I’ve been scoping the WPG food scene a lot these past two weeks and trying to make the most of my time here in the Prairies. Maybe I’m biased but the 6ix still has my heart on so many levels. From the simple volume of restaurants to the quality of these eateries, there’s always something new and different to try and that you’re likely to stumble upon something great.
In Winnipeg your options are slightly less limited but that’s not to say that there aren’t some hidden treasure troves around. In fact, sometimes the hunt to find the best type of restaurant is actually made less overwhelming when you don’t have hundreds of options to weed through.
Anyways, cold weather has arrived in Winnipeg. This isn’t unusual according to Chris, but snow in October for a Toronto girl is unheard of. On a snowy night in between binging episodes of Parks and Rec—a great series BTW—we decided to grab some Chinese takeout from Hsieh.
A family run eatery, Hsieh is actually a Taiwanese restaurant that blends Asian fare and North American classics flawlessly. If you want traditional, they’ve got you covered, just say the word. From Pork Tongue to Pickled Gai Lan Root and Pork Soup, if you want a taste of the real stuff then they’ve got you covered.
Spring rolls, noodles, dumplings, soups, saucy chicken and spicy meats, there is a lot happening on Hsieh’s seemingly endless menu!
But this isn’t our first Hsieh rodeo, and I doubt that this will be our last.
I'm a sucker when dumplings are involved... that or pork buns or siu mai; those are my guiltiest Asian takeout pleasures. I would eat a family’s portion of these items if I could, but I like to think my body is a temple or whatever the saying is and I know that means putting in extra time at the gym… I’ll pass and stick to two pork buns instead of six.
Before Chris could hang up his keys I had already torn through our takeout bag to find my Cabbage and Pork Dumplings. Like a pre dinner snack, I snagged one—or maybe two when Chris wasn’t looking—and took out plates and cutlery and yes, finally took off my jacket and runners.
The dumplings, which we ordered steamed rather than fried, were doughy, little envelopes filled with savoury flavour. Biting into a still-steaming dumpling, soupy remnants drip down your chin as chives and pork and garlic coat your tongue. Though I could have eaten all the dumplings, I had to remind myself to pace out my munchings. We ordered quite a bit, but what else are you to do on a snowy Winnipeg night?
Once Chris was all settled in, stretchy pants, slippers and all, he started with the Hot and Sour Soup. I’m not a huge fan of this soup but in comparison to other sweet and sour soups we’ve ordered in the past, Hsieh’s Hot and Sour Soup is just plain tasty. Bursting with warm colours and a flurry of ingredients like tofu, seaweed, mushrooms and tangy rice vinegar, this soup is oozing with umami. And it definitely rivals some Toronto versions we’ve ordered with Chris.
Sweet and Sour Pork is another must. If nothing else, this single dish will blow your mind. It has the perfect sugary tang that all good sweet and sour sauces should have. Trust, that thick crimson sauce may or may not be packed with calories, sodium and sugar, but good Lord, it’s heavenly. I’ve been known to drag lonely pieces of steamed broccoli in leftover sauce because it’s just that good. The pork is also super tender which makes the experience all the better.
Sadly there was no Ginger Beef on the menu so Chris has to have his fix another night courtesy of Asian Inspirations. Guys, just an FYI, don't do that to yourself. The meat was chewy and full of gristle and the sauce was a tad too gingery, and when I say a tad I mean that when we opened up the defrosted sauce packet, a faint whiff was enough to make our eyes water. Long story short, if you know a Chinese restaurant with good ginger beef on the menu, please let me know so that I can save Chris from his ginger beef misery.
Swapping Beef Chow Mein for ginger beef, Chris was happy and I have to say so was I. A little on the salty side, the noodles were still cooked perfectly and the thinly sliced beef melted like a buttery beefy gravy in my mouth. Loaded with bean sprouts and carrots, I was also happy about my veggie intake.
But because this girls gotta have all her veg, we also had to order a side of Stir-Fried Veggies which consisted of a medley of carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, celery and onions. Unlike most Chinese takeout eateries, I was happy to find that there was not two whole onions masquerading as “mixed vegetables” in my takeout box. All veg still had that little bit of crunch left and the light salty steamed glaze was not in excess either so as to make a mess on the car ride home.
All of this was served with a generous portion of steamed white rice which loving soaked up any leftover sweet and salty sauces like an edible Bounty quick sheet. Delicious imagery, I know, lol.
Overall, I’d recommend Hsieh to anyone looking for some quality Asian food in Winnipeg. Beware that delivery is restricted due to skip the dishes’ area limitations, so you might have to order online and pick up your order like we did, but it’s 100% worth it. Whatever you decide, make sure to order the sweet and sour pork; it’s one of the things I look forward to most while in Winnipeg!