Juicy Dumplings at Bund Shanghai

Bund Shanghai
3545 S Decatur Blvd Ste A
Las Vegas, NV 89103
Neighborhood: Chinatown
(702) 272-1777


The unexpected location of this restaurant surprised us. It’s nestled in between a gas station and other industrial looking stores. Weird location? Didn’t stop us from going. Noodles and dumplings are a major weakness of mine, so upon finding out that this new place served juicy pork dumplings/xiao long bao, we were there. Service was friendly for even American standards, and they even checked in on us a few times and asked why didn’t finish our onion pancakes (more on that later).

I was jonesing for some fresh soy milk, but they had ran out of it. Oh well, stick with good ol’ cleansing hot tea. On to the food!

Thick Fried Noodles Cong You Bing - Onion Pancake XLB XLB 2

Juices NIbble

1. Thick Fried Noodles – Chewy noodles, essence of wok hei and savory flavors of soy sauce. This seemed more like a Ameri-nese (a la Panda Express), but adding in some vinegar and hot sauce, we were happily slurping all the noodles.
2. Onion Pancakes – We enjoyed the overall crispiness, but what was lacking was more flaky layers. Concerned, they asked us why we did not finish the pancakes, we had to lie that we were too full to eat it, but truly, even if we were full, our gluttonous selves would have made room had it been more flaky.
3. Xiao Long Bao/Juicy Pork Dumplings – Clear, flavorful juice, thin chewy skin. Impressive for the Las Vegas area. As always, we must compare to famous Din Tai Fung, the skin wasn’t as thin an membranous and the volume of broth was less voluminous.

Conclusion: For the Las Vegas area, it’s not bad. Overall, it’s certainly not the best, but this will do for my XLB cravings.

Recipe: 9+ Layer Rice Cake (Savory)

9+ Layer Rice Cake (Savory)

Spent another day with Grand Aunt learning how to make her famous steamed 9 layer rice cake (about 11-12 really). It has flavorful topping of pork, shrimp, mushrooms and onions on top with a delicate thin layers of glutinous rice cake. It’s a chewy and savory mouthful, and when combined with Aunt Cindy’s famous Nuoc Cham (a.k.a. Vietnamese dipping sauce). It combines savory, sweet, tangy and chewy all in one glorious bite. A meal great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I can attest to that because Grand Aunt gave me so much that I did have it for all 3 meals!

True to Grand Aunt’s style of cooking in bulk production… Here we go!

Large Pans
BIG steamers (so big it fits a small child)
Large Wok (also fits a small child)

Ingredients for the rice layers:
9.5 lbs Glutinous Rice soaked for 10+ hours and rinsed halfway through soaking time
1 ladle full Onion Oil (for better savory flavor and smoother texture)
1/2 ladle Salt

Ingredients for savory topping:
2.5 lb ground pork loin
2 lb shrimp
3 onions (drip dry)
1/2 lb red onion
1/2 lb mushroom
~1/4 lb garlic
Chicken Bouillon
Cooking Wine
Sesame Oil
Oyster Sauce

Method for rice layers:

Blending glutinous rice 1 Blending glutinous rice 2 Prepping steamers Coat pans with oil Coat pans with oil 2

1. Blend glutinous rice until completely smooth/fine
2. Add water until texture on ladle looks like…
Add water until

3. Season with onion oil and salt
Finished blending Season with salt Add oil

4. Grease pans with onion oil and set into steamer
Ended with total approx 12 L Metal bowl to measure liquid for layers Pouring the layers 10 minutes per layer Rotate pan for even layers

5. Pour even amounts of mixture into pan and steam for 10 minutes each layer until pan is filled
6. Rotate pans every so often to ensure even layers

Method for savory topping:

3 Onions Red Onions Food process shrimp + red onions + garlic Shitake Mushroom Pork

1. Food process shrimp, garlic and shallots together, so that the shrimp does not stick to each other
2. Food process mushrooms and onions individually
Getting ready to cook Fire power! Cooking shrimp Cooking pork Pork in colander

3. Stir fry shrimp mixture on high heat and season with salt, pepper and cooking wine. Set aside.
4. Stir fry pork and season with salt and cooking wine. Place in colander and set aside to drip off fat.
5. Stir fry onion and proceed to add in mushroom. At this point, okay to add more water to onion and mushroom if it seems dry. Add in cooked pork and shrimp. At the final seasoning stage, season with chicken bouillon, sesame oil, oyster sauce (~ 4 Tbs-ish?), pepper, and sugar. Set aside.

Final step:

Spreading toppings Finished product 1 Two large pans

Once all layers of rice cake are steamed, spread meat mixture evenly and steam for 10 additional minutes.

Serve hot or cooled with Nuoc Cham!

Final product

Thanks Grant Aunt / Yi Po for the cooking lesson!

808 Tapas

808 Tapas East-West Fusion
9350 W Sahara Ave Ste 150
Las Vegas, NV 89117
(702) 485-3433

I believe 808 Tapas has been open a few months, so being likely that all opening kinks have been worked out, hubby and I decided it was time to go. Dear 808 Tapas, you have inspired me to write this Haiku for you.

Blinked and food was here
Staff checked in multiples times
Food was delicious

Yellowtail Victorino Roll Fish Tacos Garlic Chicken Salmon Carpaccio Albacore Twist Tempura Green Tea Ice Cream

Recipe: Nuoc Cham

Nuoc Cham

Aunt Cindy is the cool aunt known for fabulous food. Among her famous are beautiful Asian style fruit cakes that taste even better than the “professional” bakeries, but Grand aunt tipped me off that she has the best recipe for Nuoc cham. It is a type of Vietnamese dipping sauce that is tangy, sweet and umami all in a few drops. She shared me her recipe along with a few tips. Enjoy!

N??c ch?m

1. 1 cup fish sauce / nuoc mam (recommend 3 crab brand)
2. 1 1/2 cup sugar
3. 3 cup water
4. 1/3 cup vinegar
Optional – Fresh lime juice for more tangy flavor

Method (if eating same day):
Mix all ingredients together. Add freshly minced garlic, chilis and lime juice to taste.

Method (if prepping to store):
Bring fish sauce, sugar and water to boil. Allow to cool. Stir in vinegar after solution is cooled to maintain optimal tangy flavor. Add freshly minced garlic, chilis and lime juice to taste on the day you plan on using it.

In N Out Secret Menu Taste Test

In N Out
9610 W Tropicana Ave
Las Vegas
(800) 786-1000

My friends know me as a food lover, but my husband knows the truth about me – I can be a food nitpicker. I nitpick and complain on texture, hence my other nickname, the texture whore. So, why am I talking about texture with In-N-Out? It is because they keep it texture-riffic. Veggies are crispy and not limp. Buns are usually toasty. Fries are golden and light. Ketchup is stored ice cold. Shakes are creamy. This is why I couldn’t resist going back to try some “secret menu” items.

What we ordered:
Number 1 Combo. Double-double – Regular.
Number 2 Combo. Cheeseburger, “secret options” = extra toasted (bun), animal style onions, and well done fries.

Receipt Cold ketchup Regular vs Secret Menu

If you look carefully at the burger photo, you can see on the left burger is my animal style cheeseburger with “extra toasty” bun, and on the right, you see the more golden “well done” fries.

Alright, time for texture whore to nitpick. The bun was NOT extra toasty. I mean I could see that it WAS toasted, but somehow became UN-toasted in the process of getting from the grill to me. I think logistically it would not be possible with my combination of animal style AND extra toasty. The fact that it had to sit a few minutes wrapped up with hot meat and sauces waiting for the well done fries added critical minutes and steam to the bun before it landed in my watering mouth. However, I’ll give them this – the extra juices from having the onions animal style made up for the toasted-reverted-to-untoasty bun. The trade-off of this logistical snafu was that the well done fries were fantastic. Crunchy without loosing the tooth feel of the a real spud and salted just enough. Also, I think because they had to fry my batch of fries especially, I received more fries in my batch. Bonus!

Conclusion: Next trip, only two secret options out of three. Animal style burger and regular fries. Extra toasted burger bun and well done fries. Animal style + extra toasted + well done fries = soft bun from all the steam.