Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Qing Hua dumplings, just like mom makes!

Qing Hua is a small family-owned dumpling business located near Concordia University. It has a surprisingly large white clientele, but don't let that be a turn-off for you; this restaurant offers some of the most authentic Chinese dumplings I have had in Montreal. They pretty much taste exactly like the ones my mom makes.

I find it kind of funny when I hear people complaining that Qing Hua's dumplings aren't real Chinese dumplings, or that the skin has a funny texture, or that the fillings taste weird.  It kind of shows the bastardized state of Chinese cuisine in Montreal. Guys, this is the real deal. In China, wonton skins belong exclusively to wontons and peanut butter belongs in the condiments section of Wal-mart. Dumplings stuffed with pork, egg, shrimp and chives, on the other hand, belong in our bellies.

Edit 15/03/2012: Now with better pictures!

Accessibility - Grade: A
It's about a 5-10 minute walk from Guy-Concordia metro, St-Mathieu exit.

Service - Grade: B-
Okay, a lot of people have complained that the service is bad and I would have given it a lower grade had I experienced this terrible service. Truth being told, though, out of the two times that I went, I just got the standard, if a little smile-less, service. The waiters and waitresses were a little brisk and didn't speak much; they just took your orders and brought you your food. But I said my thank yous and they said their you're welcomes, and they didn't give me attitude, so hey. I'm a happy camper. Although, maybe the Mandarin-speaking did have something to do with it...

Food - Grade: B+
Bonus Marks: Best authentic dumplings in Montreal.

Boiled dumplings

All the dumplings are handmade and made to order, and they have a large variety of flavours, such as coriander and lamb, dill and pork, celery and beef, or even curry chicken. The dumplings can be ordered steamed, boiled or fried, and usually come in plates of 15.

Steamed dumplings
Qing Hua's dumplings have a bit of a surprise in them. Literally. The dumplings are filled with a hot broth that, if you are uncareful, will spurt out in ten directions and hit your dining companion in the eye when you take your first bite. The broth makes the dumplings juicy and flavourful, and gives the dumplings a little bit of added excitement.

Steamed dumplings

The best thing about these dumplings, apart from the broth, is the fact that the skin is hand-made. Hand-made skin is always more chewy and fresh-tasting than the machine-made ones. The filling combinations always complement each other very well, and they have just the right amount of saltiness.

Price - $-$$
I don't remember too well the exact price, but I think each plate is around $10, before tax. For me, fifteen dumplings is generally enough, but I know people who can eat 30 or more. I guess it depends on the size of your appetite, and also how many people you're able to split the bill with. Overall, though, I think it is student friendly, and definitely worth checking out.

Note: Fried dumplings cost an extra $1.50. I don't know why.

Final Grade: B+

The first time I went to Qing Hua, I remember the dumplings being brought out piping hot. They were so hot, in fact, that it was difficult to eat them in one bite. However, when I went there recently, the dumplings were brought out warm instead of hot. That makes me a bit sad. Despite this, Qing Hua is still one of the only two restaurants in Montreal to offer real Chinese dumplings, so don't expect me to stop going anytime soon.

Qing Hua Dumplings
Qing Hua Dumpling on Urbanspoon
1676 Ave Lincoln, Montreal
(438) 288-5366


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