Duck tongues. Steamed. I tried them. And?
They were good! Very flavourful. I imagine that was due to their preparation, as it’s unlikely a duck’s tongues tastes naturally of soy sauce and garlic. The tough part to get over, as usual, was the texture. They were soft and chewy, with a hard little piece of cartilage in the middle. If I continued to eat them regularly and got used to that, I bet I’d grow to like them.
I think our servers at Fisherman’s Terrace, where we ordered them, were a little shocked. Four girls looking a little out of place in the busy restaurant, ordering tongue to go alongside their dumplings and bbq’d pork pastries? But I’m glad we did! I’m now going to add “Eat Steamed Duck Tongue” to my life list, just so I can cross it off.
EAT STEAMED DUCK TONGUE.
My friends Allieren and Kristel and my sister (back from her travels, yay!) joined me for dim sum at Fisherman’s Terrace, a busy, oddly-shaped restaurant located in Aberdeen Centre. Even with a reservation we still had to wait a bit, so I wouldn’t recommend going without one. Once seated, you’ll be given a slip of paper and a pencil for ordering, and all you have to do is mark down how many of each dish you’d like on the line to the left of that particular dish. If you’ve never done it before, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Once you’ve handed your slip in, they’ll print off a list of your items, tape it to your table, and as the dishes are brought out (which happens quite quickly), the server will cross them off the list. This is useful both for them and you, because you can see how much you still have to eat!
Understandably, Fisherman’s Terrace is known for its seafood, and since I’d heard their shrimp dumplings are particularly good, we ordered those with spinach. We also got vegetable dumplings, sautéed pea tips with tofu skin, bbq’d pork pastries, eggplant stuffed with shrimp, deep-fried taro, mushroom-filled rice cakes, and mango pudding. Plus the duck tongues, of course.
Both kinds of dumplings were great. I thought the shrimp ones were particularly beautiful, with the spinach showing itself brightly through the translucent wrappers, and they were plump – filled right up with seafood.
The vegetable dumplings were also fantastic, and we had no trouble finishing off both baskets.
I also enjoyed the pea tips with tofu skin, which was similar to the tofu skin in our soups at Deer Garden, only a little thicker and firmer. It was a light and healthy dish, which is always good to have at the table for dim sum.
Why? Because you need to balance out the dishes like deep-fried taro! These looked like furry little creatures, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Known as Wu Kok or Wu Gok, they’re are made of boiled and mashed taro, which is filled with a savoury filling, coated in a light batter, and deep-fried. The result is a bite that’s salty, sweet, soft, and crunchy. To put it simply – AMAZING.
I wasn’t, however, all that enamoured with the stuffed eggplant; the shrimp filling was the same as shrimp balls in soup, where the shrimp has been finely chopped, mixed with other ingredients, shaped into balls, then steamed or boiled.
To me, at least in this case, it tasted like a watered-down version of shrimp, and the texture was too firm in comparison with the soft eggplant.
A dish that did get rave reviews was the plate of bbq’ed pork pastries, though everyone was quite perplexed. They looked quite like dessert, and they tasted pretty much like dessert, but then you’re chewing on saucy pork and it’s all so strange! And awesome! Is like the ideal dessert for a meat-loving man! Is it? I don’t know! Just make sure you order them.
Last two up: the mushroom-filled rice rolls and mango pudding. The mushrooms were well-cooked and wrapped in a chewy sheet of rice ‘cake,’ and while I liked it, I wouldn’t cross mountains for this dish. Perhaps just a small, small stream.
The mango pudding was firm, refreshing, and not too sweet. A nice way to end the meal, but I think I’d just have preferred a bowl of fresh mango instead.
The beauty of dim sum is that if you’re not in love with one dish it doesn’t matter, because another’s on its way! And chances are, that dish you didn’t love won’t set you back much (our total bill for nine dishes was $54.43).
What did I love at Fisherman’s Terrace and would order again? The shrimp and spinach dumplings, vegetable dumplings, the bbq’d pork pastries, and the deep-fried taros. I might just cross mountains for those.
ps – The best of luck to Allieren, who’s moving to Victoria to start graduate school! We’ll miss you, and look forward to the next time you can dine again with me in Richmond…
Cash and cards accepted
Vegetarian options available