Long’s Noodle House in the Riley Park area of Main street, has been a favorite of many a Vancouver food blogger. It’s a small, super busy family run restaurant serving some fantastic Shanghainese cuisine. But if you’re not looking for it, it’s pretty easy to bypass. It’s a nondescript hole-in-the-wall in pretty unremarkable location.
We arrived shortly after they opened, and were seated immediately at a small table near the kitchen.
We can’t visit a shanghainese restaurant without sampling the xiao long bao.
These are finely minced pork in aspic, wrapped and sealed in thin flour wrappers, and steamed gently until the aspic melts to form a savory sweet soup within the wrapper. These are very well executed. The flour wrappers are very thin, but elastic enough to withstand manipulation with chopsticks. The pork broth is slightly sweet, slightly savory, with a hint of ginger. These are among the best xlbs in town.
Next was the crispy rice with salty egg.
These are crispy puffed rice, tossed in a savory sauce made from salted duck egg yolks. This is wonderfully crispy/crunch and savory. The duck egg adds a rich fatty salty flavor. It’s a simply dish, and as good as it is, it’s a kinda one note, and it really needs other dishes to compliment it.
We needed to round out the meal with some greens. So we ordered a plate of pea shoots sauteed in garlic.
This is pretty good, the greens are fresh and tender, and slightly aldente (for lack of a better word). There’s a good garlic hit and a little chicken broth to round out the flavors.
Lastly came the stewed pork hock.
This is a whole pork hock, braised slowly in savory brown sauce (I don’t think it’s soy, not salty enough for that… may have been oyster sauce), and served with some quartered blanched chinese mustard greens. This is quite good. The pork is rich and fatty, but oh so tender. It meat pulls apart with the slightest tug. The sauce is rich, savory and thick (probably thickened with starch).
The room is tight and crowded, it’s not uncommon for small parties to have to share a table. It’s fairly clean but otherwise unremarkable.
The service is about what I expect from a chinese restaurant (efficient), but not especially pleasant, chatty or helpful.