By Simone Spinner
I discovered Oh! Dumplings while strolling through Montreal’s Chinatown on a sweltering Friday evening in July after a long day of sight-seeing.
Chinatown was alive with street musicians, spirited children frolicking with little dogs, and throngs of tourists and residents popping in and out of kitschy stores displaying wares from the farthest reaches of South Pacific.
I was searching for Chinese silks, a task that went unfulfilled. After a few hours of the scents and sights of the street-food stands and restaurants, my stomach was rumbling.
Montreal’s Chinatown was first a thriving Jewish community from the 1890’s to the early 1920’s before its transformation.
Chinese immigrants arrived in Montreal in March of 1877, fleeing discrimination in British Columbia. Soon after, Chinese railroad workers and immigrants from China’s mainland began to settle in the city bringing their hard-working, entrepreneurial spirit with them opening up drycleaners, markets, and restaurants to serve their population. Chinatown was a bustling centreof commerce and culture until the 1970’s when city re-zoning and changes in cultural interests shifted commerce into other sectors of Montreal.
Chinatown 2019 may need gentrification but it is brimming with delicious noodle shops, Vietnamese Phò, dim sum and dumpling spots, traditional Cantonese and Szechuan restaurants, and Asian-themed bakeries nestled in between souvenir and Chinese wares shops.
Oh! Dumpling serves a clever variety of tasty dumplings alongside well-executed vegetarian fare, modern-traditional Chinese dishes, bubble tea, and refreshing drinks from their full bar.
Eleven varieties of dumplings are served in steaming hot batches of 15 pieces that can be ordered in mixed batches of two varieties. I selected the Epinard (spinach, vermicelli, and cabbage) $9.99 and San Xian (leek, egg, and shrimp) $10.99 with an order of shallot pancake $3.99. The pancake was light and savoury and the dumplings, well, they were delicious and filling; served with an icy cold Tsing-tao beer, this light dinner really hit the spot.
Montreal’s Chinatown may have seen better days, but it is still a fun spot to explore, and Oh! Dumplings is a quick and satisfying spot in the heart of it all. Go early, because the place was packed and the steady stream of hungry guests just kept coming.
1050 Rue Clark
Montreal, Quebec H2Z 1K3
Near René-Lévesque Boulevard, De la Gauchetière Street, and Saint Laurent Boulevard.