One of my biggest peeves is Chinese restaurants that list “dumpings” on their menu. I mean, is it really that hard to stick an L in there? And you wonder why some people are afraid to eat in Chinatown.

But in Beijing, dumplings are serious business. We were travelling with a dozen other tourmates, who insisted on sampling the city’s finest before we left.

Unfortunately, the only time we had for that was AFTER our Peking duck dinner. Ohh, my poor tummy. But I bravely soldiered on.

We ordered the house special — 16 different plates of dumplings. They were all freshly hand-wrapped by an efficient assembly line of ladies in white jackets and hats behind a big glass. Too bad we never saw them wash their hands. But hey, they’re dumpling professionals.

The dumplings came with containers of soy sauce, vinegar, green onions and garlic. You made your own dipping sauce with them depending on your tastes.

Most of the dumplings were steamed, with two or three that were pan-fried. We couldn’t keep count of which plates we tried. I mean, they all looked the same. From what I can remember, there was

  • pork with leeks
  • carrots with onions
  • shrimp with carrots
  • chicken with green onions
  • leeks with carrots
  • shrimp and pork with leeks

You get the picture. We were dumplinged out. Oh my poor tummy.