The world’s pandemic has seen many individuals pivoting and starting their own businesses in varying fields. Many of which are now business owners carving their own space, when majority of the world is at a stand still.
Take the one man operating team of Mr. Pelmen, hand stuffing and pinching their own authentically made Russian dumplings to order. Located in an industrial area, their ghost kitchen hosts similar small food purveyors. They all seem to focus on delivery orders and take out as there is no seating in the area, per say. Simply a few picnic tables to make quick work out of a quick order.
The menu is posted on the exterior wall with a supplementary sandwich board menu as well. After choosing what you want, you buzz the bell and await someone to answer, to place your order with.
Their menu is concise. Their classic boiled dumplings stuffed with chicken and topped with dill and onions, plus three other variations to customize. Each order comes with your choice of sauce. The sauce is really what gives it its flavour, so choose wisely.
I decided to try the fried version of the pelmen. Each circular bundle is fried crispy to a golden brown. This version I paired with their garlic sour cream, as creamy always helps to accentuate crispy when considering texture. Their version of sour cream was more dill forward and refreshing, where as I would have preferred a more traditional tangy sour cream. None the less I enjoyed how fun and easy these were to pop into my mouth.
I also tried their lean Turkey pelmen. Turkey meat replaces the typical chicken filling, all wrapped in a spinach coloured green dough; before being boiled soft and tender. For this one I went for their Asian fusion sauce, bypassing the other options of sweet chilli, ketchup, mayonnaise, and a blend of ketchup and mayonnaise. The sauce was a very light soy, you needed more saturating dunks to get it to bleed into the dumpling. Without it, the dumpling was bland, there wasn’t a textural change with the Turkey, nor could you taste it being any different compared to the chicken. It is just nice having a leaner option. In hindsight I should have paired this one with the sweet chilli sauce, as thicker sauces better glop on to the dumplings, thus lending it all the flavour it needs.
In short, if looking for a snack, Mr. pelmen offers something different. Everything culture has its own version of dumplings, and the Russian version, which you don’t see often on the Vancouver restaurant landscape; is certainly worth trying. Not to mention, you get to support a local small business in doing so.
302 Industrial Ave, Vancouver, BC