Sorry about the curse word in the title. But wasn’t sure how else to describe this freak of a nature xiao long bao that I first heard about from Kirbie’s post. I’ve had my fair share of XLB but have NEVER ever seen a massive, alien sized single version of an XLB.
Sometimes a pic can evoke such wanting in a blogger – maybe this pic and the following pics will make you want to try out this place too.
I made plans to visit this restaurant the day before I left for my Taiwan trip few weeks back. Youngest sis was game b/c she saw the pic of the large XLB and said immediately she’s heard all about it.
It’s a nice sized restaurant and wasn’t busy at all that late afternoon when we visited. They had a special that if you ordered $20+ in food, you can purchase their regular XLB for $1.95. At this point, I’m giving my sis eye rolls saying ‘man, the food must be *that* bad if they’re promoting this’.
We decided to order 4 items b/w the two of us with the assumption we’d take home leftovers for our family.
The table already has soy sauce, black vinegar, chili sauce and salt/pepper. They brought out the fresh ginger a few moments after we ordered.
- House Spareribs $5.95
I have always loved spareribs b/c of the chew on them. I thought this dish would have been served warm somehow. Cold spareribs isn’t something I would normally order so this dish was disappointing. The glaze on the ribs tasted too sweet and sticky. And the actually ribs tasted dry and the tendons tasted terrible when cold (to me).
- Cumin Beef $10.95
This was the priciest item we got on the menu. I don’t think I’ve ever had a dish like this before – I’m not used to cumin for some reason. But sis really loves it so I ordered this for her. They give you quite a bit of beef and the dish comes out piping hot. But there was sooooo much cumin. And I guess for someone (*me*) that has never tried it , the cumin was too over powering for me. I want to say it tasted like fennel/licorice to me. But it was just EVERYWHERE in this dish – like angry little ants or something.
- Xiao Long Bao $1.95 : 9 pieces
Here’s their promo. 9 pieces of beautiful little XLB. I wasn’t expecting much when I tried the first one. But OH MY GOODNESS. It was soooo delicious and soooo soupy. Forget that I’m a cheapo and the $1.95 made me feel like I was pillaging the restaurant somehow. But the little, hand wrapped soup dumplings were so amazingly good. And I appreciated how they spaced the XLBs from each other so that they don’t touch – that always gives me a panic attack to try to separate the XLBs from one another without tearing the XLB skin.
Alright, so here comes the freak of a beast of their Big A** xiao long bao….
- Juicy pork/crab xiao long bao $4.95
It comes out in a dim sum type container. ONE large XLB fills the entire container (if you go to dim sum, there’s usually 4 small XLB that occupy this tin container).
They give you a straw to stick in the XLB to drink the soup. Sis and I found the straw thing to be ridiculous b/c 1) the soup is effing hot so why drink it w/ a plastic straw; 2) when was the last time you drank ANY soup w/ a straw (whether or not it was in a bowl OR in a large XLB); 3) this XLB soup looked like cholesterol when going up the straw which grossed me out to the umpteenth degree.
Let me show you some more pics since I was mesmerized by this thing.
- Picking up the XLB with chopsticks
I was shocked how the XLB skin held up when I picked it up w/ chopsticks. We thought the skin would bust immediately. But no – surprisingly – no.
I was over the whole ‘drink it w/ a straw’ thing so I decided to transfer the XLB to a bowl and work it from there.
- Opened up pork/crab XLB in bowl
As you can see, there’s a considerable amount of soup. I don’t remember if I tasted much of the crab but the filling, regardless, was great.
- Total bill $25.94
I was incredibly happy w/ the price. Even though the spare ribs and the cumin beef was a miss for me, I’d be more than happy to come back and try out their other dishes. Would I order the Big A** XLB again – hmmm- I think if one my companions hadn’t tried it before, then sure. Otherwise, I’d try to hit the $20 mark to get the $1.95 XLB special.
You can also see their chef making the regular XLB thru the glass window. I, of course, went straight up to window to admire and ohhh/ahhh at the process. Sis kept nudging me to take my dang pics and get outta there. I guess I was embarrassing her You gotta love the younger generation –
Wang Xing Ji140 W Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776