Juicy Dumplings at Bund Shanghai

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

Menu

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.

Twilight Zone

Interior

Beijing Noodle No.9
3570 South Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 731-7604
http://www.caesarspalace.com/casinos/caesars-palace/restaurants-dining/beijing-noodle-no-9-detail.html

No. 9 Sign Menu Sign in Chinese Interior Labeled Drawers Spices

We ended up at Beijing Noodle No. 9 by accident because Bacchanal Buffet had a two hour wait on a Sunday night! So, we moseyed over next door because my hungry stomach could not handle driving elsewhere. Walking into Beijing Noodle No. 9, I felt that something was not quite right. The hostesses were super nice, servers had the efficiency of a Chinese restaurant BUT with a kind smile. Staff were all milling around at what seemed like a very well oiled machine. What? You’ll bring my dessert promptly after we’re finished with the main meal? What? You offered my husband another beer? (He was so shocked that he did not accept his usual second beer.) The interior was not only clean, but it was also bright and incredibly well designed. Drawers were professionally labeled. No, we were not in a Chinese restaurant, but we were in the surely in the twilight zone.

I have a theory there is an inverse relationship (not sure if linear or exponential) between Americanization of the restaurant (so that includes service, decor, cleanliness) and the tastiness of the food. The cleaner, the prettier the decor and the more ept or polite the staff is, the less tasty the food probably is. The opposite would be the dirtier, the uglier the decor, the more the staff barks at you, the increasingly tasty the food is.

Where does Beijing Noodle No. 9 fall?

Stretching Noodles 1 Stretching noodles 2 Stretching noodles 3 Stretching noodles 4

Watching the chef hard at work hand stretching the noodles, I was hopeful for perfectly chewy al dente noodles. It was amazing watching the entire process. Boing… Stretch Twirl… Boing… Stretch Twirl.

Food:

Seasoned Peanuts Choy Sum Dan Dan Mian Beef Noodles Dan dan mian - Tossed in sauce

* The hand stretched noodles lacked the chew like the well developed gluten that would be in perfect noodles.
1. Sichuan Dan Dan Mian – Let’s talk about the sauce. It was nice and spicy and a touch on the salty side.
2. Braised Beef Brisket and Tendon Noodle Soup with hand stretched noodles – Perhaps my cantonese self is used to really robust flavors, but this soup somehow lacked some depth. Braised usually means tender meat, but the chunks of brisket were decidedly chewy. Overall, it was good but not the best.
3. Choy Sum – Great wok hei and seasoning, but the portion size was pitiful.
4. Xiao Long Bao (XLB/Soup Dumplings) – Very juicy and soupy – the soup filled the entire soup spoon! Where they did not quite reach XLB nirvana was in the dumpling skin. It was not as thin and membranous as the famous Din Tai Fung’s.
Xiao Long Bao Sauce for dipping xiao long bao Nibble of xiao long bao Amount of Juice from Xiao Long Bao

5. Sweet Red Bean Buns (mei gui dou sha bao) – Two out of the three were delicious. The bun was fluffy and not dry, and the inside was filled with smooth and sweet red bean paste. The third bun opened up to dry and crusty red bean. Pleh!
Steamed Red Bean Buns Inside of Red Bean Buns

Prices: Outrageous! I would say each dish was two to three times the price that we were used to. I’ll chalk it up to the fact that the place is located in casino, and being that it was so “swanky” in decor and with well-trained staff, they needed to mark dishes up for the cost of running the place. On a side thought – perhaps, we’ve all been spoiled by rock bottom prices at other Chinese restaurants and like how Korean and Japanese food is pricier, Chinese food should be priced similarly?

Conclusion: So the inverse relationship is true in this case. It was swanky; the food was average. For average food that I can get cheaper and tastier elsewhere (i.e. Yi Mei Deli), I probably don’t recommend coming back. Shows me for eating Chinese food in a casino!

$ to Value Ratio: 2.5/5 Beeps
Yummy Factor: 3.75/5 Beeps
Texture Satisfaction: 3.75 Beeps
Average beeps: 3.33 Beeps

Juicy

Wendy’s Noodle Cafe
3401 S Jones Blvd
Chinatown
Las Vegas, NV 89146
702.889.3288

I usually go to Wendy’s for good ol’ Hong Kongnese comfort food, so it was quite a surprise when the xiao long bao came with the appropriate meat juices 🙂

Wa-lah. Xiao Long Bao! (just don’t expect perfect din tai Fung skin)

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Shanghai Dumpling Shop

Shanghai Dumpling Shop
455 Broadway
Millbrae, CA 94030
(650) 697-0682

[on my 24 hours turnaround in the bay for dear cousin steven’s crazy Chinese wedding banquet, here’s my food adventures…]
My brother has never seemed to be a “foodie” at all and not the best judge of food because everything I take him to he just says, “it’s okay”. So, when he wanted to take us to the best xiao long bao/juicy pork dumplings in the area, I was quite skeptical. Boy, did my brother show me!

1. Xiao long bao (regular) – not only super juicy on the inside but the “skin” on the dumpling itself was thin and chewy. Though Din Tai Fung is still #1, Shanghai Dumpling Shop came pretty darn close! We also ordered the xie fen xiao long bao (crab and pork juicy dumplings); however, they were not as juicy.
2. The stir fried green beans were also very tasty. They were garlicky and seasoned with just enough salt.
3. The deep fried Chinese bread dough (yin si juan/silver thread roll) was a fail. It is supposed to be multilayered by rolling and stretching the dough, but this restaurant cheated and just placed chopped pieces of dough in the center to mimic layers. Texture fail.

Green Beans Yin Si Juan / Silver Thread Roll Xiao Long Bao

Conclusion: As recommended by the brother, don’t come here for the other food because it is subpar, but this is a great option for super juicy xiao long bao in the Millbrae area! 4/5 beeps based on juicy dumplings!

Dumpling 10053

Dumpling 10053
10053 Valley Blvd
El Monte, CA

We came here not because of high yelp ratings or because a friend recommended it, buy we came because my bf’s mom saw an ad in the Chinese newspaper for it. So, why not, eh?

Of the dumplings (jiao zi) that we tried (three color dumplings, pork and celery dumpling, crab/sea cucumber/pork dumpling), they were actually pretty tasty. The meat fillings were juicy and the dumpling skin had great chewy texture.

I was pretty disappointed with the “juicy” pork dumplings (xiao long bao) because out of the 10 dumplings, only one had juice! Also the skin was not as thin and well made as my #1 love, Din Tai Fung’s juicy pork dumplings. Juice and texture fail.

We also had small side dishes of beef tendon, drunken chicken and beef noodle soup, which were mediocre at best.

Conclusion: This restaurant is a good option if you want a variety of good dumplings, but of the other dishes that we tried (beef noodle soup, beef tendon, juicy dumplings), they were mediocre at best. 4/5 for the dumplings of the non-xiao long bao kind. 3/5 overall.