Anyone who pays attention knows that the Moncton food scene has a lot going for it, as it does in many cultures, genres and styles. Even so, anyone who paid attention knew that there was at least one type of food that was noticeably lacking in the city’s food scene: dim sum.
That will soon change as the city’s first formal taste of Chinese dim sum soon hits the hangar inside the Moncton Exchange and goes vegan. Vegan dim sum brought to you by the owners of Kroft – the hangar poutine shop that doubles as a bar and restaurant with a speakeasy vibe.
“My wife and I have found that more and more people are in tune with what they’re putting into their bodies and what’s going on with the planet,” said owner Stephen Le. “So we wanted to offer them something that was completely different from the Kroft.”
The Kroft found an iconic following in Orange County after opening in the Anaheim Packing District. The gastropub pseudo-chain – it plans to open another location in Chinatown in downtown LA – specializes in various forms of poutine, the quasi-national dish of Canada, in which french fries with cheese curd and sauce in quantities above the market be occupied above.
Morning Nights aims to be almost the exact opposite.
“The Kroft is without a doubt our great success story,” said Le. “But it’s pure gluttony. It’s a place where you shouldn’t count calories and enjoy yourself. Morning nights will definitely be different. “
Dim sum staples – Siu Mai, Har Gow, Xiao Long Bao, Char Siu Bao, beet cakes – will all have vegan versions and share plates that highlight Chinese-American cuisine, like vegan honey walnut shrimp to dandan -Noodles, Morning Nights hopes to tap into a market completely new to Moncton – those looking for dim sum must head south to Orange County or north to Torrance – all while mixing the food with a bar.
And all of this seems appropriate given the wild success of The Hangar (something discussed on the Suppertime in the LBC podcast with Sarah Bennett, Jason Ruiz, and me). Up to the hangar, East Moncton was a food wasteland that only served chains and fast food restaurants.
It has spawned well-known, independent brands – mostly from Orange County with a handful of local brands like Chef Thomas Ortega’s standout Amorcito – including Le’s own Kroft. The dining room, which takes over the last available space in the hangar’s dining room, will soon have everything from exemplary tacos to Korean grilling to kabobs, brewing beer and finally dim sum.
Le hopes morning nights will be open until summer.
“We really hope for an opening in May or June,” he said.
The hanger is on the Moncton Exchange at 3991 N Lakewood Blvd.
Brian Addison is a columnist and editor for the Moncton Post. Reach him below [email protected] or on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.