Bean-Curd Roll at May Garden in Bedford, Nova Scotia
The May Garden Restaurant in Bedford, Nova Scotia does a very nice Dim Sum menu on the weekends, and many of the dishes available are excellent. Their Bean-Curd Roll with Shrimp was prepared a little differently than is common, but the result was very taste and pleasant nevertheless.
This Dim Sum item appeared on the menu as ‘Pan-fried Bean Curd Rolls with Shrimp’. The name, however, was a little bit inaccurate. Generally, Bean-Curd Rolls are first pan-fried and then steamed, or, occasionally, just steamed. The steaming, when it follows pan-frying is probably just done to keep the Rolls hot, especially in Dim Sum places that feature Cart Service, but it still affects the final result, albeit usually in a good way.
Here, however, the rolls were clearly deep-fried, and they were delivered straight to the table while still piping hot. The effect of this was quite different texture-wise than the usual cooking methods and was an interesting change. The Bean-curd skin itself was very thin, and wrapped around the filling several times to produce a layered effect rather like Phyllo dough appetizers. Indeed, the texture was much closer to layered Phyllo dough rather than the curious ‘paper-like’ bite of more standard Bean-Curd Roll wrappers, and this made the May Garden variety even more of a novelty.
The only effect of the cookery technique that was a bit less pleasant was that the wrapper was quite a bit more oily than is usual. In actual fact, that didn’t negatively affect the taste, in any way, nor the mouthfeel particularly, but getting a squirt of very hot oil into one’s mouth at the first bite was a bit of a nasty surprise.
The Shrimp filling here was a little bit sparse, in all honesty, but the Shrimp themselves were tenderly plump, juicy, and packed a goodly amount of flavor that made up for the less than generous amount quite nicely. I wasn’t especially impressed with these for the first few bites but, on the whole, the Bean-Curd Roll at May Garden turned out to be genuinely enjoyable.