* 28 July 2013
Lunch date with a girlfriend this week! Dim sum cravings found us in Northbridge at one of the many Chinese restaurants on Francis Street. Xintiandi is one of my regular spots because it serves dim sum on weekdays as well as weekends.
Steel yourself to look past the fried food because the steamed dim sum items are usually the best. We also ignored the tray of fruit juices which are always offered to patrons during lunchtime (particularly if you’re sitting with a table full of non-Asians).
You need to specially order xiaolongbao (little dragon buns) because they are prepared fresh in this restaurant so they don’t grow cold sitting on the dim sum trolley. These delightful pockets of pork mince, spring onions, and flavoursome soup have great novelty value! I appreciate Xintiandi serving these dumplings properly by providing Chinese vinegar, fresh ginger, and Chinese soup spoons. Eat them straight away or the soupy insides will start to congeal!
This dish is not one for the faint-hearted. Start with the toes then move down towards the base of the foot! We enjoyed the black bean sauce and soft skin, but this dish should have been steaming hot rather than luke warm (perhaps it would be more fresh on busy weekends).
The rice flour skins were thin and soft, as expected. Generous prawn filling and it tasted great once I drunked it in the chilli oil.
Deep-fried prawn dumplings
One of my favourite fried items right here. Juicy prawns in crunchy brown wonton wrappers, dipped in mayo. It seems seriously unauthentic but I still choose it whenever I’m at dimsum. The mayonnaise had an odd watery consistency, not sure why.
Prawn rice flour rolls
My request for extra sauce was not forgotten, yay! Soft rice flour wrappers and big juicy prawns inside. This kicked ass compared to the crappy, chewy rice flour rolls at Yum Cha House…
Pork and prawn dumplings
The shu mai dumplings were disappointing. Fail presentation because the dumplings should be standing upright with a dollop of orange fish roe on top. Instead I had lukewarm and unappetising mouthfuls to finish on my own (because my friend finds these too ‘porky’). This was the only dish left partially uneaten.
Our meal for two was around $37 including my favourite tea, bolay cha. Service was attentive and quick, but they hassled us too many times with the dessert trolley. We were so full - no room for dessert!
Likes: yummy Shanghai dumplings
Dislikes: some lukewarm food (on quiet weekdays)
Value for money: reasonable
Overall: will return to satisfy my cravings for Shanghai dumplings
40 Francis St
(08) 9228 9619
12 April 2014
Xintiandi has recently closed down and Hawker’s Cuisinehas moved in from China Town!