Har Gow (蝦餃) at the Yang Sheng Restaurant in Ottawa
The Yang Sheng Restaurant in Ottawa is one of the older establishments in Chinatown. It is a bit scruffy, and not sparkling clean, but it has some good food, especially some of the seafood dishes. Their Dim Sum menu, however, is very limited, and the items I have had ordered from it were not particularly impressive. Unfortunately, this was very much true in the case of the Har Gow you see pictured above.
My first issue with the Har Gow was the sloppy way they were laid in the steamer basket They were placed so that they were up close to one another, causing the skins to stick together. Obviously, it doesn’t do to place the dumplings directly on the bottom of the steamer, and I know that restaurants must economize to turn a profit, but I feel they surely could have done better than the ridiculously small circle of parchment paper they used. It rather spoils things when the dumplings tear about when you try to lift them with chopsticks.
In form, these Har Gow were not all that pretty and I rather think that they may have been commercially made elsewhere. The skins were fairly thin, and nicely translucent, but they still ended up being a bit stodgy and chewy, again suggesting that these were purchased frozen and not made to order. The shrimp filling was actually not too bad, being chunks of meat rather than ground, and it tasted quite nice. Still, this quality was not good enough to overcome the other shortcomings of this disappointing dish.