As a child of the 1960s, we did not go to restaurants with the frequency we do today. Dinner out was more of a special affair.
While parents attended dances and occasions at the Union Hall of the Caswell Hotel, Sunday once a month we might have — as a family — dressed up for something special.
Scratchy starched white shirt, stiff leather shoes aside, we hungered for our destination.
Golden Gate Garden on Lorne near the courthouse was then a fancy place. Its illuminated blue-tinted mirrored bar with a wide selection of unique bottles fascinated me. The pea green Chartreuse, the tall and slim towers of Galliano, the brilliant stainless steel cocktail shakers were like being in the movies. However, it was the mysterious and intriguing spices, technicolor sauces, and sizzling hot dishes of Chinese food that transported my mind and soul to the exotic East.
It was hedonism and a first taste of an epicurean lifestyle. Each breath and bite a joyful explosion of pleasure.
We thought it so courageous to master chopsticks. The final gesture of the bill arriving with another entertainment was brilliant amusement and anticipation of who would receive the best little white strip of encouraging words or insight-generated merriment. Who knew fortune cookies were actually invented in California?
Even though we had our own Sudbury multicultural mix of perogies, or authentic Italian, it was what felt like our first round with truly international foods.
Oh China, we must apologize for our ignorance. It wasn’t until mere decades ago that we acknowledged the regionalism of Chinese cuisine. The river estuaries, the temperate mid-latitudes, the tropical lowlands, the extensive mountainous landscape and extreme interior, all have such different approaches to food based on availability of ingredients and certainly seasonality.
Our grey meat and bland potatoes of Canadian childhood paled in the vibrancy, sweetness and tart tanginess of bean sprouts of intense colour of crisp wok-fried vegetables.
Thank goodness for diversity and the mosaic of Canadian demographics that bring entrepreneurs willing to open new restaurants and offer choice.
All this to say that you will find that adherence to a more accurate “Chinese” assortment of choices at 7 Star Dumpling House. “Dumplings?” you ask. Yes, hot skillet pan-fried, steamed, or house-style, these hand-filled and hand-shaped (there is a staff member whose expertise is making dumplings) pockets can be bursting with a variety of viands, fennel or assorted seafood.
“It’s very popular in North and South of China,” said my host Vivian Chen, owner of 7 Star.
The menu extends well beyond these marvelous sharing-sized appetizers and your next course could be sesame pancakes, or crab and cheese deep-fried wontons.
Take your time and let your eyes wander (either on the web, or the printed menu) across images of glossy eggplant, or the Lo Mein; just try to say no to requesting General Tao Chicken. Hot and spicy Szechuan (Sichuan is a landlocked province in China’s southwest) chicken is piquant with that ability to bring on a sweat.
Drop in and try the curry dish for a midday pick-you-up if you just want something light and lively. It sure will chase away the chills. Neighbours for 7 Star includes the landmark Regency Bakery. Look at the pictures in the on-line menu and notice how your salivary juices activate.
“Take-out is an important part of our business,” Chen said as yet another order is picked up. “I think it shows best here, hot and beautiful, but not everyone feels comfortable in a restaurant.”
This could also be your next breakfast spot.
Steamed buns filled with pork, spareribs with black bean, and restorative soups are served five days a week beginning at 7 a.m.
Plus, this is the only place to have Dim Sum in Sudbury, said Chen.
“We are not just a Chinese restaurant. Certainly, we feature traditional dishes, but we are more pan-Asian. I have a team of experts preparing dishes from soup to even cakes. Our key chef has worked in Korea, Japan, Thailand and other Pacific countries.”
This is Vivian Chen’s first restaurant; she sees it as a launch pad for more.
“We just keep adding to the menu. How can we take away something many customers love? Soon we will have more than 200 food items. You can always find the latest offers on our web-based menu. Come a little earlier and you won’t find any hesitation between order and delivery. Peak times (are between) 5-7 p.m. weekdays. I’m here every day, ensuring a premium experience for our guests.”
Their four or so years in business has refined what 7 Star Dumpling House does. Visual variety and consistent quality has earned them loyal customers. Why are you waiting?
7 Star Dumpling House
1355 Regent St, Sudbury, ON, P3E 3Z1
Breakfast Hours 7:00 am – 10:30 am Monday, Tuesday, and Friday through Sunday, Lunch & Dinner Hours 11:00 am – 9:00 pm Daily
Online ordering available