Every year Vancouver has been host to a dumpling festival where culinary artists would gather to present to the crowds their take on the traditional pork dumpling. Some chef’s keep it simple and true to its roots, others go above and beyond and offer their own personal flare on the Chinese staple.
With this in mind, it’s important for those who don’t know what I’m talking about to be caught up to speed.
Xiaolongbao, also known as XLB, soup dumpling, or pork dumpling, are small dumplings that are typically steamed and served in a bamboo container. With its origins in Shanghai, these dumplings are generally made with white dough and filled with minced pork.
But what makes them so desirable?
That’s right. Soup.
Before putting these in your mouth, I advise you to exercise caution because the contents are extremely hot. What I typically do is bite off the top and pour out the soup onto a spoon before dipping it into the black vinegar. After it’s cooled a little, that’s when it’s time to take a bite. Enjoy.
What makes these dumplings even more enjoyable is if they are prepared fresh.
Take Dinesty for example. There are several locations around metro Vancouver including Downtown, Richmond, and even Metrotown.
As seen in the photo above, all dough and dumplings are prepared fresh daily (possibly even made to order during peak hours); however, what makes Dinesty so wonderful is that they are very consistent regardless of which location you visit.
There’s no such thing as the “best” pork dumpling. I find that very subjective. I’ve eaten these things in China, I’ve had them at a food court in Coquitlam, and I’ve even made my own – all of which were tasty and delicious, but for the sake of this post, I’m giving Dinesty Restaurants a shout-out because of their consistency and the flavours in each dumpling they serve. I’ve yet to be disappointed and I know that whenever I’m craving these things, there’s a location nearby and that will always satisfy my hunger!
For you BCIT students reading this, the nearest location to campus is actually just up Willingdon (towards Metrotown) across from Crystal Mall on Kingsway! (Hint hint, nudge nudge)
If you’d like to check out the menu, or find other locations, visit their website here.
Photo credits: Dinesty, Yelp.