SGV: Checking Out the Dumplings at Southern Mini Town
In the pursuit of who has the best Shanghai Chinese soup dumplings in town, I landed at Southern Mini Town expecting, hoping for some good dumplings. Sadly, these were not juicy at all. To call them soup dumplings would be a misnomer. The xiao long bao (XLBs) were just little meatballs covered in dough. Nary a drop. Odd. Of course, they didn’t taste bad and we finished this basket as well as the crab and pork ones but still, I wanted good dumplings! At first we thought ourselves lucky for avoiding the super busy Golden Deli in the same shopping center with a million people waiting out front but soon I wondered if the essentially empty Southern Mini Town was a good choice. I liked our meal at Hui Tou Xiang much better. We could have gone across the street for those handsome “pancakes” (the handpies of the dumplings world).
I ended up going to 101 Noodles Express later that night to get my dumplings on— after calling Luscious Dumplings and discovering they had sold out for the day. This is a tough dumplings town.
We were given complimentary hot and sour soup to start our meal. It was fine and you can’t knock free.
You can say my standard order of soup noodles and dumplings is predictable but I like to think I’m just on the hunt for the best. I liked these noodles but found the preserved cabbage a bit bitter. Nothing has compared to Mama Lu’s so far for preserved veggies and pork noodles soup. Even Wang Jing Xi with their odd habit of serving the pork and pickled veggies on the side wins.
The crab dumplings were slightly juicier than the pork which is not to say they were soupy. They were at least damp.
Usually I get a vegetable but none really appealed to me so we got fish. Yes, logical? We chose the tilapia which came panfried then covered in a thick gravy. Scallions were lovingly arranged on top. Nevertheless, this was a tasty dish once you added rice to the equation.
Mostly likely I would not return considering I’m still pursing new dumplings spots and have a handful of places I know are good.
The Minty’s handy guide to dumplings and noodles in So Cal
Mandarin Deli (Northridge)
© The Minty 2013