Xiaolongbao (小笼包)

My brother from Colorado was in town for the holidays, so I told him about the legendary xiaolongbao of Din Tai Fung. Off we went to the city/suburb of Glendale where in a giant mall was located a location of that Shanghaiese by way of Taiwan restaurant.

Behold!

Were the dumplings, full of minced pork and broth as good as they were in Singapore?

Yes. They were perfect. While the menu here is shorter than the menu at the Singapore locations (and no chicken rice, sadly) the Din Tai Fung machine does its job well. The broth was porky and hot, but not hot enough to burn the mouth.

Chicken dumplings were likewise amazing. The broth was intensely flavorful.

Water spinach was not on the menu, so we got spinach and garlic.

It was also perfectly cooked. There were no particles of sand in the spinach at all.

Pork steamed buns were great.

Red bean dumplings were good, but after having five I was finished. They were sweet, but not overly so.

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Dry Mix Rice Noodles (干拌米粉)

Of course I miss Chinese food. I’m happy to report that authentic northern Chinese fare can be found at Qin in Chinatown.

Qin

It’s from Shaanxi, to be exact.

I was immensely pleased to eat authentic Chinese food. Braised beef, fried tofu skin, cilantro, pickled cabbage and peanuts served over rice noodles and a delicious broth, along with sitting in a red plastic chair gave me a pleasant flashback to Singapore. Of course I ordered it spicy.

I will return soon.

Shrimp and chive dumpling (虾韭菜饺子)

I lived seven years in Asia: one and a half in (基隆) Keelung, Taiwan and five and a half in (新加坡) Singapore. If the reader wondered if I crave Asian food, I do. Chinese food is my favorite cuisine of all and dumplings have become comfort food for me.

It’s not Don Tai Fung, but it’s four blocks from my apartment and it’s relatively cheap. IXLB is my local dumpling house and I just realized the acronym means something like “i love xiaolongbao.”

I didn’t order the xiaolongbao, but i ordered cucumber slices in garlic and sesame oil. This version also had Sichuan peppercorns and chilies and I liked it.

The steamed pork bun was likewise delicious and comforting.

It’s no-frills, but the food is authentic and reasonably priced.

Singapore Noodles

For the three people who read this blog…huzzah!

Rejoice for I have moved to Hollywood and there are many interesting and inexpensive restaurants around. 


It’s close to kway teow, with plenty of bak kwah pork tossed with shrimp and scallions and mung bean sprouts. The shrimp was cooked perfectly. It was one of the best Asian dishes I’ve had in California.
It was very good.


I added all of that chili oil which wasn’t that fiery.


Now I know that los palillos means chopsticks (筷子). 


I started off with a huge seaweed salad. 


I recommend Noodle World.

http://noodleworld.com/nw/
It’s only two (!!!) blocks from my new apartment!

Spicy Dry Noodles (干辣面)

I lived for a total of seven years in Asia: one and a half years in Taiwan and five and a half in Singapore. 

Thus, I sometimes crave real Chinese food. Real I mean as Chinese food prepared traditionally by Chinese people for Chinese people. 


The serving was much bigger I would have received in Singapore. I liked the deboned pork ribs, the Sichuan pepper and the pickled vegetables. Except for the huge portion it tasted authentic, like a dish I could get at a stall in the People’s Park Complex in Singapore’s Chinatown. 


I went with my brother. Afterwards we walked over the Pershing Square and I ordered some petits fours at a chocolatier.


The petits fours were very rich and I managed to eat two, a bitter chocolate and a rose lemon flavor. 

Fried Cumin Lamb (孜然炒羊肉)

I went down to San Diego a few weeks ago to hang out with my youngest brother. The Asian ghetto, as it were, is located on and around Convoy Street, so we stopped at Chef Chin’s restaurant which looked promising.


The cubes of lamb were salty, fatty and crispy and aromatic with lots of cumin. The dish was garnished with fried cilantro and scallions. I loved it. While it wasn’t as good as the similar dish cooked by Lao Chengdu in Singapore, it pleased me.

Beef cooked in chili oil was good too.


It wasn’t as fiery as I would have liked.

They even had almond soup for dessert!