Xiaolong Bao in Victoria?
After reading about XLB in Vancouver, I have to ask if anyone knows where I can get some in Victoria.
I read every Chinese restaurant menu in the Victoria phone book, as well as some fusion ones, and I can't find it on any menu. So maybe it doesn't exist here...
I don't think I ate them in China (although I could merely have been ignorant of what they are, since I just figured it out today), so I won't be spoiled the way I am with Dan Dan Mian. (i.e. won't have a preconceived notion of what it should be only to be disappointed by the inauthentic knock-off.)
I wonder if there's an issue with anglicizing the XLB term. I have zero knowledge of any of the Chinese languages, but I've seen them discussed as "siu long bow" or "siu long bau" and Lin in Vancouver lists them as "Shanghai Juicy Dumpling" or something to that effect on their English side of the menu. Can be a bit confusing, especially to someone like me who is almost entirely unfamiliar with the intricacies of Chinese food.
Not sure about where in Victoria you might find them though!
Right you are, Peter -- they're listed as "Shanghai style juicy dumplings" at both Lin and The Place which makes sense given the connection between the two restos that fmed pointed out. Just to add to the confusion, the ones at Peaceful are called "Nan-Shiang Steamed Buns" -- I find the differentiation between buns, dumplings and cakes baffling at the Chinese restos I frequent here in Vancouver.
I'd love to know where they're available in Victoria too.
The synonms I have seen are:
Siu Long Bao (or any like sounding combination)
Xiaolong Mantou (note that a Xiaolong = bamboo steamer)
Steamed Soup Dumplings
Shanghai Soup Dumplings
Nanxiang/Nan Shiang Dumplings
And miss_bennet - I believe it was you who was looking for a Chengdu style dan dan mian (the chili/vinegar/preserved vegetable sauced version) - I have only found one place that serves it this way: Golden Szechuan in Richmond. Unfortunately, it isn't a very good one. Most of the dan dan mian is the peanutty-sesame version (which probably originates from the States).
I have found a few places that serves the other canonical "authentic" version (Xie Loban's sesame version - niu rou dan dan mian), though. The best one is served at The Place here in Vancouver.
BTW - I highly recommend Fushcia Dunlop's book "Land of Plenty" which is all about authentic Sichuan cuisine. She writes about the two versions there.
Yay, I've been meaning to try Fuschia Dunlop's recipe.
I have not seen any of those permutations of XLB on any menu here. Then again, I haven't really looked. I think I'll just start to ask if they have "tsiu long bao" because it may be written in Chinese only. I'm guessing Chinatown is my best bet.
Any dish I'd really like to find is Twice-cooked pork. I seem to have a lot of difficulty liking any Chinese restaurants; they all seem to have not-very-flavorful westernized dishes. I wish I could read Mandarin.