Har Gow at the Sushi Village in Ottawa
It takes a fair bit of skill to produce the Cantonese Shrimp dumpling specialties known as Har Gow. Indeed, many would likely agree that it is rarely wise to order them anywhere outside a good quality Chinese Dim Sum establishment with a reputation for the specialty. Unfortunately, the Sushi Village in Ottawa isn’t in that category.
The Sushi Village is, of course, primarily a Japanese restaurant, and the Japanese food there is not all that bad. They do, however, also have a selection of Chinese dishes on their menu and these, in my experience have not been very impressive. In fact, their General Tao’s Chicken was probably the worst I have ever been served anywhere and, really, the best I can say about the Har Gow you see pictured above is that they weren’t quite that bad as that.
Anyway, I generally order Har Gow in proper Dim Sum restaurants and, on this occasion and I was curious to see how a Japanese restaurant might handle them. When they first arrived, they struck me as being quite pretty, but, on closer inspection, they proved to be rather unusually formed and it became clear that they were machine made rather than hand-formed.
On biting in to one, I discovered that the dough, though fairly thin and translucent in some places was less so than in others. That sort of thick, doughy texture is death on top-quality Har Gow, and is worsened by the fact there was still a faint, raw starch taste here and there.
In terms of the filling, the Shrimp was obviously fresh, and lightly, but well seasoned with little more than salt and a little White Pepper. It was diced into fairly small chunks and had a very nice texture. Overall, and even given the rather dismal quality of the wrappers, the Har Gow at the Sushi Village were actually not that bad. I enjoyed them but they would never pass muster in a top-end dim-sum place.