Peanut Butter Dumplings at the Floata Restaurant in Vancouver
I wasn’t terribly impressed with the Floata Seafood Restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown. It was touted as an award-winning establishment but my experience there was not gratifying and readers may recall my less than glowing review of their Honey Barbecued Pork. The dumplings you see pictured above were a little better than their dismal Pork appetizer but, really, not by all that much.
The dumplings in question appeared on the specials menu for that evening as ‘Peanut Butter Dumplings’. This left rather a lot to the imagination and rather intrigued me. Normally, I like being able to ask questions of the wait-staff, and maybe have a discussion about what I should order, but, here I found the service quite brusque and, instead of making an inquiry, I decided to chance it and see what I ended up getting served.
Well, the dumplings were basically Won Tons judging by the wrapper, and were almost certainly boiled rather than steamed. I should say here, to be completely objective and fair, that the wrappers, at least, were actually pretty good. They were not so thick as to dominate the filling, and they were boiled to the point of being tender but still al dente.
The filling turned out to be chunks of Shrimp. This might have made the dumplings rise to the point of approaching excellence, but the flesh wasn’t very flavorful and there was little in the way of seasoning. The texture was fine, but the overall taste was just bland an uninteresting.
The Peanut Butter, it turned out, was present in the sauce. Now, I have had dumplings in Peanut Sauce in Chinese restaurants before, the Hunan Dumplings at the Oriental House in Ottawa come to mind, but this was very different indeed. If you look at the picture above, you will see that sauce actually consists of a Soy Sauce with oily globules of Peanut Butter scattered throughout. I won’t say it tasted bad, exactly, but it was visually unappealing and just didn’t translate into a satisfying sauce experience at all. I may have been expecting a little too much from this establishment given their reputation, but the Peanut Butter Dumplings at Floata, along with their miserable BBQ Pork, were disappointing overall.