Eastern Promises 10: Taiwanese-Shanghainese Mashup with Wes at King’s Dumplings
King’s Dumplings, at 128 Lockhart, WanChai, Hong Kong; call them at 2890 6366.
Wes is a new friend of mine here in Hong Kong. He’s a first year JD student who wishes to return to his home in Calgary one day. Wes’ family is from Hong Kong, and he relishes playing an ambassador-like role for the exchange students.
On this day Wes was especially generous with his time, accompanying me to the police station to have some fingerprints made for an immigration application. Earlier communications with the station made it seem like I would need a translator for this somewhat odd request. Things went off without a hitch, and per our agreement, I treated Wes to lunch at a restaurant that seemed interesting.
We initially thought it was a purely Shanghainese restaurant given the prominence of xiao long bao on the menu, but it turned out to be more Taiwanese.
Still, the xiao long bao were excellent – some of the best I’ve had – delicate yet sturdy and full of a rich soup. We also enjoyed a pan-fried dumpling also with a soupy interior and one of the best bowls of beef noodle soup I’ve had. The broth was an exquisite balance of spices. The brisket was remarkably well marbled, a tapestry of tender beef and fat. I don’t know if this was a one-off – just a happenstance of the beef order that day – or the norm. But for now, this is a must-order.
Dan-dan noodles, however, were an afterthought – bland and overcooked.
We definitely over-ordered with Wes only having a bite of the beef noodle soup before tapping out. The total bill was upwards of $250 HKD ($33 CAD), which is a bit much for lunch in Hong Kong. But for the impeccable food, friendship, and the lessening of my immigration woes, I was happy to pay it.