When it comes to Xiao Long Bao, it is a well-known fact that Richmond is money. Pick from any of Shanghai River, Shanghai Wonderful, Chen's, Suhang, Top Shanghai, Dinesty and #1 Shanghai - you will come away satisfied. Despite it's loyal following, Wang's located in the Crystal Mall food court was still somewhat of a hidden gem. With its excellent XLB's freshly made on the spot and steamed, they were a good value. They did brisk business and there always seemed to be a continual lineup. So imagine the surprise when it suddenly became Xu's Wonton House a few months ago. I guess one can never depend on a good thing, much like a sunny day in Vancouver...
So finding myself and Mijune at Crystal Mall, there was only one thing to do... Well, other than trying to park the car without incident in the crazy parking lot... was to try Xu's out! From the exterior, not much has changed. The signage is still yellow with the familiar looking makeshift menu and ladies making fresh XLB's out front. We got a few other items as well; but c'mon, we were here for the Xiao Long Bao! Keeping with tradition, they were served directly in their steamers fresh from the heat. So far, everything looked familiar from the storefront to the XLB themselves. That is where the similarities stopped. First of all, the skin seemed to be slightly thicker; yet not being able to hold together very well when transferred to a spoon. I found the meat to be okay; but the broth was a bit one-dimensional with very little ginger. A decent XLB for sure; but it ain't Wang's.
We also got an order of the Tan Tan Noodles. From the looks of it, once again, it resembled the Wang's version. And yes, it was pretty much the same with a predominantly peanutty broth with just a hint of spice. The noodles were a little soft; but all-in-all, a good tan tan noodle. So despite not being exactly the same as Wang's, the XLB's are still respectable here. I'll probably pay them a return visit to see if any of the other offerings are good or not. After all, it is inexpensive and the things I did try were passable. It only means I'll have to once again play Russian Roulette in the Crystal Mall parking lot.
- Freshly made XLBs
- Not as good as Wang's (but still okay)