Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Qing wha'? Qing Hua! 2nd rev. ed.

qing hua 1 fig. a: the remains of the soup

"Soupes raviolis."

Yes, that's what the window reads: soupes raviolis. We'd seen the sign before, but didn't realize soupes raviolis = dumpling heaven.

Qing Hua is a tiny little shopfront establishment that sits in the basement of a building at the corner of St-Marc and Tupper. There's seating for maybe 20. The menu consists entirely of three options: dumplings, salads, and soups. The dumplings make up about 90% of the menu and are the star attraction. To emphasize this point a bilingual placard on the wall explains in just a few short words the long and glorious history of the Chinese dumpling.

more qing hua fig. b: 1400 years' history

Dumpling options are broken down into three categories: vegetarian/seafood, seafood/seafood with meat, and pork/beef/lamb. Orders range in price from $6.49 to $13.99 and contain about 18-20 dumplings (we didn't bother counting because, frankly, we just couldn't wait to dig in). We'd been told that an order of the beef noodle soup with fresh, hand-pulled noodles was a must, but apparently the folks at Qing Hua won't be offering the beef noodle soup for about a month, because the chef suffered a noodle-related injury (we didn't ask too many questions). So we went with the wonton soup instead, and it was a stunner. You see, it's all about the dumplings, and at Qing Hua every single dumpling is made to order. When our orders of freshly steamed pork & cabbage and pork & shrimp dumplings arrived we nearly cried. Our favorites were the shrimp & pork dumplings--each of them contained a whole shrimp, and they were a little brothier than their siblings. We recommend having them with the Chinkiang vinegar and a few droplets of the chili oil from the fixin's bar.

qing hua 2 fig. c: the menu

Afterwards, we noticed a FOR RENT sign in a window just down the street. It was only a 3 1/2--probably a little tight for the two of us plus our two beloved cats--but we looked at one another and said the exact same thing: "We could get take-out! All the time!"

Qing Hua Dumpling, 1240 St-Marc, (438) 288-5366

Note: Qing Hua has moved. They're now at 1676 Lincoln Ave. (near Guy). The phone # remains the same. So does the quality. They're just as good as ever.


Michelle said...

Yes, a real won ton soup with delicately made dumplings is such a treat!

tiny banquet committee said...

This place sounds lovely. Between the chef's "noodle-related injury" and the patrons nearly crying over their dumplings, it is fraught with noodle passion.

Mammab said...

You must try the lamb and coriander dumplings...you must. Go back. Now.

aj kinik said...

hi, Michelle
yes, indeed, and we were in desperate need of such a thing here in Montreal

hi, TBC,
it is--now if we could only get someone to start making sesame pancakes--then we could have pancake passion too

hi, Mammab,
we tried on our second visit but they must have been out of coriander--we were directed towards a lamb + 'special vegetable' combo instead, and it too was amazing

Radwan said...

indeed, lamb/ coriander dumplings were quite amazing.

blondee47 said...

i had the beef and onions...what did u mix for the sauce?

aj kinik said...

hi, Radwan,
gotta try those--they were out of coriander the last time we went

hi blondee,
"We recommend having them with the Chinkiang vinegar and a few droplets of the chili oil from the fixin's bar."

Maureen said...

Have tried a number of times to eat here, but the lineups were always too long. Went again today and they are gone! There is a sign with a phone number to call to find out where they will be when they re-open - if they re-open. 438-288-5366.

michelle said...

Update, re-opening the 12th or 13th of October at 1676 Lincoln. Here's hoping!

Kristel Salesse said...

I have been dying to try Qing Hua for a very long time now but they have finally reopenned. They are now located on Lincoln just off of Guy. I am really looking forward to dinner tomorrow night!