January 20, 2019:
Shanghainese food inside the Hong Kong International Airport! Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao is one of a few restaurants located on the Level 5 Arrival Hall.
They have an electronic queuing system where you enter the number of guests you have in your party and then receive a paper ticket to await your turn for a table. I found it anal that a staff member had to be the one to input the party number for you. The customers are full capable of that. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait long actually for a table.
I love how there are so many types of dishes in Shanghainese cuisine. I really appreciated that the menu had a full two pages of vegetarian dishes too. (I’m making good headway on eating more veggie dishes so far this year! :D) We ordered the pork and cheese xiao long bao, vegetarian dan dan noodle, peanut chicken and starch paper, and a fish soup.
The vegetarian dan dan noodle was great. I’ve never had a vegetarian version of this before. They simply substituted the minced meat on top with something else. The noodles were bouncy and firm, which was so delicious with the peanut soup base. It was slightly nutty and spicy but really tasty. I found the noodles became mushy after leaving them in the soup for a while so it’s important to eat them hot.
The peanut chicken and starch paper was all right. In my mind, the best one is still at the Golden Shanghai Restaurant located at 14th and Kennedy in Markham. This dish here had really sleek and smooth starch paper but the overall taste was just not too special.
The pork and cheese xiao long baos took longer to be served than I expected. They resembled regular xiao long baos. These ones had a yellow skin though and didn’t taste very cheesy at all. I was expecting a huge dollop of melted cheese in the middle of the xiao long bao but apparently they probably only used cheese in the skin of the dumpling. It was good to try for sure. Each dumpling was full of hot soup.
The fish soup was hot and comforting. It was thick with veggies and also actually had strips of fish meat in it too! The fish was so fresh.
This was a great airport restaurant! We were lucky to get a whole table (seating four) to ourselves too! (A lot of the other two-person parties had to sit at small two-seaters.)
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