Hunan Dumplings at the So Good Restaurant in Ottawa
Calling Boiled Dumplings in a Peanut Sauce ‘Hunan Dumplings’ seems to be a regional thing, limited mostly to Montreal and Southern Quebec. I have also come across them in Ottawa (which is just across the Quebec-Ontario border, of course), and a very notable version I had was at Hunan Dumplings at the Oriental House. The ones you see pictured above were served to me at the now closed So Good Restaurant in Ottawa’s Chinatown. They were actually even further removed from the cuisine of Hunan than most, but they were still nicely prepared and very good.
The dumplings themselves were very much in the form of the typical Wonton Soup variety. They were prettily formed (more so than the Oriental House ones), and cooked to just the right degree. The filling was Pork, and while it was nothing especially remarkable, it was nicely seasoned and tasty enough.
It was actually the sauce that was a bit unusual. Indeed, it was exactly the same sauce served over the Bon Bon Chicken I had at So Good during the same meal. I mentioned, in my review of the Chicken dish, that it had departed considerably from the Sichuan roots of the classic dish it was reproducing. That was true here, in so far as there being any connection between the Hunan Dumplings at So Good and the Province of Hunan.
The Sauce was most definitely not a Peanut Sauce. It had a faint nuttiness that probably came from Sesame Oil, but the base seemed to be Sweet Bean Sauce, which was sweeter than the typical Peanut Sauce served with this dish, but not cloyingly so. It was actually very tasty, and, given that the usual ‘Hunan Dumplings’ prepared in the Quebec-Ontario regional style, typically have little of the spirit of Hunan, I thought it a pretty decent appetizer overall.