I stopped by in Boston as part of my US trip and needless to say, a visit to the fourth biggest Chinatown in the US was warranted. My curiosity was further heightened as I wanted to check out what festivities are there as it is still Chinese New Year.
Boston's Chinatown is definitely looking better than the one in Washington. There are also a lot more diversity in cuisines as expected from a largely liberal population as repeatedly mentioned by the tour guides. One thing that I noticed was the number of Taiwanese cuisine eateries available in Boston and neighbouring Cambridge.
I don't see a lot of those even in Sydney or London which are mainly populated with Cantonese followed by Sichuan.
Oh, the only evidence of CNY was in a Malaysian restaurant called Penang which had a banner outside advertising Yee Sang.
Having seen positive reviews of Gourmet Dumpling House, I found it while walking around and in I went to have dinner. The place was already buzzing with diners and take-aways even though it was early dinnertime.
It was hard to decide as there were so many dishes on the menu. In the end, the decision was to go seafood based as this is Boston and if you're going to try anything, it would have to be the lobster and other seafood.
Crab Rangoons 蟹角 $5.95
If you like crabmeat mixed into mayonnaise and wrapped with wonton skin that is deep fried, then this is the one for you. For me, this seems to be catered for the western palate and hence not for me.
Lobsters with Mixed Vegetables in Claypot 龙虾砂锅 $17.95
My eyes literally widened when this arrive and you can see why. Even the waitress said, this is huge, enjoy! Now why didn't the waitress tell me when I ordered? I would certainly have skipped the appetiser and definitely did not need a bowl of rice to go with it.
I ordered a single portion and this looks *ahem* like portion for two if not three.
So now I need a strategy to consume this and hence start my battle with Mr. Lobster in claypot. First decision was to forego that Crab Rangoon, precious space is needed for the lobster instead.
Biting into the lobster meat, this is so wonderful. Fresh, bouncy, chewy texture. Think QQ. Delicious!!
Prawns have been added to the broth to give it more depth, think seafood bisque but Chinese style. The prawns are a little mushy and did not taste fresh. The cabbage, tofu and carrots rounded out the flavours nicely.
As I digged further in the claypot, more and more pieces of Mr. Lobster emerged, there is a whole lobster in there!
Ok, so priority is to consume all of Mr. Lobster. So, half eaten bowl of rice was abandoned while I successfully managed to finish the body and moved onto the claws.
Seriously, how big is this lobster? There is still head, tail and claws to go. Bye bye it was to the last remaininprawn, cabbage and tofu.
Munch munch munch the battle continues.
Before I forget, you don't need to order a separate bowl of rice as the lobster claypot comes with noodles. These flat wide rice noodles, perfect accompaniment.
My plate is now piled up to the brim with the shells which are threatening to tipple over. One did, the claw.
I finally had to wave the white flag after some serious determination and eating. Mr. Lobster won back his head and me the rest.
At this point, I was stuffed and tipsy with satisfaction. To reiterate how good the soup is, I was still drinking as much of it as I could. You know how you are really full but it is so good that you can't stop? Yup, that was what the soup was doing to me.
I heaved a big sigh at this point which was noted by the other diners who laughed. Left hugely satisfied.
If you have had your lobster rolls and seafood chowder in Boston and want to try something different, I definitely recommend the lobster claypot.
Gourmet Dumpling House, 52 Beach St, Chinatown, Boston, MA 02111www.gourmetdumpling.com