I reviewed Ginger Garden about 4 years ago and at the time predicted it would become my new Western, MA go-to dumpling spot. It turns out I was wrong, Oriental Flavor and then Oriental Taste became my go-to spots. But I did return to Ginger Garden recently to try some more dumplings. Since I was there last, they have merged their Traditional Chinese menu with their main pan-Asian menu and I am not sure if all the traditional dishes made the transfer. This time around I tried the pan-fried veggie dumplings and the Crab Rangoon.
The pan-fried veggie dumplings were stuffed with vermicelli glass noodles and shredded cabbage with a little bit of carrot. Unfortunately, glass noodles and cabbage generally lack flavor and this filling mix was not seasoned with anything. So overall these dumplings tasted like fried dumpling dough, which in this case were pretty thick and chewy. As usual with a flavor challenged dumpling I used them as a sauce delivery vehicle, luckily their sweetened soy and vinegar dipping sauce had a good sweet and sour flavor. They use egg in the dough wrapper so these veggie dumplings are vegetarian but not vegan.
Crab Rangoon is rumored to have been originated at Trader Vic’s in San Francisco, it has been on the menu there since 1956. The Crab Rangoon at Ginger Garden are made with wonton wrappers stuffed with the traditional cream cheese and in theory faux crab meat, and then the whole affair is deep fried. The ones I got were almost exclusively stuffed with cream cheese with no discernible faux crab meat. I admit that I enjoyed, somewhat guiltily, the molten cream cheese and crunchy fried wonton. These stuffed wontons were served with a side of duck sauce.