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Feb 25, 2010 09:53 AM

Are there Decent Soup Dumplings (XLB) in Denver/Boulder?

Hi Hounds,

I've tried doing some research and my only findings are Chopsticks in greenwood village, and Lao Wang Noodle House on federal...

I'll be checking out LWN tonight but I'm hoping there is more to try out besides these two. Has anyone had it at LWN or Chopsticks? if so should I be prepared for disappointment or are they worth the drive from Boulder...Thanks!!!

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    1. Star Kitchen in Denver - Mississippi and Federal

      6 Replies
      1. re: apmcmoon

        Thanks, i will have to try it out there. i had the XLB at Lao Wang and wasn't really impressed. the skin was on the thicker side and the amount of soup inside seemed to be lacking. ill be going back for other treats tho!!

        1. re: liveloveat34

          Hmm—mine definitely had enough soup. And they weren't too thick; though not the thinnest I've ever had, they were hardly doughy. Were yours?

          Still, I was even more enamored of the potstickers.

          1. re: tatamagouche

            not doughy, but on the thicker side...overall they were fne but for almost a dollar each i wasn't that impressed....

            1. re: liveloveat34

              Fair enough. For me they were just right—that fleeting aroma of star anise, that burst of soup—but I can see where a little more juice would go a long way.

              Be cool to do an XLB crawl down Federal sometime and compare—Lao Wang, Lee's Garden, Star Kitchen...

              1. re: tatamagouche

                i would be up for a XLB crawl anytime! only if we could get the potstickers at Lao as well! ;-)

      2. Try Lee's Garden at Mississippi and Federal, which is actually owned by the brother of the guy who runs Chopsticks. I've been to both several times and prefer the XLB from Lee's Garden.

        2 Replies
        1. re: gastronaughty

          I didn't know they did XLB! Cool, I"ve been meaning to get there.

          1. re: gastronaughty

            awesome- thanks for the rec!! what other dishes do they do well?

          2. We have not found any decent Shanghainese food in Denver, period.

            Lao Wang Noodle House, for example, is Taiwanese. That is a big clue that they would not know how to make authentic XLB.

            Chopsticks had a sign on the outside of their old location indicating they served Shanghinese food, but they too turned out to be Taiwanese. We have not been and have no plans to go to the new location.

            This is not to say that you have to be from Shanghai to make decent XLB; however, we would not get our hopes up for any non-Shanghainese place that attempts them.

            9 Replies
            1. re: eade

              right, i guess i'm just trying to find the best version that denver has to offer...

              1. re: eade

                Well, that's a little strong, don't you think? I asked some questions about that very thing (how come this Taiwanese place is cooking so much Shanghainese) on another thread that yielded some interesting responses:

                1. re: tatamagouche

                  That is an interesting thread. However, I still do not think it is unreasonable to hope that in a city of Denver's population, there would be one chef who really knows how to do Shanghainese cuisine.

                  It is true about the Taiwan diaspora and all, but the XLB and other Shanghai dishes often end up being like Taiwanese-Shanghainese fusion food when cooked by Taiwanese. Lao Wang and Chopsticks are two examples. The Shanghai dishes they cook are not pure Shanghai; they have their region's influence on it.

                  Especially since Denver has an authentic Sichuan restaurant, I don't think it is unreasonable to hope that someplace could do real Shanghai food.

                  Fwiw, the chef at the authentic Sichuan place (China Jade) is not from Sichuan (he is from Tianjin), but he learned how to cook authentic Sichuan food so well it could fool a Sichuan native. It is not unreasonable to hope that someone could similarly cook authentic Shanghainese cuisine in Denver. Maybe someday soon~

                  1. re: eade

                    So I'm a little confused...on the one hand you say there's no decent, strictly (as opposed to fusiony) Shanghainese food here, on the other you say China Jade in authentic. Can't tell if you like China Jade or not?

                    1. re: tatamagouche

                      Sorry, to clarify --

                      1. There is NO authentic Shanghainese in Denver. (At least we have not found any; any leads are welcome.)

                      2. There IS authentic Sichuan in Denver. (China Jade)

                      We love China Jade. Perhaps it has unfairly raised the standard for all Chinese in Denver -- if it weren't for China Jade I would not expect authentic anything in Denver -- except for Taiwanese, Cantonese and Fujianese. But there in a strip mall in Aurora is a truly authentic Sichuan place. As a result, now I maybe have gotten a bit picky and wonder, Denver can do real Sichuan, why can it not do authentic Shanghai?

                      1. re: eade

                        Oh, sorry. that was me spacing out. Gotcha. I've heard CJ is wonderful. Got to get there soon.

                        1. re: eade

                          Just got back from China Jade. Thought their wontons weren't nearly as good as Lao Wang's, and the crispy duck was a little flabby. However, the eggplant in garlic sauce—wow. Terrific.

                          Also, pork shoulder went by that looked great.

                          What are some of your fave dishes?

                          China Jade
                          12203 E Iliff Ave Ste D, Aurora, CO 80014

                          1. re: tatamagouche

                            Stick to the Sichuan and Tianjin dishes.

                            For example, I order the mapodoufu (spicy tofu) before they even bring the menus. (It has pork in it; you can ask for vegetarian if you prefer.)

                            1. re: eade

                              That *was* one of the dishes we ordered—addictive.

                2. Superstar Asian on alameda at Yuma. They don't serve it from the dim sum carts but I order it. Pretty juicy. Also good dimsum that can hold it's own against sf NYC or even hong kong