Fresh off ordering the XLBs from Xu's in the Crystal Mall food court, Mijune and I were not satisfied. We needed more food. With all the stalls offering their wares, it was too hard to resist. So we headed over to the stall with the most amount of people milling around. Hey, Mijune reasoned that if there are people around the food should be good. Well, I'm not so sure about that. There are plenty of cars milling around in the parking lot and I'm certain they are not happy. So we'd just have to put this theory to the test.
We got a couple of things starting with the Ja Jeun Mein. When we first got it, it sure looked appetizing with the good amount of meaty sauce and vibrant cucumber slivers. Well, for me at least, this was a fail. The good part was the noodles. They were hand-pulled and had a very desirable elasticity to them. However, the meat sauce was extremely oily. In fact, there was a large pool of oil at the bottom of the plate. Rather than pickled turnip, there was potato in the sauce. Nothing particularly wrong with that except the sauce was predominantly sweet with no other distinguishing flavours nor textures. Furthermore, the cucumber must've been put through a grater because it was no longer crunchy and was slivered far too fine.
As a comparison of sorts, we got an order of the Xiao Long Bao. Well, lemme get straight to the point. There is no comparison. Xu's is significantly better. The dumpling skin was gummy and mushy at the same time while there was a noticeable absence of juice. Furthermore, the meat was gritty and bland. Okay, maybe a different dumpling might be better right? After all, the lady there did boast about it. So we got an order of the Boiled Pork & Vegetable Dumplings as well. If I had to compare, the boiled dumplings at Lao Shan Dong are better than the ones here. These weren't necessarily bad; they were just pretty average. The meat filling was quite soft with an adequate amount of seasoning. However, I would've preferred a dip of some sort (soy/vinegar?). Actually, they didn't even supply vinegar for the XLBs.
The last item ended up as a mistake - figuratively and literally. We originally wanted the Pork Pastry and ultimately ended up with the Green Onion Pancake with egg and salty donut. The one word that can describe this is doughy. The donut was dense while the pancake was soft. The whole thing was dense and bland. We did not enjoy it. If the donut was crispy and light, it would've dramatically changed the outcome. However, similar to all of the other items we tried, it was not memorable. The food is cheap though... and the ladies that run the place are really nice; yet there are better choices. Looks like we might go for a place without a lineup next time...
- Good portions
- Friendly ladies who run the place
- Unmemorable food