The family went for dim sum again this week. So of course for everyone’s viewing pleasure and totally not because I’m a #foodie that needs to take pictures of everything she eats, I took photos.
Yuan’s Shanghai Serendipity Cuisine makes mostly Shanghainese food. I wish I can give you a point-form list of differences between Shanghainese and Cantonese food. However, I can tell you that Shanghainese cuisine is famous for the xiaolongbao, or the XLB(in the round steam box at the back). The XLB are small steamed soup dumplings. The skin of the XLB should be tender and thin and it should be filled with soup and usually pork filing. Since the dumpling skin is incredibly tender, it can be a challenge sometimes to pick it up with chopsticks and not break the skin. Don’t worry, once you eat enough of them, you’ll figure out how to pick it up and not make the soup squirt everywhere once you take a bite!
Yuan’s XLB is not bad, the skin was tender, the soup had great flavor and the filing was good. However, my favorite is still by Din Tai Fung. I grew up eating the XLB from Din Tai Fung, their flavor is just different. I cannot describe it; it tastes like home. Din Tai Fung expanded from their one restaurant in Taiwan, now it’s an international chain. The closest one to Vancouver is, unfortunately, in Bellevue, WA. I do not think they have the exact replica of the XLB made in Taiwan, but it’s pretty damn close. If you ever have a chance, do give Din Tai Fung a try.
Now that I’m done hijacking this post to talk about Din Tai Fung, let’s go back to Yuan’s!
The Savory Soy Milk is a pretty common dimsum dish and a very standard Chinese breakfast item as well. They use chili oil, green onion and sometimes other ingredients to make it savory. You can also see in the photo little morsels of the deep fried Chinese donut (youtiao) in the soy milk. The youtiao soaks up all the flavor in the soy milk and are very soft and tender. In the previous photo, there is a large plate of youtiao as well. Yuan’s make them pretty well, nice and crunchy and Yuan’s version are humongous! We usually add more youtiao in the savory soy milk as we eat it, but it’s more a personal preference.
The Daikon Pastry. These are also dim sum dishes that you can find in most other dim sum restaurants, though each restaurant may put their own spin on it. The Daikon Pastry here was pretty good. A flaky crust, not too salty and it has great meat flavor. The inside of the pastry is strands of diakon and usually some meat for flavor.
Sticky Rice Wrap with Dried Seaweed. I loved this. This is one of Yuan’s more creative dishes. I thought the Jenga presentation was cute as well. The sticky rice sticks were fried with a lot of seaweed, so it had a strong flavor of the sea, a nice crust and a little chewy.
One perk of Yuan’s is that their menu is very colorful. They have a photo for each dish, so if you’re not sure what the menu is describing, the photos help a lot.