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We went to Koi palace yesterday for dim sum. It was an uneven experience compared to previous visits. Old standbys were still good. Biggest complaint was several of the dishes were very over-seasoned with MSG and one of the new dishes was disappointing. Here is what we ate:
Scallop and shrimp dumpling: very good. They told us this was a special. It had a crispy bottom that was both unexpected and delicious.
Hargau with XO sauce. Very good.
Shrimp and Chive dumpling. Very good.
Seabass dumpling. We enjoyed these on a previous visit but not this time. The thing I find enjoyable about fish dumplings is the delicate flavor of the fish when you bite the dumpling combined with the texture of the wrapper. But when we bit into these we were overwhelmed with intense umami flavor. It was heavy tasting and one dimensional. The dumplings were ruined by way too much MSG.
There was a combination XLB dish on the menu that was new. It consisted of 5 different flavored XLB: kale, beet, crab, pork and black truffle. It sounded intriguing but proved disappointing. The dumplings were served in ceramic spoons with a carrot slice on the bottom. The slice of carrot was way too thick. I have had XLB similarly served in Hong Kong but the carrot slice is always paper thin. The wrappers were all ripped and the soup had leaked out. You could not really discern any kale flavor in the kale XLB so it seemed pointless. The beet XLB was somewhat better. The crab and pork XLBs were best. The truffle XLB was decent but could not compare the truffle XLBs we ate at Din tai fun. We wished we had ordered the regular XLB or crab roe XLB served in the tins which we always enjoy.
There was a new fried shrimp dumpling that we tried. It was served in s fried basket and was very pretty. The dumplings were topped with garlic sautéed with pure MSG. It was a heavy bland umami bomb. Really disappointing.
I left the restaurant feeling overwhelmed by MSG.
I'll be going back again, I am hopeful it was just an off day and will report back.
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