Usually when I am in Boston for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones‘ Hometown Throwdown shows, I also go to Boston’s Chinatown for dim sum. This trip however, I went to Kaju, a small Korean restaurant, in Kenmore Square, conveniently near the show venue. Although the smells coming out of the kitchen instantly made me hungry and the stews and grilled meats being eaten at other tables looked great, unfortunately from a dumpling perspective going to Kaju instead of dim sum was a mistake. The only redeeming part of the meal was the mini bottle of “yogurt flavored soft drink” that they hand out with the check. This is a uniquely Korean thing and I love these little bottles of drinkable yogurt.
The Dumplings: kaju serves shrimp shumai that you can order either steamed or fried and mandoo filled with beef or veggies that can be ordered steamed or fried. The veggie mandoo are vegan.
The “steamed” shumai that I was served were under cooked and still cold in places, which suggested to me that they were microwaved rather than actually cooked in a steamer. The veggie Mandoo were filled with minced cabbage, carrots, and edamame and I think they would have tasted pretty good, except the order I was served was completely over cooked. These dumplings were distended and floppy and on the edge of falling apart. Probably they were left in the microwave too long. Another problem with this meal was that the dipping sauce was very cold, instead of room temperature. This meant the shumai just got colder when I dipped them in the sauce.
Granted this was a Sunday lunch, over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday break and maybe they did not have their A-Team working this shift, but the meal was completely disappointing. Except of course, for the “yogurt flavored soft drink” dessert.
The Location: Kaju is a small basement joint in Kenmore Square, right across from the Green T – line stop.