Har Gow (蝦餃) at the New Town Bakery and Restaurant in Vancouver
I only managed to make one visit to the New Town Bakery and Restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown during my last visit to the city, but I was able to enjoy an excellent Dim Sum lunch at the place, and rated their Steamed Rib with Black Bean one of the best examples of the dish I have ever had. Their Har Gow, or Shrimp Dumpling, however, did not nearly reach that level of excellence.
The one area where the New Town Har Gow scored well was in the wrapping job. The dumplings had pleasing, slightly crescent-shaped spherical form and the nine pleats were really nicely delineated, creating an almost gill-like appearance. When Har Gow, or even Jiaozi are pleated properly, the tension causes the dumpling to fold in on itself and, most particularly in Har Gow, the excess dough at the edge becomes a delicate, nicely curved shape rather like a little collar. The ‘collar’ did not have the frilly appearance as some do, nor did the New Town cooks manages the 13 pleats of master Har Gow makers, but in form, but the dumplings still deserve excellent marks for form.
The dough itself was nicely translucent, and I like it when you can make out the pink color of the shrimp inside, but, on biting into it, it was just a little dry. This sometimes happens after sitting a bit tool long after steaming, rather than being am ingredient issue, but it did mar these a little. The filling was okay, in the sense that the shrimp were reasonably fresh, but they didn’t have the nice crisp texture of the best 蝦餃 filling and were disappointingly bland. Ultimately, though very nice in form, the New Town Har Gow were only just mediocre.