Octopus Steamed at the Chinatown Restaurant in Halifax
Squid is a much more common Dim Sum item than is Octopus. When I ordered the Dim Sum dish you see above at the Chinatown Restaurant in Halifax I was rather expecting chunks of Octopus tentacle but this turned out to be very small Baby Octopus, which, really, might as well have been squid, all things considered. The taste and texture were very large the same, and, in terms of cookery technique, this selection fell somewhere in the middle of the range.
When I order Steamed Squid or Octopus, I tend to prefer those dishes that are somewhat plain, steamed with a little ginger and scallion, for instance, and I am also partial to those steamed with Chinese Salted Black Beans. I am less keen on those prepared in Curry Sauce as I tend to find that Chinese and Japanese Curry flavorings depend to be a bit on the sweet side, and a bit insipid. Still, I do try such dishes from time to time in hopes of finding something that bucks the trend.
Anyway, the Octopus here were very tiny and I actually thought I was being given squid at first. On closer inspection, though, it was clear that there were just eight legs and not the two additional, much longer grasping tentacles that squid have. The steaming job was horribly bad, but I think the dish may have been held over a little too long waiting for service, and texture had suffered a little by becoming tougher than it should have been.
The Curry sauce, unfortunately, was pretty standard and really too mild and sweet for my taste. I would have preferred something with a little more chili heat and found the overall effect a little bland. The Octopus Steamed at the Chinatown Restaurant on this occasion wasn’t bad, by any means, but it wasn’t especially good, either. I guess my search for a really good Dim Sum Curried Seafood dish continues.