Nestled between the Chinatown gates on St Laurant, Qing Hua looks unassuming from the outside. In fact, without an exact street address, it took a little searching to find it. It was totally worth the effort though, because we left full and satisfied.
Qing Hua is known for their dumplings. Plump little parcels of tender dough, filled with meat, vegetables, and broth, they are made to order in the back. In fact, if you go back to the register, you can observe the dumpling masters at work, their fingers flying as they mold the dough and fillings.
The day we went was midweek, around 2pm, and I was surprised how busy it was inside. We had to wait around 10 minutes for a table, and the waitresses were literally running to keep up with all the orders and food. We started out with soups- miso and hot and sour. The miso was very weak (I wouldn’t order it again), but the hot and sour was very good, and not very spicy. We followed those up with the seaweed salad and cucumber salad, both of which were delicious and had a little kick. The seaweed was much less crunchy and slimy than I’m accustomed to, but I really enjoyed the firmer, more noodle-like texture.
Then, our order arrived- chicken and mushroom dumplings to share, as one order was for 12 dumplings. We went for the steamed ones, but they also offer fried. The dumplings come to the table in a steamer basket, and are hot enough to burn your tongue. Sauces are included on the table, but the dumplings are so delicious, I barely touched them. The main difference for me was that each little dumpling parcel had a pocket of broth inside. I have no idea how they managed that, but it is a delicious touch. Between two of us, we were unable to finish all the food. The portions are very generous.
We left quite happy and in need of a nice long walk.
Qing Hua- 1019 St-Laurent Boulevard Montreal