SGV: In Search of the Giant Soup Dumpling Wang Jing Xi
Like many of my food obsessions, it starts with a photo. Or several actually. I started seeing and hearing about the giant xiao long bao (XLB) or soup dumpling. I love XLBs like anyone else, having gone on a few dumpling crawls trying to find the best (currently tied between Dean Sin World and Mama Lu’s). But suddenly I wanted that ginormous XLB barely contained in a silver steamer.
I arrived at Wang Jing Xi after fighting for a parking space. Despite being in a shopping center with seemingly thousands of parking spots, it took about 20 minutes before I stalked one down two levels underground.
We then waited another 20 minutes to be seated which only added to our hunger and we ticked off a crazy amount of food. At least crazy to our server who tried to get us to take some things off. Nuh-uh, give us all that you got.
We started off with the lightly greasy onion pancakes. I like to dip mine in chile paste.
I love the garlic-y seaweed salad and was surprised by the generous portion of Wang Jing Xi’s salad.
We probably could have done without the noodles but I really wanted the preserved vegetables. The veg and pork were served on the side.
All right, perhaps our server was right. We were getting full and we hadn’t even tackled the giant soup dumpling yet because we also ordered the regular ones and string beans.
I wasn’t thrilled with these XLBs. The centers were hard and the soup was a bit greasy. What was the giant one going to be like?
Here we go, the giant soup dumpling. There are signs on the table warning you of the hot soup in the dumplings. You are given a straw to slurp the soup. With the regular ones, you nibble off a corner and slowly sup on the glorious soup. With the big one, I felt the hot liquid coursing down my throat and wondered if this was the way to go. We decided to tackle it in stages and return to our meal. Every now and then I’d try a sip but it was still too hot. Eventually, we broke it apart and began to eat the crab and pork filling. It was better than the regular XLBs.
But not that much. The novelty had by now worn off.
It was lovely but I rather eat the other items from the menu like the noodles or the seaweed salad. I’m curious about the other Wuxi/ Shanghainese dishes so I’ll probably return to try them.
Wang Jing Xi140 W Valley Blvd., Ste 211, San Gabriel, CA 91776 — (626) 307-1188 © The Minty 2012