Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Northern Delicacy 客滿庭


FF and I did a bit of catching up over a casual lunch at Northern Delicacy. It seems like I'm eating at Aberdeen Centre quite often these days... first Hot Pot One and now this. Then again, we weren't sure what other restaurants would be open on New Year's Day. We started with a cold appetizer of shredded chicken and glass noodles (雞絲拉皮) ($5.95) — one of my old favourites that I've forgotten about. I liked the creamy sesame sauce with the chicken and cucumber, but the glass noodles were undercooked and still quite hard. Since the glass noodles play a big role in this dish, I would advise against ordering this unless you have a preference for hard noodles (assuming the noodles are always undercooked).


Next we shared some handmade noodles in soup with smoked fish (熏魚手拉麵) ($6.50). But... where's the soup? There was barely any which was unfortunate since most of the flavour was in the soup. The noodles were quite bland, and were on the soft side bordering on mushy. Now that I think about it, maybe the noodles were soggy because they had absorbed all the soup. The smoked fish was not bad, but not particularly good either.


The steamed pork dumplings (南翔小籠包) ($4.95), more commonly known as xiao long bao, were among the worst I've had. The skin had bumps all over it and was thick and starchy like homemade flour skins. I think you can see the bumps if you zoom in on the picture below. The pork filling was flavourless. While the soup inside was mildly tasty, most of the dumplings broke before I had a chance to drink the soup because of the crappy skins.


FF suggested the deep fried shredded duck pancake (火鴨絲酥餅) ($5.50). Don't ask me why it's called a pancake when it's obviously a pastry. I thought the filling would be really oily and heavy, but it was actually not bad. The duck and mushroom bits inside were lightly seasoned and rather flavourful. What got to me was the pastry part. I honestly thought the shell was made of mashed potato with a thin layer of crispy pastry outside. That's how starchy and doughy the skin was. I'm not very knowledgeable about authentic Shanghainese pastries, so I don't know if that's what the texture is supposed to be like. All I can say is I didn't like it.


I used to love the sesame paste buns (金沙麻蓉包) ($4.25) at this restaurant. Either my tastes have changed or they don't make the buns like they used to. And honestly, $4.25 for a couple of miniature sweet buns is absurd. One thing I did appreciate was that the buns were served hot and the liquid filling would literally burn the tongue. No sarcasm there since I like it when food is served nice and hot, but be sure to be very careful when eating this. The sweet sesame filling was still far from bad, but it didn't have the same allure as before. Was it the flavour? The consistency? I can't quite put my finger on it, but for some reason I don't find this dish as impressive as I did before. The bun was good, I have to give it that, but really not good enough to justify the price.


The ambiance is not bad and service is passable in Chinese standards. But with mediocre food and not very cheap prices, I'd rather stay away and look for another Shanghainese restaurant. To be fair, the food could be considered very tasty in homemade standards. However, to sell this kind of food in a commercial restaurant setting is unacceptable.

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5 comments:

Janice on January 05, 2012 10:36 pm said...

Oh! I (not so) recently fell in love with those glass noodles too. It's been a long time since I've had any though :(

pyaria on January 06, 2012 12:06 am said...

... I'm going to get FAT when I visit Vancouver.... and you're not helping! xD

krispymilk on January 06, 2012 10:27 am said...

@Janice: It's hard to find good glass noodles here...

@pyaria: Huh? I know what you mean, but isn't this the wrong post for your comment? :P
I would think this review is rather negative... lol

pyaria on January 06, 2012 6:52 pm said...

Glass noodles! And there are other things at Northern Delicacy that I like. Except for one extremely salty dish, I haven't had much problems with the food I've ordered there.

My biggest peeve with them about a year ago was the spotty service; it has since improved.

krispymilk on January 06, 2012 7:10 pm said...

@pyaria: If you get completely ignored but the servers at least respond to your requests when you wave them over, it's considered good service in Chinese standards.
I suppose Northern Delicacy isn't horrible. As I said it's quite good in homemade standards. I just think there are better options in Richmond.

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