Quite often, I eat alone (although I hate it), especially during my lunch hour. First, it's hard to get someone to join me. Second, there isn't much time to chit chat while trying to scarf down food (and taking pictures). So it's always a treat when eating in a group, especially with like-minded individuals. Ben and Suanne, who write Chowtimes, setup this foodie get-together at Long's Noodle House. Kim (I'm Only Here for the Food), TS ([eating club] Vancouver), Christina & ET (Doesn't Tazte Like Chicken) and Angie (Sea Salt with Food) were present as well. Now, instead of people staring at me taking endless photos of my food, they can stare at a whole table of people taking pictures of food!
We left the ordering up to Ben since he's been to Long's before. We started with the Wine Chicken and it was served in a small urn. The urn was both aesthetically pleasing and served a purpose. It kept the chicken moist and soaked in the warm wine sauce. This dish was executed really well, the chicken was tender and soaked with wine flavour. Ben recommended that we save the wine sauce to mix with white rice. Served at the same time was the Wine Pig's Feet. The flavour was roughly the same; however, I got more hits of wine flavour as I gnawed through the foot. Arriving right after the pig's feet was the Shanghai Style Wheat Gluten. Mixed in with the gluten was Wood Ear Mushrooms and Golden Needles (Lily Flower). This dish was very flavourful and sweet. Too bad we didn't get the rice until later, it would've went well with it.
Of course we had to try the Xiao Long Bao since it is a Shanghainese restaurant. By looking at the Xiao Long Bao, it was obvious there was a lot of juice inside of them. The fact the buns were stuck to the parchment paper complicated things. We had to be very careful removing them, otherwise EPIC FAIL and juices everywhere! Luckily for me, I was able to remove without breakage (believe me, it was a delicate operation). Too bad for TS, she destroyed hers. The lady owner gave TS the evil eye as if: "How dare you treat my food like that!" I thought the Xiao Long Bao were pretty good, maybe the skin could've been a bit thinner; but I guess it would further complicate removing them out of the steamer.
The next dish, according to Ben, won an award (not sure what award it was, too busy eating...). The dish was Crispy Rice with Salty Egg. It's essentially rice puffs mixed with salted duck eggs. I can see why it won an award because it was really tasty. It was like eating a salty egg rice crispy. Okay, it probably tastes better than it sounds. The next dish was Fish with Wood Ear Mushrooms. I really didn't know what fish it was but it could've been sole? Whatever the case, it was a pleasant dish to eat, if not nothing special about it. The fish was cooked perfectly though. It was probably flash fried before stir-frying.
Although it's Long's Noodle House, we only ordered one noodle and it was the Sliced Spiced Beef Noodles in Soup. That's okay though, sometimes when you order 3 or 4 noodles, you're too full to eat anything else. In a very nice square bowl (nice to see something different than a round bowl), there were lots of tender beef resting on a generous amount of vermicelli. I really liked how the vermicelli soaked up the spicy flavours. The next dish was something a little bit different, it was Fried Eels with Garlic and Black Pepper Sauce. Although the dish was unique in theory, it really didn't have any taste. Viv thought it was a bit bland and for $15, a bit pricey. Fortunately the next dish was better - Stir Fried Pea Shoots with Garlic. The pea shoots were wok-fried perfectly still retaining some crunchiness. It wasn't heavily seasoned, allowing the garlic flavour to stand out. The best dish of the meal was the last one. It was Stewed Pork Hock. It consisted of a whole pork hock braised in a rich sauce (probably oyster-based sauce). The pork was fall-off-the-bone tender and the sauce had lots of depth without being salty.
We had thought the meal was finished until the lady owner asked if we wanted dessert. We mulled around the idea and decided to go for the Dow Sah Wor Beng. It's essentially a sheet of sweet red bean paste encased in spring roll wrap and deep fried. The red bean paste was both plentiful and tasty; however, I wished that the whole dessert was a bit more crispy. Other than that, it was pretty good.
Viv and I had a blast meeting for dinner with other foodies. When you get a bunch of people with the same passion, there is never a shortage of good conversation. However, it can also be quite dangerous. You see, foodies like to eat and even after a full meal with dessert, we found enough space to head over to Vivo! Gelato for some second dessert! Luckily we didn't meet for breakfast, imagine how many other meals we could've squeezed in an entire day?
Read Kim's post about it here.
- Most items were quite inexpensive
- Overall good food
- Some unique dishes
- Incredibly small restaurant
- Some specialty items were really expensive
Long's Noodle House
4853 Main Street