Pock­ets of dough filled with scrump­tious in­gre­di­ents are cul­tural culi­nary main­stays around the world — and here in Ot­tawa too

Where Ottawa - - CAPITAL TASTES -


538 Rochester St. The turquoise trailer on bright Astro­turf is more than just a cutesy front (though Dumpling

Park is in­cred­i­bly In­sta­grammable). Co-own­ers Krista

O’Leary and Kel­lie Vu make their dumplings from scratch, us­ing a fam­ily recipe. Dumpling Park has served them for four sea­sons now, and they can barely keep up with the de­mand for pork-and-chive dumplings, their sig­na­ture dish. A bowl gets you six dumplings served with zuc­chini noo­dles. If you’re han­ker­ing for more, get the mega size: 10 dumplings, zuc­chini noo­dles, jas­mine rice with soy broth. $9-12. KS


2750 Iris St. From Sar­dinian cu­lu­giones to the dumplings of China, pock­ets of dough filled with savoury con­coc­tions ex­ist in many forms, in many cul­tures. Mantu were born in the mid­dle of a cul­tural swath be­tween Asia and Europe; Afghani mantu are shaped a bit looser than Turk­ish mantu, but the ap­proach is sim­i­lar. Filled with spiced meat and dressed with dried mint, sumac, gar­lic yo­gurt, chili pep­pers, hot but­ter tomato sauce, and some­times lentils, you will find heat and the cool­ing ef­fect of the gar­lic yo­gurt and mint in ev­ery bite. Some of the best Afghani mantu in the city can be found at Supreme Kabob House. 12 for $14. SK


610 Som­er­set St. W. Broth­ers-in-law Robert Sayaphet and Peter Mak per­fected their gy­oza by do­ing pop-ups around the city be­fore they opened up

Roku Bar + Bites in Chi­na­town. There are pork, seafood, and veg­gie gy­oza on Roku’s menu, but the most pop­u­lar one has con­sis­tently been the Big Mak. De­scribed as “a Big Mac in a dumpling,” the gy­oza de­liv­ers ev­ery­thing you’d ex­pect from the sig­na­ture Golden Arches burger: a ground beef cen­tre served with shred­ded let­tuce, diced sweet pick­les, a se­cret sauce, and a sprin­kling of sesame seeds (no bun, of course, but the pan-fried dumpling makes for an even tastier snack). $10. KS


1077 Bank St. Go for the pin­ball, and stay for the perogies at House of Targ. The all-per­o­gie menu in­cludes three kinds wrapped in Targ’s “se­cret dough,” as well as a ve­gan op­tion and ro­tat­ing fea­tures. Serv­ings in­clude six golden fried perogies and come with the tra­di­tional fix­ings: cold beet salad, sauer­kraut, and sour cream. Plus, any or­der can be topped with ba­con and caramelized onions. The Tra­di­tional will sat­isfy crav­ings for the time-hon­oured east­ern Euro­pean dish, while Kick­start My Hearti­choke mixes up the game with ar­ti­choke hearts, roasted gar­lic, and cream cheese. Fuel up be­fore try­ing for that high score. (And there’s no need to worry about miss­ing your or­der — each or­der is an­nounced in a voice fit for Mor­tal Kom­bat.) Six for $12, 12 for $20. KS


184 Main St. There’s no deny­ing that mo­mos are hav­ing a mo­ment. Dumpling con­nois­seurs truly ap­pre­ci­ate this take on the Ti­betan ver­sion of a pot­sticker. Xin-Hui Su (a.k.a. Sula) of Sula Wok restau­rant per­fected her craft in south­ern China at her fam­ily’s Ti­betan-themed Yak Café, so she truly knows her stuff. Ten­der and fra­grantly ad­dic­tive, these com­fort-food clas­sics are a true plea­sure. Ti­betan beef and pork-and-chive are our go-tos, though Sula does cook up vege­tar­ian op­tions. Shred­ded pick­led veg­gies on the side pro­vide the per­fect coun­ter­point to the rich­ness of mo­mos. An or­der of a dozen is a good-sized snack for two — but you won’t want to share, so do your­self a favour and get your own. 12 for $12. SB

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