Monday, January 16, 2012

The China Kitchen

"How was your meal? Good."
I had to laugh. It was very self assuring. In fact, what attracted us here was the fact that it says they have the Best Dumplings in Town. What was interesting for me was that they only really had one type of dumpling, different flavours but same really. I guess, if it's really good you only specialise in that one, right? The reviews online were full of praise, but to be honest, it's all personal opinion and not to be taken too seriously because everyone has different tastes. But sometimes it does make you wonder...
What makes good dumplings (for me) is the skin and the juicy filling. The condiments they provide are also very important. Joyful still has the best pan-fried dumplings (please hurry up and open again) in town, and even Zest Noodle House can probably claim to be better.
Spinach and Chicken Dumplings
Hot and Spicy Beef Noodles
When I was younger I never enjoyed deep fried wontons, they were so boring. Over the years with more competition in Chinese Restaurants etc, they got better and more exciting! You didn't just get over cooked wrappers with a dry smidgen of possibly pork, you can not always assume that it is pork because really, is that what pork is meant to taste like?! I thought I travelled back in time, those wontons tasted like they were from my childhood.

Disregard this little immature rant: /Start/ Reviewer who thought the wontons were very nice, what the hell?! Have you never had wontons before in your life or generally regard bad food as good?! I hate you! /End/ 
Actually, I hate myself (not really), I always fall for reviews even though I KNOW to not go with expectations and to make my own decision. Please don't go to places and judge food based on my opinion and then hate me (because I will hate you more! *evil death glare*), make your own mind and it's food, enjoy, don't like it, don't eat that thing (wontons grrr) again.

I mentioned before, skin of the dumplings is important. It was too thick. If you like doughy (I like my pancakes doughy, not dumplings... unless they are bready bun dumplings), then you are in for a treat aren't you?! The spinach and chicken dumplings were alright, the pork and chives were the better ones but they forgot them and by the time they finally came I just started eating, therefore no picture.

When I eat dumplings, I like to have a chilli and vinegar mixture for dipping. A lot of restaurants make their own chilli sauce which adds to the charm and flavour, it says a lot about their food and I generally know if I like a restaurant or not by their chilli sauce. I don't think they made their own sauce, it was a bit gluggy and thick (ha! like the dumpling skins) and not the type I like with dumplings. Good for making beef noodle soup though.

Originally Jack had ordered the zhar djan noodle but they said they were sold out and he was actually quite relieved because it's like me and tom yum soup, love it and have to order it all the time, but not many people can actually make it really well... it's a lot of trial and error. The lady suggested we order the hot and spicy beef noodle soup. It was decent. She said they stew it for two hours (I know that already because I've made it myself and observed many times my dad do the same), it wasn't melt in your mouth tender but good enough. Better than my beef noodle soup efforts (for now. Watch this space), I'll give them that.


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