The Holy Grail of XLBs: Foie Gras Xiao Long Bao
Wan Jia Sha
In a city with enough Chinese restaurants to make you feel no need to pay well for it, sometimes it is worth it to leave the hole-in-a-wall establishments in Hong Kong and venture to somewhere more, well, established. Wang Jia Sha is another import from Mainland China since 1945 offering traditional Shanghai Dim Sum favorites, and has even ventured out as far as California, making this dining spot internationally known.
Located in the ritzy Lee Gardens 2 building, dining next to brands such as Mercedes Benz, Gucci, Prada and the like will instantly perk up the ambiance, but Wang Jia Sha's interiors are enough eye-candy to entice you to dine. There is another restaurant on the other end of the level, but it is more traditional with a fine-dining feel. This is more apt for the lunch crowd with its relaxed and eclectic vibe. Other branches are more casual, but this one in Lee Gardens is the Premier version.
I especially liked the papier mache or Japanese paper dividers which are patterned like lace and effectively separate the dining tables from one another without being to heavy on the eyes.
Looking closer, it actually seems like a map of Hong Kong. Clever!
Upon opening the menu, there was a distinct list of well known Shanghainese Chinese cuisine. Known for its rich dishes with lots of flavor, Shanghainese food is not one for the weak-hearted, palate-challenged, or the fat-averse.
Shanghai Dumpling w/ Goose Liver and Minced Pork Filling
Aka Foie Gras Xiao Long Bao! This is what got me very excited to begin ordering. I am notably a xiao long bao fanatic and will go through great lengths to try the 'next best xiao long bao'. This version has every marker of a successful XLB: thin dumpling wrapper, moist inside, ginger as condiment.
The XLB was, at first bite, a very well prepared xiao long bao, the soup was adequate, the meaty filling light and tender. But after a few chews, the flavor of the foie gras came out subtly. Because it is incorporated with pork, and cooked, the gamey flavor of your traditional foie gras gets toned down, but is still present. It's slightly sweet because of the pork, but all in all another XLB experience worth having.
Smoked Duck Egg with Crab Roe
Mother was adamant we try this, and so was I. The closest thing to duck egg that I've had is Balut, and that basically is more a fetus than an egg. I was pleasantly surprised to find its yolk gooey (I love gooey yolk), the flavor smokey (from the smoking process), and the plate elegantly seasoned with the saltiness for the crab roe. It is very rich, so don't over order this. MUST have this again.
Another variation: Pan-Fried Minced Goose Liver & Minced Pork Soft Buns
Cannot comment as it was a mixed up with the XLB, but I would LOVE to try this next time.
"Tan Tan" Noodles w/ Spicy Sesame Sauce
Hand-pulled noodles are my weakness, and this was no exception. The peanut-sesame sauce isn't for everyone, but it is decidely a rich alternative to the normal noodle soups. So good though, especially with a bit of heat to it. We decided not to finish this as there were other dishes coming, and wanted to keep our appetite at bay.
Dough Cakes with Beef Filling
From the list of orders you'd presume it was ToT on the ordering helm, but it was actually the parental that decided to order all these fat-filled items. When the dough cake arrived, it looked like a tame little pastry that could do no harm.
Upon dividing the dough cake, and having a bite, the delicious aroma of braised meat mixed with the buttery texture of the bread dough made for a seductively savory bite. It reminded me of a meat pie, with moist filling and flaky pastry.
Wok Fried String Bean w/ Minced Pork
This was the dish that made my mother and I happy campers. The execution of this dish was perfect. Not too soggy, still with a crunch, and seasoned perfectly with minced pork. The salt was not overkill, and the dish was so appetizing you wouldn't mind eating your vegetables.
Deep Fried Pork Chop with Vegetable Fried Rice
The fried rice was heavenly, but the pork chop was a bit under-seasoned for my liking, especially after being spoiled by the salty crispy version at Eat Well, or with the sweet and fatty original at Delicious Kitchen (TBBlogged).
Sticky Rice Rolls with Sweet Filling
For dessert, I decided to order something out of my comfort zone.
Another happy Hong Kong resto find from ToT! Try it out and let me know how you like it.
Wang Jia Sha
Shop 115-116, 1/F, Lee Gardens
Two, 28 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay
+ 852 2722 6222