Pot-stickers at HK Express in Ottawa
The Hong Kong Express opened its doors only a couple of years before my first visit and I passed by the place quite a few times as it is only a block or so from the hotel that I usually stay at when I visit the capital. It is not a ‘high-end’ establishment, and has a cafeteria sort of feel to it, but the service is friendly and the dishes I have had were pretty decent. Their Pots-tickers were pretty darned close to the ugliest I have ever seen, but looks can be deceiving, and these turned out to be very tasty.
These appeared on the menu simply as ‘Pan-fried Dumplings’, but they were clearly of the sort generally know as ‘Pot-stickers’, or 鍋貼 (guōtiē) in Chinese. They were not, I have to say, terribly attractive in appearance, (rustic is the kindest adjective I can come up with) being only simply folded and fried just a *tiny* bit over-enthusiastically.
The filling was just plain ground pork with a little scallion, and no discernible seasoning other than the tiniest dash of sesame oil. There could, I felt, have been a little more of the filling, but it was still delicious and nicely juicy. There was black vinegar served alongside (which I can take or leave) and also chili oil provided on the table. I used a little of the latter on a couple of pieces but, really, they were fine all by themselves.
Certainly, if I bought these from a street vendor I would probably be raving. The fact that they came from a restaurant made be expect something a little more attractive in appearance but, all that aside, the Pot-stickers at HK Express were as enjoyable as any I have ever had, I would say.