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Super Star, Chinatown, London


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Super Star, Chinatown, London

limster | | Dec 14, 2008 12:42 PM

Excellent handmade north eastern Chinese dumplings/shui3 jiao3, firm but tender skin, not mushy but very moist, with just the right amount of bite. There's 2 versions both very well seasoned - pork or prawns (sweet, fresh) with bits of water chestnut. Liked them more than the ones I had at Jen Cafe, but have only tried each version once. Would be great to hear more comparisons.

The hand pulled noodles, while not super springy, do have a good stiff texture. A solid rendition of zha2 jiang4 mian4, a NE Chinese noodle dish cloaked in a sauce made from salty, savoury fermented bean pasta, minced pork and faint background of chilli.

Very good egg custard tarts - flaky light pastry, dense rich eggy custard.

Sweet fresh-tasting crab mince mingled with minced pork and sharksfin fill a big dumpling in soup wrapped in a delicate and very thin dumpling skin. The clarity of chicken in the consomme is exceptional -- very elegant flavour. A supple bit of Chinese broccoli tip also balances softness and vegetal crunch.

Dry fried eel was very well rendered - scored with a knife on one surface so that the small pieces of filleted eel would curl upon cooking. Excellent technique, the eel burnished and crispy on the surface, and deeper down the flesh retaining that perfect level of gelatinous chewiness, rather than just softness in lesser versions. Beneath that, a sweetened soy sauce enhanced with aromatic caramelised garlic that also lingers on the crispy surface of the eel. Great eel flavour, fresh and clean, without any trace of muddiness.

Apparently they have 3 chefs in the kitchen, from Sichuan, Hubei and Fujian or Canton iirc. Yet to sample the sichuan dishes. They serve dim sum at lunch. The dumpling and noodle guy was off on a thursday, so no dumplings or hand pulled noodles that day.