At two-Michelin-starred restaurant A. Wong in London, chef Andrew Wong and his team prepare two menus every day. During the day, the restaurant serves as an a la carte dim sum restaurant, and in the evening, a restaurant that serves a prix fixe menu giving guests tastes from different regions of China.
One item that appears on both menus is the restaurant’s Shanghai dumpling, which Wong describes as “a single mouthful of magic.” “The Shanghai dumpling is probably the only dish on the menu that has stayed the same since day one,” says Wong.
The team prepares the dumpling as close to service as possible so they come out to customers fresh. As soon as the first dumplings are ready, the first order comes in.
To make them, one person rolls the wrapping for the dumpling while another wraps the dumpling themselves. Rather than the traditional meatball that normally goes inside a dumpling, chef Wong uses a jelly that gets mixed with fresh seasoned pork and sesame oil. Another untraditional element of the Shanghai dumpling is that it does not require any dipping in any sauces.
“Normally, you dip,” Wong says. “I didn’t like that. So what we ended up doing is we just inject the vinegar into the dumpling after we cook it so that we control every aspect.” For the diner, “everything’s been done for them,” Wong says — all they have to do is enjoy.
Watch the full video to see how Wong and his team prepare both menus for a full day of service.