5. R&H Chinese Food
The advantages to bamboo baskets are pretty clear, and every place I visited in Richmond that serves xiao long bao uses them, but who serves the best version? I’d vote for R&H Chinese Food, a family-run stall located in the Lansdowne Mall food court that operates alongside businesses like Taco Luis, A&W, and Subway. The R apparently stands for Richard, meaning his wife must be H. Apparently they’re from Beijing, as opposed to Shanghai. The ratio separates R&H’s Xiao Long Bao from rivals, with thin skins that stand up to the torrent of pork juice. The filling starred rosy, juicy pork meat. I bit off the dumpling tops and spooned soy sauce and vinegar into each cavity, resulting in a rush of savory flavor.
MUST ORDER: Xiao Long Bao
6. Shanghai River
One of Richmond’s fanciest Shanghai-style restaurants features a stone and dark wood entrance, dining room with white tablecloths and cylindrical lanterns, and glass kitchen with stacks of bamboo steamers and team of dumpling makers. They devote considerable resources to dumpling production and clearly take dough-wrapped flavor packets seriously. I’d recommend steamed pork dumplings, xiao long bao, which sport thin skins and juicy, slightly sweet fillings. Pan-fried pork dumplings display moderate caramelization on pleasantly chewy wrappers and firm pork centers flecked with scallions. Braised Tien-Tsin cabbage is a deluxe vegetable dish, with tender slabs sporting savory ham tiles.
MUST ORDER: Steamed Pork Dumplings, Pan Fried Pork Dumplings, Braised Tien-Tsin Cabbage w/Ham
7. Vivacity [CLOSED]
Alexandra Road, aka Food Street, features approximately 200 restaurants in a three-block span. Kiddy Wang stands out by using organic ingredients in creative ways, often drawing from tanks of frisky seasonal seafood. Vivacity also serves dim sum, but Cantonese seafood is your best bet. If you’re lucky enough to time your visit with spot prawn season, the sweet crustaceans are steamed and served with soy sauce. Rock cod is steamed to perfection and served in a savory “special sauce” with shaved scallions and cilantro. For dessert, I enjoyed the playful simplicity of osmanthus jelly served in the shape of a fish, studded with goji berries.
MUST ORDER: Steamed Spot Prawns, Steamed Rock Cod, Osmanthus Jelly
Thanks to Visit Richmond for their support during my experience.