Sherman's Food Adventures: Dim Sum @ Lucky Plus Restaurant

Dim Sum @ Lucky Plus Restaurant

I swear the original plan for Lucky Plus Restaurant was for it to be a Hong Kong-style cafe.  Judging by the modern decor and booth seating, it was never supposed to be a full-blown Chinese restaurant, let alone one also serving up Dim Sum.  However, from our first visit, it was clear it was not a Hong Kong-style cafe.  Maybe chalk it up to the immediate competition across the street at Oscar?  Not sure, because we think Oscar is not very good.  Whatever the case, Lucky Plus started Dim Sum service quietly about 6 months ago.  We decided to make this our latest food adventure.  

Interestingly, we got our order of Rice Noodle Rolls first.  Usually, this dish comes midway or sometime at the end of the meal since it takes time to make.  I'm not sure if it was pre-made or something like that because it was thick and rather doughy.  I found the shrimp to be large and fairly on point texturally with a meaty snap.  It was on the saltier side though with a tinge of seafoodiness (maybe more rinsing required?).  As for the donut rice noodle roll, the donut itself was pretty dense and not crispy.  Combined with the thick rice noodle, this was cumbersome to eat.  I was also not that impressed with the hoisin sauce as it was thin and too sweet.

Off to the Ha Gau (Shrimp Dumplings) and Siu Mai (Shrimp & Pork Dumplings), I definitely enjoyed the latter more.  It wasn't as if the ha gau were not good.  In fact, they were large and filled with whole pieces of shrimp.  However, the texture was akin to either overcooked shrimp or shrimp that was not rinsed enough.  Hence, there was no snap.  Instead, it was meaty and dense.  Furthermore, the dumpling skin was rather thick and tore easily when I tried to pick one up with my chopsticks.  On the other hand, the siu mai were on point with buttery bouncy chunks of pork with bits of shrimp and shiitake.  The dumpling itself was moist and juicy with natural flavours of pork with only mild seasoning.

The Phoenix Talons were pretty average as well as you can see with one claw missing some skin.  Now do not confuse this with overcooking as the textures indicated undercooking.  Underneath the skin, the cartilage and tendons were a bit too firm.  With that being said, the ample garlic did ensure there was plenty of impact.  With that being said, they didn't over-salt the dish though.  Where the chicken feet were average, the Pork Spareribs were pretty much on point.  There was no absence of flavour as there was a slight spice to the garlickiness.  The pieces of meaty rib were tender, yet still retained a bouncy chew.  Loved how there wasn't any fatty nor cartilage portions.

Looking rather pale, the Beef Meatballs could've used some dark soy just for aesthetics.  One bite and it needed more than that.  The meatballs were far too soft and loose, hence, it lacked a certain robustness.  Even the ample amount of water chestnuts couldn't replace the lack of texture.  Furthermore, the seasoning was insufficient to flavour the meat on its own (thank goodness for the generous amount of Worchestershire sauce).  I wasn't really a fan of the BBQ Pork Buns either as the filling was predominantly fat.  We had to pick it out since it wasn't particularly pleasing to chew.  Furthermore, the flavours were mainly sweet without an equal amount of savouriness.  At the very least, the bun portion was fairly fluffy and light.

When it hit the table, the plate of Shrimp Spring Rolls seemed to be completely over-fried where the ends were pretty dark.  One bite and yah, the ends were inedible being hard and greasy (including the filling).  As for the middle portions, the shrimp was okay being well-seasoned and meaty.  The exterior was firmly crunchy but also oily from the extended deep-fry.  Following the same theme, the XO Daikon Radish Cakes were aggressively fried where the exterior was crunchy.  Usually, there is a mild crispiness, but we could hear the crunch as we ate these.  Texturally, it was still pleasing and the cake itself was soft and flavourful with daikon.  However, the wok-fry added too much saltiness where it overpowered the spice and brininess oft he XO sauce.

For my requisite offal dish, we had the Beef Tripe and Tendon.  There was a good ratio of tripe to tendon which is a bigger issue than you may think.  The tripe was pretty good being a bit on the softer side while not retaining too much gaminess.  As for the tendon, it was far too soft where it fell apart when I picked it up with my chopsticks.  Flavours were a bit mild, but there was still that garlicky sweet and salty thing going on.  Our last savoury item was the Pig's Feet and Egg in Black Vinegar and Ginger.  Not surprisingly, the flavours were rather thin where the vinegar and ginger had very little impact.  The egg wasn't very good either as it was hard and seemed to be more overcooked (it is generally overdone since it sits in the liquid so flavours can penetrate) than it usually is.

Onto dessert, we had the usual Egg Tarts that were served lukewarm.  I emphasize this because the egg tarts could've been stellar if they were hot.  Even without the optimum temperature, these were still flaky and buttery as a result of proper baking time and temp.  The egg custard was purposefully sweet and silky.  We also shared the Steamed Sponge Cake which was fluffy and sinfully buttery (or more like lardy).  However, it was far too sweet for our tastes though.  Overall, we thought the Dim Sum at Lucky Plus was serviceable but unremarkable.  Okay in a pinch, but certainly better elsewhere.

The Good:
- Fairly comfortable dining arrangements
- The service we got was decent
- Serviceable

The Bad:
- Serviceable but hit and miss
- Booths not great for Dim Sum service 

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