Since the decline of Amherst Chinese I have been looking for a new Chinese restaurant in Western MA, and Ginger Garden may become my new go-to spot. Its main menu is a pan-Asian mix of Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese (American-Chinese), the type of thing I usually avoid, but they also have a Traditional Chinese menu. The traditional menu has a lot of interesting sounding dishes – Double cooked pork belly with chili leaks, Camphor tea smoked duck, Braised pig’s feet and beans in broth, Shrimp toasted rice in tomato sauce and three different preparations of sea cucumber.
The Dumplings: The main menu lists steamed or pan-fried pork or vegetable dumplings; the dumpling wrappers are made with egg so the veggie dumplings are not vegan. The Traditional menu has wontons in hot chili oil and dumplings in hot chili oil, both of which are filled with pork. I tried the dumplings in hot chili oil which were quite good, although the sauce was not the traditional, spicy with a little bit of sweet, chili oil. Instead Ginger Garden used what appeared to be the same sauce as used on the Chilled noodles with spicy sesame sauce dish, so the sauce was more of a spicy peanut and sesame oil sauce. The pork filling was mild in flavor, the sauce really being the star of the show.
Location: Ginger Garden is in a shopping plaza on Northampton Road in Amherst, MA.
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