Having a family member born and raised in China is something of a party trick — wheeling out the dishes she’s taught me over the years is always bound to please friends round for dinner.
After more than a decade in Glasgow, my sister-in-law still hankers for traditional Chinese cuisine — which is perhaps why she jumped at the chance to try the new Dumpling Inn on Sauchiehall Street.
There’s no mood lighting here. Dumpling Inn is all about authentic food, reasonable prices and no frills — and it’s a promising sign, if some of the city’s better Chinese restaurants are anything to go by.
I let my guest do the honours and choose a few dishes which reminded her of home. She made a beeline for the dumplings, opting for a plate of the boiled variety (pork and cabbage) and some grilled (minced pork, prawns and chive).
The first — plump, soft little parcels oozing meaty flavour — were delicious paired with a soy and vinegar dip. The trick, I’m told, is to seal them properly to keep all the juices in, and this was a case of job well done.
The grilled dish was even better; thin and crisp dumplings, delicately spiced but letting the filling shine through.
We devoured a plate of shredded bean curd — a shared favourite of dried tofu sliced into textured noodles — although we were less keen on a cold beef dish.
Topping off a hearty spread was noodle soup; a heaving bowl of spicy broth and excellent long, handmade noodles — worth a visit to Dumpling Inn alone.
It was explained that long noodles mean a long life — and the sister-in-law must have been impressed, because she was already planning her next birthday dinner (no doubt aiming for some of that longevity to rub off — she is getting on a bit, after all).
Dumpling Inn may be the new kid on a block bursting with restaurants, but traditional fare bringing in Chinese ex pats can only be a sign of quality.
Glasgow foodies should step away from the chicken curry and head there soon to sample a true taste of China.
325 Sauchiehall St
Tel: 0141 332 5053