Thursday, July 5, 2007

Mei Long Village

Mei Long Village is set in an unassuming strip mall on Valley Blvd. in San Gabriel. You can easily pass it as the center is older compared to some of its surroundings and newer d├ęcor.

Mei Long Village is one of the top makers of Xiao Long Bao, or Soup Dumplings, along with Din Tai Fung and J & J.

The Tofu with Shiitake Mushrooms are big cubes of firm tofu that are fried and mixed with shiitake mushrooms in a soy based sauce. I was surprised when I took a bite and realized this was a cold dish. It wasn’t bad, just surprising. The tofu is very meaty as are the mushrooms. The sauce is not overly salty and slightly sweet, a great pairing with the tofu and mushroom.

The Xiao Long Bao with Pork and Crab come eight to an order. The dumplings are rather large. We arrived later in the day and it appears that they make the dumplings in the morning. The dumplings that we received looked tired and some of the soup had leached out of them. The skin was a little chewy, and although there was some soup in them it wasn’t big enough to fill a spoon. The filling was rather tasty and the crab added a little brininess to the party.

The Pork Xiao Long Bao was similar to the pork and crab version. Again these were a little wilted and had sort of a grayish sheen to them. The filling was still flavorful but not full of soup.

The Eggplant with Brown Sauce was very flavorful. Chinese eggplant were cut on the bias and fried until they were crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside. The brown sauce had a soy flavor and also a sweetness to it, perhaps oyster sauce. This was a very good dish.

The Lions Head is like a Chinese meatloaf. Big meatballs are placed at the bottom of the dish topped with bok choy. It is sauced in a slightly sweet and salty concoction. The meatballs were similar in taste to the filling of the Xaio Long Bao, but had a finer texture to it, like very finely minced meat.

The Sweet & Sour Yellow Fish is a whole fish that is deep fried and covered with sweet and sour sauce. The sauce comes with the usual suspects of carrots, celery and onion. The fish was a little over cooked, as it was dry in some places, but what really turned me off of this dish was how sweet it was. It almost tasted like very sweet candy.

Overall the food at Mei Long Village is pretty good, but I would like to get there earlier and see what the Xiao Long Bao tastes like when it is fresh and full of soup.

Mei Long Village
301 W Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 284-4769


Anonymous said...

Yes, you definitely need to get there earlier in the day when the XLB are fresher and better tasting.

Vegasbuff said...


I will definitely take your advice and go earlier in the day. I want to experience the full effect of the XLB.