I first reviewed Great Wall Chinese Restaurant in Florence, MA in the summer of 2016. Their vegetable dumplings are house made and filled with whatever vegetables are available seasonally in the local farm community. They were really good last summer, so I wanted to see what they were doing for veggie dumplings in the fall season. They pride themselves on using locally grown and purchased produce and list their sourcing on the wall of the restaurant – Asian greens from Jiang Farm in Montague, sweet corn from Golonka Farm in Whately, and fish and lobster from Bekshore at the Tuesday Farmers’ Market in Northampton, MA.
Last time I was there the green spinach dough wrappers were filled with carrots, onions, cabbage, peas and greens. Perhaps reflecting the late season and scarcity of greens in the local farm stands and farmer’s markets, this time the dumplings had a simpler filling; minced cabbage, carrots, onion and scallions. But the filling was well seasoned and I could taste each of the different filling components, so it was another successful veggie dumpling.
I also tried the fried shrimp Har Gow, which is a preparation of these dumplings that I have never seen before. When I saw these listed on the menu, the thought crossed my mind that this might be how they move left over steamed Har Gow from their morning dim sum. But I think these were freshly made, the standard rice flower dough wrapped shrimp dumplings had been deep fried (without first steaming them) until the wrapper had turned into a hard crispy shell. The shrimp filling was juicy and tasted fresh and sweet, and the mouth feel of crunching through the crispy shell into the shrimp worked well. It was like eating a shrimp chip wrapped around shrimp – genius.
Great Wall has a “Standard Menu” menu for the punters – heavy on American Chinese food, fried rice and Lo Mein –, but the good stuff is on their “Gourmet Menu”.