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review of Dumpling HOuse, temple city and a find at jasmine -chengdu snax (long)

Jerome | Nov 23, 200406:20 PM

First, went to Dumpling house yesterday on Rosemead in temple city.
Well, sorry to disappoint, but no great shakes. The owner is a Chinese ethnic from Korea and the chef is as well. Service was very good. Food unfortunately, mediocre for shandong style food - many of the dishes were done in the style seen in Koreatown. The cold noodles were not done in as wild a style as I once got in Koreatown which was a cross between chinese liangmian and Korean nyaengmyun - where they had a vineagary broth and a big dollop of peanut butter (not even sesame paste) plopped in the middle. It was much more vinegary than usual at Dumpling house - perhaps this is how they serve it in Korea (?).

We had the shrimp jiaozi. These were boiled dumplings but rather than having the shrimp ground into the meat, there was a just a small whole boned shrimp placed next to the filling within the dumpling, odd. Then the "pan fried" dumplings were deep fried, as the chinese name had said. The cold sesame noodles were good in that they were hand pulled and interesting with slices of sea cucumber among the toppings (shrimp, chicken, cucumber, carrot etc). But as above, a tad too vinegary. Once I spoke with the waitress I decided to pass on the zhajiangmian as she told me it was Korean style, which is fine but I was on the lookout for shandong style, or beijing style. We ordered three cold dishes, the seaweed salad (excellent), the doufugan pressed tofu slices, also quite good, and the lightly brined cucumber salad. She brought a plate of lightly pickled cabbage which she called hanguo paocai (never chaoxian here) which is the chinese version of korean kimchee - it's not as soft or as fermented as what you'd get at, say, a soondubu house - much crunchier, less pickled, much more similar to Chinese paocai (pickled cabbage) which is very lightly pickled - not more than a week or so for homemade (as opposed to the real pickled Chinese vegetables you guys may know, the Sichuan pickled mustardy zhaicai, the tianjin winter cabbage dongcai, the northern pickled napa cabbage suan (da) baicai).

Most fun surprize was a thing ordered off the wall menu - hecai dai mao (wrong character for dai for you cognoscenti), mixed vegetables donning a hat. it was stirfried vegetables with glass noodles on a plate with a thin omelette covering the dish (that's the hat). Served with for hebing (lotus cakes/mandarin pancakes), scallions (and a little green chile, I guess for the Korean market) and tianmianjiang (i'm guessing) for assembly, as for a muxu dish (Mu Xi acdg to some). The waitress was very accomodating when my dining companion asked for black vinegar (zhenjiang black) for the dumplings - they have cruets of the stuff in the back.

We thought we'd try the ba-si (pulled silk) dishes elsewhere, they did offer the apples - and drove by SY aka SHenyang restaurant. Shenyang oddly had the dish on the menu as Apple fritters or some such in english but the Chinse had baiguo (white fruit) which usually means ginkgo. The waitress said that it's actually something they make out of chicken's eggs. When I asked why they translated it as apples she just said that the English was unfortunately wrong in the menu. We were so stuffed that we skipped the ba-si fritters but my friend did buy two orders of the garlic sauced cold eggplant which she loves at Homestyle, to go. This version wasn't bad, a little more subtle, a bit less garlicky than Homestyle's. MIght go back to check it out.

Now the find - someone here a while back was asking about where to find Chengdu (szechwan city) snacks. Well, in the same mall as deerfield garden near Little sheep at Atlantic and Garvey, we found a place called Jasmine in english although it isn't on the website that way. The Chinese name was simple and explicit, dan dan mian - dandan noodles (simplified on the sign, old-fashioned on the menu). The place is three doors east of Deerfield Garden in that mall. They also serve boba - but the sign outside says they specialize in Chengdu snacks.
This place doesn't do northern style dumplings and no potstickers (Dumpling House has no guotier/potstickers either). But they have a huge variety of sichuan specialties and I'd be curious as to how their dandan noodles stack up to Dai Ho, especially since that's basically what they call themselves. The cold dishes upfront are more similar to what you get at the HuaGarden/Chungking type places than at Deerfield garden or Mandarin Deli. Deerfield is much more a shandong style place, with the rinsed lamb hotpot and excellent pot stickers and sweet wintermelon iced drink.
Truth be told, we just stopped in at Jasmine/Dandan noodles on our way to Dumpling House (deerfield garden is closed on mondays) so I can't vouch for it. But if you like Sichuan food, and evenmoreso if you've been and like chengdu snax, give it a try and report back.

Dumpling house is at

You can find Jasmine/Dandanmian three doors down in the same mall as deerfield garden at
130 S Atlantic Blvd, se corner of Garvey in Monterey Park.

ShenYang is at

And thanks to SlowFoodie for taking my (I hope not too) hysterical phone call to go to the website and give me the address because ShenYang isn't listed in the phonebook apparently as anything approaching Shen Yang or Shenyang or Sheng Yang. Maybe it's S Y restaurant...

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