The last few days I’ve been dumpling-crazy. Yesterday I posted about the homemade meat perogies I got at Gastronom Deli, and then went to have lunch at Specialty Chicken and Wonton House (SCWH). THEN I went and explored a small shop that makes handmade dumplings and sells them frozen. Seriously, dumpling CUH-RAY-ZAY.
SCWH is located in a busy strip mall on Ackroyd Road, next to a BC Liquor Store and just down from Price-Smart. It’s fairly large, and has an extensive lunch menu.
They offer free-range chicken prepared in a variety of styles, as well as homemade wontons. I decided to order their malay fish soup with homemade chicken and Chinese mushroom dumplings ($8.25), as it was recommended on urbanspoon and I figured it covered both of their specialties. It came with a drink so I chose an iced milk tea, which is a drink I fall more and more in love with each time I have it.
The large bowl of soup arrived quickly and was filled with flat, white handmade noodles, cabbage, mushrooms, and four large dumplings. The laksa broth and noodles were ok, but the phenomenal part of this meal was THE DUMPLINGS. Oh, what dumplings!
The wrapper dough was tender, and just the right thickness. It snugly held the filling, a well-seasoned mix of ground chicken and finely diced mushrooms, though the mushrooms weren’t very obvious in flavour. I could have easily eaten an entire bowl of just these alone, and if that’s an option on the menu, I suggest you get it.
After lunch I hopped on my bike and headed north up N0. 3 Road, to a shop in the Empire Centre I’ve been meaning to explore. It’s called Yummy Dumpling, and their handmade dumplings and wontons are sold frozen. Don’t assume it’s closed if the blinds are drawn – they’re kept that way all the time.
The shop is small and pristine, and I chatted for awhile with Mrs. Poon, one of the owners. She and her husband came to Richmond from Hong Kong and opened their business in 2005.
They started out in Aberdeen Centre, but a year and a half ago moved into their current location, which is slightly bigger and more accessible for customers. In speaking with Mrs. Poon about her business and their food, it became clear she’s uncompromising about cleanliness and quality.
When I asked to take a few photos, she quickly moved about the shop, rearranging things that seemed perfectly placed already, and wiping down the handles of the freezers to make them shine. If you’re looking for a shop that would pass health inspections not with flying, but soaring colours, this is your place.
They make ten kinds of dumplings in-house, and turn-down requests for wholesale orders because they simply can’t keep up with the demand. Most of the dumplings are pork-based, but they also offer chicken, fish, and vegetarian versions, and all of them can be boiled, steamed, or fried from frozen.
Mrs. Poon said many of her customers, especially working parents, enjoy the convenience of this kind of food. It’s quick and easy, but also healthy; they don’t use any MSG or preservatives, trim and grind their meat by hand, and are fastidious about using fresh ingredients.
They also cater to various tastes; she said that Cantonese people tend to favour dumplings filled with watercress; Taiwanese people like cabbage and cilantro; and those from Shanghai opt for wontons.
I was heading to the gym after my visit, so I didn’t buy any for fear they’d all defrost and clump up in my bag. But I’ll be back! Mrs. Poon was a delight, and after admiring her hundreds of delicately-folded dumplings, I’m looking forward to frying up a convenient meal of my own.
Dumpling crazy, I tell you. Crazy.
Cash and cards accepted
Some vegetarian options, but menu is chicken heavy
Didn’t ask if they take cards, but my suggestion would be to bring cash!
Vegetarian options available