Sherman's Food Adventures: Wah Lun

Wah Lun

At times, when I ponder (and I do ponder sometimes), it appears that I closely follow Rafiki's (Lion King for those who don't know) mantra of "look beyond what you see" when it comes to restaurants.  It's almost like I ignore what is right in front of me, much like the drivers in the Crystal Mall parking lot. Hence, it has taken me a good 3 years to have Dim Sum at Wah Lun again, despite being only a short 5 minute drive from my house.  If memory serves me correctly, the food was pretty good last time, but the service...  not so much (I think they were looking beyond what they could see).

I guess this visit was a good gauge to see if they stepped up the service or not.  Again, we ordered too much starting with the Special Baked BBQ Pork Buns.  These were soft and pillowy with a sugary top. The BBQ pork was lean while dressed in a sweet sauce.  The slivers of onions were too raw which took away from the flavour. These were similar to the ones I had at Grand Dynasty.  Next up was the Stuffed Eggplant with Dace Shrimp Puree which was soft, yet slightly crisp.  The puree was bouncy while relatively bland.  The "black bean" sauce didn't help matters as it had no black bean flavour to speak of nor any real saltiness.

Onto the most important part of the meal, according to the kids, was the Garlic Prawn Spring Rolls. These were lightly crisp and minimal on the grease.  The prawn filling had a good snap while seasoned by plenty of garlic (yet lacking in salt). I had to wrestle one away from them because they didn't have any intention in sharing.  Now that was their most important dish, for Viv and I, it was the Haw Gow (Shrimp Dumpling). These were large and filled with big pieces of shrimp exhibiting snap and moisture.  However, there was very little seasoning much like the previous 2 dishes. The skin was chewy and a touch thick.

Another kid's favourite was the Lo Mei Gai (Sticky Rice).  It was soft and slightly wet.  This was probably a result of the good amount of ground pork filling.  Again, everything was there and the textures were mostly on point, but it sorely needed more salt, soy or whatever to flavour it.  Something that didn't lack in anything was the Beef Rice Noodle Roll.  It was soft with a contrasting elasticity.  There was a plethora of tender beef with a slight bounce. With a balanced amount of greens and sweet soy, the rice noodle roll was just plain good.  But then again, it was probably the beneficiary of the added soy sauce.

Continuing on the same theme, we had the Beef Meatballs next. With a similar mix, there was just the right amount of greens.  Furthermore, the texture was just right being bouncy and airy.  However, it was not a flavourful as the rice noodle roll due to the absence of soy sauce.  Also relatively bland, the Sui Mai were large and light in texture.  Considering that, the dumplings were airy and loose.  In fact, the pork was more fatty and mousse-like rather than meaty.  It was as if they put the blender on max, which eliminated any meat texture.

Onto some offal, we had the Five Spiced Beef Tripe.  The evenly sliced pieces were soft with some chew.  There was a tinge of gaminess which was not completely masked by the five spice.  Continuing on with the same theme, the flavours were mild with only the smallest hint of spice.  As for the Chicken Claws with Satay Sauce, it was not exactly a well-executed dish.  Each claw was bony and dry with crunchy cartilage.  They were not plump and moist at all.  And yes, there was a general absence of flavour despite the colour of the claws and the promise of satay sauce.

Our last dish was the Steamed Spareribs with Pumpkin.  Really, I should've just pressed the repeat button and this post would've written itself because the ribs were flavourless.  It was as if they didn't put any seasoning in the marinade.  But then again, they were soft with a slight chew, so they did do some sort of marinade.  Whatever the case, it was really unfortunate about the seasoning issues because the food was not bad.  And to top it off, the service was more than acceptable.

The Good:
- Reasonable pricing
- Textures were mostly right
- Service we got was decent

The Bad:
- Lack of seasoning

Wah Lun Chinese Restaurant 華麟海鮮酒家 on Urbanspoon