Monday, September 19, 2011

Pot sticker haven at Jung's Golden Dragon

Growing up in the Bay Area did not make me an expert on Chinese food, but I am very familiar with different aspects of the cuisine. As a matter of fact, my Mom's best friend and neighbor was from Hong Kong, so steamed pork buns and red envelopes were as common to me as sourdough bread and the word "hella."

When I moved to New Orleans, I was so overwhelmed with all of the delicious Creole and Cajun dishes that it took me a while to realize what I was missing. Other than cheap, delicious Mission-style burritos (oh how I miss La Cumbre), my body has been seriously aching for some decent pot stickers or a tongue-searing Kung Pao Chicken and I think I might have finally come close...

Last week, John and I stopped in for a late lunch at Jung's Golden Dragon located between 7th and 8th on Magazine Street. Though it was almost 2PM, we were a little surprised to be the only diners in the large restaurant, but we decided to take advantage of the privacy and chose an even more secluded spot by the window. We both ordered off of the special lunch menu along with a couple of iced green teas and a little something extra...

The first dish out was John's Egg Drop Soup. I had selected Egg Rolls that were not yet ready, but the server brought a cup of soup for me too as lagniappe so I wouldn't "get bored" watching John eat. It was a tasty, basic chicken stock with silky strands of beaten egg and a bit of cornstarch for a thicker consistency. We both slurped it up, but when it comes to Chinese soups, I am usually more partial to Hot & Sour or Won Ton.

Though our lunches included small appetizers like the soup, I simply had to place an extra order for some pan-fried dumplings (a.k.a. pot stickers) due to a tip from friend and fellow food writer, Lorin Gaudin. They arrived after the soup, a large plate filled with fat, crispy-bottomed, dumplings that were stuck together and still held the shape of the pan. Although they were quite hot, I plucked one out with my chopsticks, dipped it into some soy-vinegar sauce (a required flavor experience) and popped the whole thing in my mouth. It was wonderful! I can say in all honesty that I have not encountered a better dumpling since leaving the Bay...cross my heart and hope to die.

The crispy, fried egg rolls that I selected with my lunch special came out as we were wolfing down the dumplings. They were of average size and the filling was really tasty, but I think they may have needed to refresh the oil in their deep fryer because the wrap tasted kind of bitter.

On a brighter note, John's Moo Goo Gai Pan was wonderful. The chicken was so tender it almost melted in your mouth. Craving a little heat, I chose the Hunan Shrimp that had plenty of delicious vegetables and lots of plump, fresh shrimp and the spice was just about right, though I can always go for a little more. Both of our plates were served with a hefty helping of shrimp fried rice and we were getting so stuffed, we both needed to-go boxes.

Now if only there was a place to get great dim sum...

4 comments:

Celeste said...

Head across the bridge to Panda King (same shopping center as Hong Kong Market) on the weekends: the "fine dining" side of the restaurant has dim sum, served from carts. Probably the closest thing you'll get to Bay-area-quality dim sum without driving all the way to Houston.

Kimberly Ranjbar said...

Thanks! I thought Dim Sum didn't exist here ;)

dreambox sky said...

Egg rolls looking really delicious and mind-blowing. It's true that fresh oil is indeed for this dish and a sounds of this dish makes me hungry.

Sweet Woman said...

As usual your food is making me very envious and hungry :) Nice post.. beautiful food!
Have you eaten at K-Pauls lately? We had some really good vittles there too..hmm wish I had some of that black bread right now!