Long’s Noodle House is one of the iconic Shanghai cuisine restaurants in Vancouver. It has been considered the best place to go for Xiao Long Bao in Vancouver before the recent food scene bloom. I have tried many new restaurants that offers Xiao Long Bao in their menu, but many still fall short compared to the ones served at Long’s. The cost for $26 per person is a little high, but that is because we ordered quite a bit of food for 2 people. If you are even a little bit interested in Xiao Long Bao, you should give Long’s Noodle House a try.
For $9.99, you get quite a bit of Xiao Long Bao in the plastic box. You can clearly see that these buns are made by machines. I agree these are not authentic Xiao Long Bao. I see them as tasty emergency rations when I feel lazy to go out. I cannot recommend this to everyone because they fail as Xiao Long Bao. If you add on the convenience factor, but they are not bad.
It is Din Tai Fung culture to serve pot stickers upside down to showcase the crispy bottom crust. The extravagant thin crisp crust hide the pot stickers underneath. When you eat them, you estimate where pot stickers are and break the crust accordingly. It provides excitement to eating an ordinary dish. Unfortunately for the Din Tai Fung in Seattle, I broke the bottom crust and knew this is not the right stuff. The crust should have been light, fluffy and crispy. This crust was soggy. I could not break it off easily because the top layer of the bottom crust was still wet. This is not cooked properly. The Shrimp and Kurotuba Pork Pot Stickers pot stickers should be soft and juicy to the bite. The real Din Tai Fung’s potstickers should have a bounce and give me a satisfying feeling when biting into them. However, the texture of the pot stickers can only be best described as “wimpy”. I don’t care if it’s Kurotuba Pork or whatever the pork they use. I cannot taste the difference. If you want to use prestige ingredients, customers should be able to differentiate it in the taste. Also something of note, shrimp does not have much texture.
How do we know these Xiao Long Bao are authentic. Here are some key points:
Xiao Long Bao was brought to you with a lid, to reduce heat loss.
Lid was removed and Xiao Long Bao was presented to Patrons. We see Xiao Long Bao in the foggy steam and go “There’s my food”.
Then you see the Xiao Long Bao stood up strong and tall. Pleasant to look at, with out being floppy at the bottom.
The location and spacing of Xiao Long Bao is also important. They should be uniformly scattered, not touching each other or the steamer.
An authentic Xiao Long Bao should have exactly 18 folds at its crown.
Pick up the Xiao Long Bao from the fold with a chopstick. It’s the most sturdy part of the skin, so it’s less likely to break. The rest of the skin is quite uniform and did not break when I lift it. Pay attention to the skin that’s touching the edge of the steamer, or another Xiao Long Bao. Be careful when separating them. No sudden movements