Categories
Chinese Groceries

Chi Lin Restaurant Pork and Chives Dumplings – Grocery Review

Pegfeeds adherents know that this blog originally started as an idea to catalogue all different types of Asian groceries and snacks so that I could remember what I liked and what I didn’t like. That never really took off, and to this day I still keep buying the same snacks having forgotten that I don’t actually like them.

That said, I have done one previous frozen dumpling review from the yet-unparalleled Big John. Are these frozen dumplings from Orange Supermarket from Wentworth Point NSW going to cut the mustard? Find out more literally in the next sentence.

I boiled these Pork and Chives Dumplings (15 for $12.50) in the usual way. While they were not bad, and definitely better than 90% of the other frozen dumplings on the market, they weren’t quite as good as Big John’s. There was a good quantity of chive, with a good filling to wrapper ratio, but at the end of the day I didn’t feel like the texture of the meat was as good. It kind of faded away into nothing, where I prefer a bit more of a coarser grind to the pork to give it a bit of bite.

Having said that, they’re not bad, right. The flavour was OK, and they certainly slide into the premium tier of frozen grocery store dumplings. They just don’t beat the reigning champ.

麒麟 手工韭菜猪肉水饺

UPC 0793420734661

Categories
Chinese Groceries

Big John Pork and Chive Dumplings – Grocery Review

Before I die of dementia afraid and alone I need to tell you guys about these amazing frozen dumplings that my parents bought me. These are plump, with a real filling of meat and chives and a wrapper that far exceeds even the best of your standard Asian supermarket frozen dumplings. My partner grew up in a household without handmade dumplings. For the first 21 years of her life she thought that dumplings were these tiny, poorly filled machine-made things with more dough than taste. Her first encounter of having handmade dumplings with my family is probably what led her to stick with me for this long, and I’m honestly afraid that now that we have found such good frozen dumplings that she may leave me as there is nothing else that I can offer her that she can’t get herself.

They’re actually better than the ones I make myself at home. A pork, prawn and chive variation would be absolutely killer.

UPC 9356993000239

Categories
Chinese

Lilong by Taste of Shanghai – Hurstville NSW Takeaway Review

Our family has been a big fan of the Taste of Shanghai chain of restaurants since the mid 2000s, frequenting the Eastwood store back when we had family living in Epping. My mother has in fact been a VIP member of Taste of Shanghai for around the last decade, and I have in turn enjoyed dining at Taste of Shanghai with my partner and her family (who have been also going independently for a long time).

I was surprised, therefore, to be disappointed by the delivery service (via UberEats) from Lilong by Taste of Shanghai. I found the xiaolongbao, the shenjiang bao, and the pan-fried dumplings to be universally disappointing. At least part of it has to be due to the travel time (approx 10 minutes from Hurstville to Kogarah), but I do think that if a food is unable to be satisfactorily delivered then it shouldn’t be delivered at all.

Thumbs down. Possibly thumbs up if eaten in person, but until then we will not know.

UPDATE – November 2020

Despite my negative review above, and despite my strong preference to the contrary, my partner decided that she wanted to go to Lilong to eat in person. What we found was better – but not much better.

Unfortunately the first complaint needs to go to the cleanliness of the operation. Pictured above is the state of the booth seat that the diners sit on. It doesn’t look like it’s been cleaned in recent memory. The crockery we received was also dirty – the cups had a black sediment in them, as well as stains that could easily be rubbed off by hand. This is absolutely not good enough.

We started with the braised duck in special soy sauce ($12.80). This is some of the worst duck we’ve had in a while. The flesh was very tough, seemingly overcooked. The flavour was straight soy sauce flavour, with no interesting components. The salad that they served on the side looked like they came straight out of a Woolworths bag – mostly baby spinach, some shredded carrot, and other basic greenery.

spicy beef brisket noodle soup

The spicy beef brisket noodle soup ($12.80) was not special. I thought that the soup was very watery and in fact had a bit of a tap water taste. We ended up only finishing the toppings, leaving a lot of the boring noodles to spare. Not a specialty of theirs at all.

The Shanghai Turnip Croissant ($10.89) was actually the reason we came to Lilong by Taste of Shanghai at all. My partner had a big craving for these, but was disappointed. I personally didn’t mind – I thought the pastry was light and fluffy, and the ham filling inside was tasty, but not enough to justify the 30 minute drive.

The pan-fried pork buns (sheng jian bao) (生煎包 – $12) is one of Taste of Shanghai’s top specialties. The shengjianbao today were mostly bald and naked – I wonder if there is some kind of global black sesame seed shortage going on. At the very least the bao were still excellent. The filling is still the same, with plenty of fresh hot soup bursting out with each bite. The bottoms were perfectly fried to a crisp. Overall, eating the sheng jian bao at the restaurant was much, much better than getting them delivered.

If the sheng jian bao was one of the stars of the meal, the other would be the Wontons in Red Chilli Oil Sauce ($12.80). This is something that we almost always get when we eat at Taste of Shanghai, and one of the dishes I remember loving from my childhood. The filling is housemade pork and chive. The wonton skins are quite springy but not too undercooked. The red chilli oil sauce is, as always, delicious. I personally like to eat the wontons with a spoon in order to get a good amount of red sauce with every mouthful. This is an oft-imitated dish (for example by Dumpling Queen in Eastgardens), but only Taste of Shanghai seems to be able to execute it perfectly.

Overall I would say that dining at Lilong by Taste of Shanghai was better in person, however there are still a lot of misses on the menu. Stick with what they do best, however, and you will not go wrong – unless you are disgusted by the environment and general uncleanliness.

Lilong by Taste of Shanghai (Hurstville)
Rooftop, Westfield Hurstville
1 PA Park Rd & Cross St, Hurstville NSW 2220
(02) 9570 9051

Categories
Chinese

Dim Sim & More – Mascot NSW Restaurant Review

My partner recently spent $125 on very middling delivered Chinese food, locking me into eating it for the rest of the week.

I will put the same amount of effort into this review as they did cooking it.

Steamed Pork Shumai 猪肉烧卖 ($8.80). Not bad, a bit salty, and a bit dry. The addition of flying fish roe on top gave it a fun crunchy fish roe texture and fish flavour.

Steamed Vegetable Dumpling 韭菜鸡蛋蒸饺 ($7.80) is actually a chive and egg and vermicelli steamed vegetable dumpling. The flavours are quite light, with only a weak chive flavour. Not great but not bad.

Boiled Pork Dumpling 猪肉水饺 ($11.80) had a very meaty taste with strong pork flavour and good chive flavour also. Actually quite good, but she accidentally ordered two servings. (Why?)

Pan Fried Turnip Patty 香煎萝卜糕 ($7.80) had a bit of a too-greasy taste to it to enjoy.

Steamed Black Bean Pork Rib 豉汁蒸排骨 ($9.80) was actively bad. Overcooked, formless meat. The wrong flavour for black bean pork rib. Don’t get this if you’re expecting the yum cha classic. Actively bad.

The Pork and Preserved Egg Congee 皮蛋瘦肉粥 ($12.80) was actually quite good. It was very accurate to the Platonic ideal of a 皮蛋瘦肉粥, and for $12.80 they actually gave us two large takeaway boxes worth.

VERDICT
Most of the food from Dim Sum & More was quite disappointing.
I wouldn’t recommend it to even a casual acquaintance.

Dim Sum & More
Shop 2, 8 Bourke Street, Mascot NSW

Categories
Chinese

Mr Sun’s Fried Buns – Waterloo NSW Restaurant Review

Nestled on a side street off Waterloo’s Gadigal Avenue is Mr Sun’s Fried Buns, a homely neighbourhood restaurant serving a variety of both bun and non-bun fare. A surprising amount of care has been put into the restaurant’s decor, which features bamboo steamers hung upside down in stacks from the ceilings as well as stuck onto the walls.

Mr Sun’s fried buns are not your regular shengjian bao. Though their fillings are authentic to the standard, the wrappers used by Mr Sun in his headline buns are much thinner, providing an optimal meat to juice to bread ratio that both delights the senses and allows the lucky patron to eat fit more buns into their digestive tract.

We had a combination of pork buns (left) and prawn buns (right) (4 for $10). A deeper dive is not possible at this stage as I’ve just forgotten how they tasted, however I can promise you that they tasted good. I thought it was a shame that they only offer two different flavours of buns cooked in this style, and I think that they would even benefit from offering all of their dumpling fillings in buns cooked this way. They were just great. I could have easily filled up on these.

The Chinese Spinach and Pork Wonton in Soup ($14.50) was a warming and wholesome dish. The soup was a nice semi-clear broth with a good but not too strong flavour, probably packed more with MSG than NaCl. It was topped with some bean cured, shallot, and seaweed, the last two elements adding additional umami. The wontons were a good size and had a nice, large, meaty filling. This wonton soup is better than that at nearby Yummy Duck BBQ.

I have no complaints about these boiled Scallop and Prawn Dumplings (12 for $15.80), though again I wish they would make all of their different dumpling varieties into their fried buns. I think it would be a real winner.

The Steamed Rice in Claypot with Braised Pork ($18.50) really didn’t look like the image provided, nor was it really congruous with the name of the dish. While I can accept this kind of thing as a takeaway or delivery meal (no restaurant is going to give you an actual claypot to take home), I don’t really go to a restaurant so that I can eat in a foil tray. Indeed there was nothing about this dish to indicate that it had ever even met a claypot, let alone been in one. To its credit, the dish did taste good, with a some of the rice having been made crispy, and not only the right sauce and pork to rice ratio but also the right amount of cabbage to keep things fresh. Regardless, they shouldn’t have shown a picture of food in a claypot if they weren’t going to serve it in one.

DISCUSSION

The food, particularly Mr Sun’s signature fried buns, tasted quite good. Unfortunately cleanliness, particularly of the cups for drinking water, was an issue, and I think it’s a restaurant best approached in the style of the Middle Ages, where beer was safer to drink than water.

4/5 with cleanliness negative modifier

Mr Sun’s Fried Buns
15 Hatbox Pl, Waterloo NSW 2017
0414 598 188