Not too much difference in terms of taste between the buns and the dumplings, though if you’re in a dumpling mood I would go with these since they add the extra pleasure of a tasty broth inside the bun. Eat these in one bite or suffer the consequences. The juice will either splatter on your plate or on your shirt. It’s like the dumpling equivalent of Gushers.
Overall we were very happy with our meal and we plan on going back soon to try all the things that we couldn’t order this time around. The only negative, and this might be desirable in some circumstances, was the speed at which the food flew out of the kitchen. We got all our food in under ten minutes and in no particular order. The watchful eye of the manager also let diners know that table turnaround was the primary goal here.