Sherman's Food Adventures: Wah Lun

Wah Lun

Wow.  It is very rare that I visit the same restaurant twice within the same week.  However, this was the case as we popped by Wah Lun for dinner with the family.  At least it was for dinner, not Dim Sum like last time.  For those unaware, there are usually 2 different chefs for Dim Sum and dinner, hence, the food quality for either are mutually exclusive.  And yes, that is my justification for doing 2 visits so close to each other.

We started with the complimentary order of Poached Free-Range Chicken which was roughly more than a quarter.  If we went for the 4 course menu, it would've been half a chicken.  I thought the skin was nicely done as it was gelatinous with a layer of gelatin underneath.  Flavourwise, the chicken was well-seasoned while retaining a natural sweetness.  We appreciated that the minced ginger condiment was easy on the green onion.  As for the Daily Soup, it consisted of pork, carrots and herbs.  It was very flavourful which led me to believe that a good amount of MSG was in there.

For a small lil' Chinese restaurant, the Peking Duck was surprisingly good.  With a rich hue and a crispy texture, each piece of skin benefited from the courtesy fat scrape.  Hence, when wrapped in the slightly dry pancakes, it was not heavy to eat.  As much as they were super generous with the shrimp chips underneath, there was actually too much of it.  The second course was the Duck Lettuce Wrap.  There was decent enough wok heat to caramelized the ingredients (which remained crunchy) while the addition of diced Chinese sausage added both aromatics and the necessary saltiness.  I wasn't a huge fan of the way they hacked up the lettuce though as there were holes everywhere (lead to huge epic fails of ingredients leaking all over the place).

The Peking Pork Chops was easily the least successful dish of the meal.  As it hit the table, the unappealing pale reddish colour was a clear indication that there was not enough Worcestershire sauce added.  Hence, it tasted more like a sweet & sour sauce.  Furthermore, the pork chops themselves were a touch dry while the batter had become soft and clumpy.  However, that was the only poor dish as the Seafood & Tofu Hot Pot was bursting with ingredients.  The prawns had a nice snap while the fish was moist and flaky.  The squid could've been a bit more tender, but it wasn't horrible.  We liked how there wasn't too much moisture in the dish and when there was, it wasn't salty.

For our vegetable dish, we had the Gai Lan with Beef.  This was well-prepared with crunchy vibrant stalks with tender slices of beef on top.  There was a minimal amount of moisture on the bottom of the plate. Lastly, for dessert, we had Mango Pudding in the form of small koi.  These were actually better than most powdered mango pudding offerings.  There was actually some tartness, but no, there was no real mango to speak of (as with everywhere else).  For the price we paid, the food was pretty decent and well-portioned.  I'm not sure why the rating for Wah Lun is that low, but it might have to do with their previously indifferent service.

The Good:
- Reasonable pricing
- Good portions
- Decent

The Bad:
- The service we got was okay, but not exactly warm and fuzzy either
- Tables are set close together

Wah Lun Chinese Restaurant 華麟海鮮酒家 on Urbanspoon


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