Master Chef Canada Season 4 finalists Mai Nguyen pairs up with Winnipeg’s Jordan Levin, a dumpling pop-up at Prairie Noodle Shop.
It wasn’t that long ago that I attended Edmonton’s Mai Nguyen’s first pop-up event. It was so impressive that I couldn’t miss out on her dumpling pop-up, a collaboration with fellow contestant Jordan Levin. Here’s a short recap!
Like the previous event, reservations were required. Surprisingly, an a la carte menu was offered for the event and with a menu focusing only on dumplings, this made perfect sense. With four to our table, we were able to order the entire menu to sample. Everybody loves a good dumpling party!
Mai and Jordan collaborated on classic gyozas, both the Kimchi & Pork and the Kimchi & Tofu. Earlier this year, they both learned how to properly fold them and were excited to showcase their techniques. So much so that they painstakingly folded the gyozas, and other dumplings, over a period of three days leading up to the event.
My favourite of the night was the Pho Tortellini by Mai Nguyen, perfectly rolled egg pasta and filled with beef brisket, layered with a fragrant pho broth. Served with a hoisin sriracha vinaigrette, it highlighted Mai’s grasp of Vietnamese flavours to a T. Her Deep Fried Shortib Ravioli was a hit too.
Gnocchi’s lighter ricotta-based cousin was the only non-stuffed dumpling for the night. By the end of our meal, Jordan’s Corn Gnudi really started to grow on me and I appreciated the addition of charred corn. Dessert was an acquired taste, Chocolate Perogies with Cherries not exactly enticing to me personally and texturally needed some contrast.
Overall, dinner was cheerful and it was nice to see both Mai and Jordan having fun in the kitchen. There’s already some thoughts for a second dumpling pop-up. The pho tortellini was best to showcase a fusion of flavours and techniques, although nobody will fault a good classic gyoza on any given day. Here’s to more dumplings! Follow Mai Nguyen and Jordan Levin for more pop-up news!
Hosted at Prairie Noodle Shop