The things we do for our kids... I really hope they appreciate this down the road. Maybe it is payback for all those times I begged for the latest Transformer or GI Joe. Yes, and also the times when I outright rejected cheap knock-offs that were purchased in Chinatown - it's Megatron folks, not "Super Changing Gun Robot". So... There we were trekking all the way out to Langley to pickup a rare out-of-print Nintendo DS game for my daughter. We had to resort to Craigslist because Amazon wanted $60.00 for it! Of course, being out in Langley, we decided to re-visit Luxe Chinese Seafood Restaurant while we were at it.
With ol' skool push carts roaming around, it wasn't long before our table was filled with bamboo steamers awaiting our voracious appetites. Yes, that included the kiddies as well since they were complaining about extreme hunger while we were at Toys R Us across the street. Hence, we piled on the food onto their plates including the BBQ Pork Buns. These were a touch dense while filled with a decent amount of generally lean BBQ Pork. We found it to be rather mild though with not much in the way of noticeable sweetness nor savouriness. My son seemed to enjoy the Wu Gok (Deep Fried Taro Dumplings) where there was a balanced ratio of soft taro to ground pork and shiitake mushrooms. This was okay, but a bit too greasy.
Continuing on with food for the kiddies, we got an order of the Mini-Lo Mei Gai (Sticky Rice wrapped, in this case, banana leaves). Without hesitation, the kiddies devoured it. One bite and I could see why because the rice was indeed sticky and moist. The ample ground pork filling added both flavour and the moisture that ultimately made the rice glutinous (in addition to the necessary prep). Next up, we had the Ja Leun (Salty Donut Rice Noodle Roll) that sported just enough green onion for colour and taste. So often, there is too much and it totally dominates the dish. The rice noodle itself was soft enough with some elasticity. Inside, the donut was humongous, yet quite dense. It was no longer crispy due in part to being kept warm with a cover on the roaming carts.
Onto some adult items, we had the Phoenix Talons (Chicken Feet) and Steamed Pork Spareribs. Interestingly, the outside of the chicken feet were plump, soft and easy to eat. However, the cartilage underneath was still rather firm and in some parts, crunchy. In the end, it wasn't a huge deal since the dish was still decent and properly seasoned with plenty of garlic and a touch of spice. As for the spareribs, most of the pieces were meaty with very little fat, bone and cartilage. As such, even with the proper marinade, the meat was on the chewier side. With that being said, it wasn't tough either. Although not aggressively seasoned, I found that there was enough garlic and spice to flavour the dish.
Getting to the most important dishes of the meal, we had the Haw Gow (Shrimp Dumplings) and Sui Mai (Pork and Shrimp Dumplings. Exhibiting a somewhat thick dumpling skin, the haw gow were decent. Although the skin was thick, it wasn't exactly hard to chew either and it did have some elasticity. Inside, the filling was a combination of mousse and pieces of shrimp. We found it to have a minor buttery snap while being mildly flavoured with some white pepper notes. I wasn't a big fan of the sui mai as the meat was dense lacking the appealing rebound texture. Also, there was a lack of shiitake and shrimp to break up the predominantly natural pork taste to the dumpling.
My offal dish of the meal was the Steamed Bible Tripe with ginger and green onion. Viv and I thought this was well-prepared with tender pieces of tripe which still exhibited a snappy chew. The ample amount of slivered ginger and green onion ensured that there was a brightness to the dish as well as masking any gaminess (which there was none). One of my favourite Dim Sum items is the Bean Curd Skin Roll. Sadly, the one here was pretty mediocre. Nothing particularly wrong with the fried bean curd skin itself as it had a nice chewy, yet moist texture. It was to do with the filling as it was very similar to the sui mai where it was dry and dense. The chewiness and overall lack of seasoning of the meat wasn't appealing.
Despite looking like they needed a tan of some sort, the Beef Meatballs were pretty good. They were properly prepared where the classic rebound texture was evident while not being mushy. The meat was well-seasoned with just enough greens to compliment. Throughout the meal, my son was eying the roving carts. Turns out he was waiting for the Shrimp Spring Rolls. Well, luckily they had them and he didn't waste time attacking them. These were firmly crunchy with a touch of grease on the bottom. The filling was similar to the haw gow with a mild moist snap. They were seasoned enough that we didn't have to dip them into the Worcestershire sauce.
For dessert, my daughter wanted the Mango Pudding with evaporated milk. Since we were in Langley because of her anyways, I guess she got her way again. Good thing though as it was better than the average since they actually put real pieces of mango in the pudding. That itself added the flavour that most versions are lacking. So how did this revisit to Luxe rate on the Dim Sum continuum? Well, as much as there were issues with some of the dishes, the fact that it was respectable and located in Langley, that makes it good for the area.
- Decent service
- Decent for its location
- Push carts, if you still love them
- Of course there is better elsewhere, but not within closeby
- A bit pricey