Thursday, June 21, 2007

"Xiao Long Bao Journey" to Mei Long Village

My search for delicious "Xiao Long Baos", or soup dumplings finally took me to Mei Long Village, known for serving some of the best XLBs in San Gabriel Valley. I was certainly more than willing to put them to the test.

Taking my first bite into the pork & crab XLB, I really liked the dumpling wrapper. It wasn't so thick that I had to chew my way through that first bite nor was it so thin that you didn't feel like you bit into the XLB at all. The wrapper was just right. As for the soup within this XLB, it was fantastic. It was plentiful, which is important, given the type of dumpling an XLB is and it was also flavorful. I also found the crab and pork filling very tasty. Overall, I can see why Mei Long Village gets raves for their soup dumplings.

Other than XLBs, we also ordered 6 other dishes. Following the dumplings came the Braised Fish Tail. What I liked about this dish is that the brown sauce had good flavor, but didn't overpower the delicate fish meat, so everything balanced well.

After the Braised Fish Tail, we savored the light, crispiness of the Radish Pancake. It's a very mild-flavored food, but I enjoyed the texture of the radish filling and I also liked the fact that it wasn't oily.

Two other dishes enjoyed by the table included the Pork Pump and the Lion's Head Meatball in Brown Sauce. The pork pump meat was tender, juicy and absolutely perfect. My tastebuds were quite happy. The Lion's Head Meatball was also a hit due to meat that was moist and also had some kind of spicing that I was unfamiliar
with, but is probably what made this dish uniquely delicious.

As for the last two items we ordered, they were the Jade Shrimp and Shanghai Spareribs. These were actually my two least favorite dishes. While I thought the shrimp was cooked just right, I felt that the sauce for this dish was quite bland. It looked pretty, but that was about it. As for the spareribs, again, the meat was cooked well, but I found the sauce to be a little too sweet for my palate.

Overall, I really loved the XLBs, and I enjoyed the majority of dishes we ordered. I would definitely make a return trip to MLV, if nothing else, just for their soup dumplings.

To see pics, go to:

Mei Long Village
301 W Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91778
(626) 308-9238

Mei Long Village on Urbanspoon

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