Wei-Chuan Frozen XLB at 99 Ranch - Awesome!
Stopped by the new 99 Ranch in Dublin just to check it out. It's not bad, everything is new and the veggies are fairly fresh. There are pre-made sushi rolls (don't bother--they tasted it really bland), all day to-go dim sum and the usual Chinese deli stuff (ducks, bbq pork and roast pork).
Picked up a few pickled items to stock my pantry and various frozen dumplings for my dumpling fixes. One thing I picked up was Wei-Chuan XLB (the package prints Pork Mini Buns). Make sure it's the Wei-Chuan brand, it's printed on the left corner of the bag. Came back home and decided to prepare it for dinner.
These were really awesome for frozen XLB. I mean, it can't be compare to the top XLB places in the Bay Area, but they are better than 80-90% of the restaurants that offer XLB.These were quite soupy with very good pork flavor. The skin is a little thick, but it's not all doughy like some places. Plus these only 10 min. to steam and non broke. They are on sale, 2 bags for 7 and each bag yield about 20 -23 pieces of XLB.
Just be careful not to buy the Fortune brand because they are awful.
Well that is good to know. I was on another errand during my lunch and stopped by. I decided to sample the dim sum and it wasn't very good. Both the shu mai and har gau tasted like too much pepper - not a spice I am familiar with in dim sum. Also had some OK eggplant stuffed with a shrimp mixture.
Wei Chuan really knows how to market and make stuff fit for Taiwanese taste buds, even if they are frozen products.
Their frozen niu rou mien or beef noodles in soup is EXCELLENT. At $2.50 for something that's microwaveable (or cook yourself on stovetop) is superb for a late night snack or a cough cough proper meal. You may want to dilute the soup base a bit, it's got sodium mg levels nearing the tri to quad digits.
Wei Chuan's shao bing is not bad either. At least it looks like the real deal down to the look and general feel, unlike places that make something that look like a really ugly wheat version that's not flakey. If only they could make it avaialble fresh....
re: K K
Haven't tried the Wei Chuan XLB, but will give it a try. I have tried their dumplings and those are great also. I've also been saying those are better than 80% of the restaurant dumplings you'll find in bay area restaurants. It seems their XLB line is just as good.
Hey, maybe someone or Wei Chuan can open up a restaurant whereby they just cook all the frozen food that they make and you'd have a dumpling/XLB/noodle shop that is better than 80% of bay area's restaurants. :)
Yes, I do like the Wei-Chuan frozen XLB too - they are probably the best of the frozen 99 Ranch lot. However, I found the frozen XLBs from the Shanghai place in Oakland Chinatown to on a whole different level. They are definitely pricier - can't remember how much but I thought it worked out to be close to $0.50 per bun, but they are the best one can do at home. We always have a bag on hand, as they seem to break more easily if kept in freezer for too long.