On all of my travels around the world I have yet to meet someone who didn’t like soupy dumplings, and if you are yet to discover these little packages of heaven then I suggest you take yourself to Chinatown in Boston. The dumplings I had at the Gourmet dumpling house were better then the soupy dumplings I had in China – I kid you not! I traveled China for almost a month, trying soupy dumpling after soupy dumpling, but right here on this little street in Boston I found the king of them all.
From the outside it doesn’t look like much, and the inside is pretty small; it’s said that some people will wait over an hour for a table, just to get in the restaurant and have a feast. When myself and my husband arrived we got lucky, and didn’t have to wait, which was perfect for a hangry camper like me.
The food they’re making here is something that will change your life, as it did ours, and I can guarantee you’ll be dreaming of your next visit for years to come; I’d go as far as saying it’s the best Chinese food I’ve ever had in my whole life. The restaurant opened just over 10 years ago, and business has been booming ever since.
As we sat looking at the huge menu I noticed how quick people were to eat and leave, as though this was almost their style of fast food. The door would open, a seat filled, some soupy dumplings would arrive and be devoured immediately, and then the door would open again as the customer left. It was like a carousel of people slurping up delicious dumplings before rushing off to wherever they needed to be next; I loved it. If we lived here I think my husband and I would frequent the place weekly without a doubt – what a fantastic option for a quick meal on your doorstep.
The waitress was very friendly and quickly took our order of mini juicy pork and cabbage dumplings, Xiaolong bao, and a delicious flat noodle stir fry with spicy beef.
We waited, watching the door open and close with hungry happy customers, and as the waitress returned with a tray – a means of transit for our food – I had to stop myself from bouncing up and down in my seat with excitement.
Now, before I tell you how this meal changed my life, I’d like to warn you about soupy dumplings. You may want to pop the whole thing into your mouth, in an excited rush, but I urge you to nibble off a little corner and let that bad boy cool down otherwise that juicy broth will explode like molten lava in your mouth, and you’ll be sorry. And if you’re wondering how I know, and wondering if I’ve done exactly that, then yes, you would be right; I have done exactly that.
The mini juicy pork dumplings were steamed beautifully and almost looked a little like Perogi’s crammed onto their plate.
The sauce accompanying them was a soy based sauce that paired so well it was almost a crime. The first bite was a flavor explosion. When they say ‘juicy’ they’re not kidding. The pork was so juicy and delicious inside with a hint of ginger, and the cabbage crunch to finish, I literally could have sat there all night popping them into my mouth.
My husband and I were destroying the whole plate so fast we considered getting another order; they were just that good.
Xiaolong boa dumplings come from the region of Jiangnan in China. Xiaolong is the basket in which they are steamed, giving them their name, and these are the first dumplings I ever tried in Shanghai on my travels, although they cannot match the ones I have had today at the Gourmet dumpling house.
My favorite thing to do when the dumplings arrive is to poke a little hole in the top of each, so the whole thing looks like a teepee steaming out smoke from a fire. In front of us was now a whole neighborhood of teepee’ waiting to be demolished, quietly steaming away.
Once they had cooled down a little it was time to eat, I grabbed the spoon provided and placed my first dumpling into it, watching as some of the delicious soup cascaded out, making the spoon take on the resemblance of a bath.
It was time. I placed the whole thing into my mouth, as did my husband, and our eyes bulged wide in disbelief. Suddenly the room didn’t exist, there was no sound, we payed no attention to the opening and closing of doors, in that moment nothing existed apart from us and our fast vanishing neighborhood of teepee’s. They were unreal. They were so full of flavor, the broth so rich, the dough perfect consistency, there was literally nothing to fault. The soupy dumplings had lived up to the hype and in that moment I realized that all those people waiting outside on the streets of Chinatown in Boston on cold rainy nights like this one, were not crazy, because if I only had the choice to eat these little dumplings for the rest of my life then I’d be forever happy with the situation. I would spend my nights outside qeueing too, in rain, in snow, in hail, I’d wait it out in any condition just to get these soupy dumplings. I urge you to go and I urge you to try, because something this fantastic cannot be overlooked, and I feel sorry for anybody who hasn’t had the absolute pleasure of being able to stuff these steaming hot parcels into their mouths.
All of our dumplings disappeared in less than what felt like 2 mintues, and I felt upset that we didn’t have anymore, but as my husband spooned piping hot spicy beef noodles onto my plate, I awaited the next tastebud adventure with greedy eyes.
The noodles were fabulous, the taste of sesame, ginger, garlic, and Asian fusion exploded on our palettes, as our lips grew greasy from each and every bite. I would happily have greasy lips for the rest of my life if I could, the whole meal was satisfying in the most beautiful ‘right pants’ way, and the beef in the noodles was so tender it broke apart with ease at a single touch.
Today I feel like we found a gem, a restaurant that doesn’t come along very often, a restaurant so good you pray that it was almost unknown so that you could come and go without worrying about a wait or not getting in. A place that you wanted to bundle into your arms and keep away from the world, so you alone could chow down on its glory and have it all to yourself.
As I sat, full beyond belief, staring at my husband over a pile of empty plates, I realized just how lucky I am. Not only do I get to travel and eat at amazing places like this, but I also get to do it with my best friend, and I’m so glad that he shares the same enthusiasm and excitement as me with every food adventure we take.
Today I am not just thankful for the Gourmet dumpling house, but I’m also thankful to be able to write and do something I love to share with you all, and most of all for my husband who comes along for the ride, puts up with my hanger, and let’s me pick as many restaurants as my heart desires, whilst supporting me every step of the way. My biggest fan, and my favorite feasting buddy, I love you Mr. Conley.
Gourmet dumpling house, today you changed our lives, and I’m already planning my next visit.
Hands down, the best soupy dumplings in Boston, and I’m not lying.
Until next time,
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