Saturday, May 29, 2010
Lowered Expectations at Lin's
Lunch at Lin’s was a disappointment. As with anything that is hyped, it’s never as good as the hype. We sat down at a table by the window, after they lost our lunch reservations, which they made out to be my fault. We had to ask for menus, tea, and permission to order. Nevertheless, I’ve had some good meals with bad service, so maybe this was what was in store for us.
We ordered the XLB (xiao loong bao) which was their claim to fame, some Beef Rolls, a bowl of Deep-Fried Pork Chop in Noodle Soup, as well as the Mui Shu Pork with Crepes.
First to arrive was an under-toasted Beef Roll…I’d never seen anything so pale before, either at Shanghai Wonderful or Ning Tu. It was as if they forgot to turn the oven on, or when you go to a fake and bake, and no one can tell! And although sometimes food tastes better than it looks, this wasn’t one of those times. I took one bite and the beef was so tough that it call came out at once. So after one bite, I was left with an undercooked pancake. Yuck. Managed to finish that bite, but although there were three of us, none of us went for a second piece.
The Mui Shu Pork and Crepes came next and they were a pleasant surprise. Priciest thing we ordered that day, but well worth it. Lots of unexpected ingredients, like wood ear and bamboo shoots. Way more stuffing than crepes, but it’d go well with some plain white rice too!
The XLBs were indeed the soupiest I've had in Vancouver, and I loved the way the left you a little nub (or nipple) on the top of the bun...making it easy for you to pick up with your chopstick. The weight of the dumpling was heavy, yet not too much so that the skin would rip.
I love Deep-fried Pork Chop Noodle soup, so was really happy to see a nice big bowl of noodles with the fried pork chop on the side. Super crispy, albeit a little bland. The portion was a good size, and lots of pork to dunk into the soup too.
I think I was underwhelmed, mostly by the service, but also the food. Perhaps the hype has hindered rather than help the restaurant. I’d likely go back and give their dinner menu a try. And my complaint about the service isn’t an abnormality, judging by some of the other posts that I’ve read from Urban Spoon.