Wednesday night in my further quest for a great xlb and good Shanghai food seven of us had dinner at Chef Dings in San Mateo. We were led by grow_power since she had more knowledge than anyone else at the table.
We start with an order xlb where the owner was willing to give us one extra bun because the order was for six and we had seven people in our party. The xlb had soup in each one, but the skin wan not thin enough which my wife remind me that my Father had a saying that when you eat xlb there can be too much soup and the skin cannot be to thin without tearing when picked up. This was one of the better versions I have had.
They had a cold plate sampler where you could mix and match three items. We selected pickled bamboo, mock goose and chili sliced pork. The bamboo had a good favor and was tender, but it was little salty, but grow_power said that they were preserved so that it would be that way. The mock goose was okay but not the best I have had. The chili pork was really good, tender without being too hot.
Won ton with chili oil, they was another good cold dishes. The wontons were good but I found the dish a little too spicy for my taste.
We start with a special soup, which was on the Chinese menu handwritten on a chalkboard. This was yellow fish with a pickled cabbage soup. This soup had a very sweet favor and was served on a butane stove that kept it hot. The fish give the soup a great favor, but was small and had lots of bones.
Then came the Wu Xi ribs. They were fall off the wall tender on a bed of just cooked spinach. These did not last long. The ribs very tender and flavorful.
Braised wheat gluten with fresh Shanghai cabbage and straw mushroom. The gluten was well cooked that it had a lot of favor without losing its shape and texture. A change of pace from all the meat dishes.
Shanghai rice cakes with pork and Napa cabbage. This dish from was not order by an extra dish given to us because it was Chinese New Year. This dish is a good luck dish for the coming year.
Next was the squirrelfish, they used a catfish, as the mild white fish is this case. It had a sweet and sour sauce with pine nuts. There was not a strong grass taste that is normally with catfish so the chef took the extra step preparing the fish. Very good, I am sure that if you could that make this dish with any fish mild white meat fish.
We finish the meal with a house special Old duck in soup. This was a clay pot soup, which had duck, Virginia ham, bamboo shoot and other ingredients. This was a prefect end to the meal. The server said that the duck had no favor, but I did not find this to be true. The soup was rich clear broth which was we found too wonderful. I had four bowls. The best part was they were so kind to added more broth to the pot for us.
We finish the meal with a red beam soup with a rice wine. This is a Shanghai dish wear they cooked a red bean sweet soup with rice wine which had sweet rice balls with the actual pieces or rice from the wine.
With a good tip the meal was $13.00 each. I have a formal dinner menu, which I will post later if there is an interest in having a Chow down later.
If I left any dishes off, will the other who attended this dinner please add. I did not take notes. I was too busy eating.