1537 W Broadway, Vancouver (Map)
There is no secret that I love Xiao Long Bao, and always out looking for good ones. So when I noticed an award for Best XLB plaster to the wall of Lin Chinese Cuisine, I immediately added the restaurant to my "must try" list.
Their XLB won the Northern Dim Sum category of the 2009 HSBC Chinese Restaurant Award. Because of this, I really had some high expectations for these juicy buns. One steamer of 6 will set you back $4.99.
The XLB was good, but definitely not the best I've had.The skin was thin, but not as thin as the ones from Ding Tai Fung. The soup was good and meaty, but a bit on the oily side. Overall, these were good, but I've had better at Ding Tai Fung, Shanghai Village, and Shanghai River.
Next up, we ordered their pulled roti with curry sauce ($4.99). The roti was quite flaky and crunchy, but I did not really like the curry sauce. It was clearly thicken by corn starch, because there were some glutinous chunks in there.
We got 2 order of M's favorite pan fried pork buns ($4.99/order), but she was disappointed with them. The ones she like are filled with soup. These were more like steamed buns then pan fried, because the wrapping was simply to thick.
We got half an order of tea smoked duck ($15). This was rather disappointing, because the duck meat was not juicy, and the skin was really dry.
The braised spicy eggplant($9.99) was definitely my favorite dish of the night. It was soft and infused with the spicy garlic flavour.
The lion head meat ball ($12.99) was another dish that didn't really wow us. Although the flavour was good, but the meat was not tender enough. Although the outside was cooked, but the most inner part looked a bit raw. Also usually the meat ball itself would be flavourful, but here it is all about the sauce only.
We got an order of Shanghai style rice cake for $9.99. Although the portion was good, but the flavour was average. This was most just soy sauce flavoured.
The last dish was an accident, because we never intended to order this. However, we were all happy with this, because it turn out to be delicious. This would be their grilled pork chop with onion ($12.99). The pork was tender and the flavour (onion/soy/sugar) was great.
The food here was mostly average, but surprisingly their service was a lot better than many other similar Chinese restaurants. The waitress was very responsive, and the manager constantly checked on us and try to explain each dish. To be honest, I came here with high expectation, but my experience was only satisfactory. However they do have some good dishes that I particularly liked.