I love where I work – it’s a good gig for sure, and I think it is extra awesome that they appreciate me :) They gave me an extra day off around Thanksgiving, which I wisely used to go run some fun errands in the city.
One of my stops was Crystal Mall on the edge of Burnaby. I was very much in the mood for dumplings that day, so I headed up to the food court and found Wang’s Shanghai Cuisine.
I actually arrived prior to their opening time (11:00 AM) and saw the trio of ladies working at hand making dumplings. I returned when they were open and put in my order with one of the cooks, and waited with my order pick-up number. A few moments later my number was called (in Chinese) and I picked up my tray of goodies!
The main part of my meal were Dan Dan Noodles. These were steaming hot, with a rich, peanuty sauce and a little spicy heat from the Sichuan peppercorns, and some interesting textural elements like the sesame seeds and green onion. I didn’t see any ground beef or pork (which is sometimes included in this dish) and I found that there was a lot of ground peanut paste at the bottom of my dish. The noodles themselves were nicely prepared – long and chewy, and not overcooked. These weren’t the best version of Dan Dan Noodles I ever ate, but this sure was a filling dish.
Next up were my dumplings: a steamer basket full of Xiao Long Bao all to myself! These little babies were delicious – incredibly full of hot soup and savoury little meatballs, they were excellent examples of XLB. Sure, compared to some others they may have had slightly thicker skins, but I’d rather have thicker dumplings than broken ones!
For under $10, I had a huge, carbolicious meal at Wang’s Shanghai Cuisine.
The only real complaint I have is the amount of disposable plastic ware they provided to customers. In addition to the plastic bowl for the noodles, and spoon, I also had plastic-wrapped chopsticks, a small container for the black vinegar XLB dipping sauce, and a styrofoam bowl that I didn’t need at all. I’ve been trying to take part in a No Plastic Challenge and sadly this meal was my worst offence of the week :( Given that they counted on customers to bring back the steamer baskets, other reusable dishes could have just as easily been entrusted to their clientele.