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May 27, 2014 05:18 PM

Lion Head Meatball question

I've had this dish only at China Blue ( Tribeca) and recently at Kung Fu ( Main St). The dishes looked similar but everything else about it was different. I preferred the Lion Head meatballs at Kung Fu. There was a 20 minute wait for the dish, which was worth it. The meat balls were quite soft compared to China Blue. The Flavor of the brown sauce was well balanced. China Blue had some overpowering flavors that I can't identify , as it's been 2 months since I had them. Kung Fu served them with Bok Choy and Tree ears ( has other names).
I am not sure if authentic is the right work to use, but if anyone has been to both restaurants, which is more authentic?
Or is it like italian meatballs, where some are harder than others. Some use breadcrumbs, some use white bread, some add water, some add egg etc.......
If anyone had the Lion Head meatballs at Kung Fu, how do they stack up? Their soup dumplings are my favorite ,,,just btw

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  1. Are you talking about the all pork lion head meatball at China Blue or the one with crab? The all pork version has a very strong mushroom flavor and I agree the dish would be better if it was toned down. The meatballs are supposed to be soft and pillowy.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Pookipichu

      Yes I had the all pork version at China Blue, they had a very strong taste as you say and they were much harder than the softer, freshly made meatballs at Kung Fu. Perhaps the ones at China Blue were made in advance , because at Kung Fu they told me it would be a 20 minute wait for them.

      1. re: foodwhisperer

        Hmmm. the meatballs at China Blue might have been sitting around? I wouldn't put it past them considering their service is so inefficient. The meatballs were pretty soft when I had them at China Blue so might be inconsistency for any number of reasons :P

        I think their best dish is their dong po pork, I've had it several times and it's been good each time.

      2. re: Pookipichu

        Having eaten at Kung Fu, but not the Lion Head Meatball dish, is it just a bigger version of what is inside the soup dumpling?

        1. re: stuartlafonda

          No it is a different prep and as Pookipichu said Lion's Head meatballs are usually soft and pillowy. Kind of melts in your mouth. That said, there is no one "authentic' recipe for Lion's Head Meatballs- there are dozens of different recipes on Chinese websites.

          1. re: scoopG

            +1 preparations of lion's head meatball vary, in my family, my aunties have different versions.

            Typically the meatball is browned, it has a different flavor and texture than the inside of a soup dumpling.

            1. re: Pookipichu

              Thanks to you and scoop, So i'll get off the authentic thing as far as Lion Head meatballs go, and just go with what tastes good to me. I really like them at Kung Fu. I also like their pork soup dumplings better than anywhere I've tried.

          2. re: stuartlafonda

            The Lion's head at Kung Fu, doesn't resemble the filling of the soup dumpling at all. As a matter of fact I had both the other day there. Both were fantastic