Sabby Mammy(an Irishman’s affectionate name for my mom) was in town recently and I had to find something that would pass her test. Not easy. If you have read about Tiger Moms, you will know it’s nearly impossible to win praise from Asian mothers. And Sabby Mammy is the type who would travel around Singapore in search of the best laksa and can rattle off a comparative list of top chicken rice spots off the top of her head. (You know now that Sabby comes from pedigree…)
Dim Sum (or literally translated from Mandarin as ‘little morsels of heart’) is always a favourite weekend brunch option. And you can’t go wrong with Royal China when you are in London. But would that be enough to pass the Mammy test?
I decided to try my luck with Dumpling Legend where they do things just a bit differently, but good differently.
Traditional xiao long bao* is spiced up with Sichuan peppercorn to give a ma-la (literally translated as numbingly-spicy) flavor. Don’t be scared though, the spice is turned down several notches from what you would get in traditional Sichuan cooking so the dumpling bursts in your mouth with broth that leaves a mild and pleasant tingling sensation.
Cheung fan** is jazzed up with pork liver, spring onions and ginger. I only discovered liver late in life and am trying to catch up on all the lost years!
Their menu comprises of a mixture of the traditional favourites as well as some different twists which I have earmarked for trying next time such as Quail Egg Siu Mai, Curry Lamb and Taro Puff Pastry, Scallop and Preserved Vegetable Cheung Fan, and not to mention Durian Puff Pastry.
So what did Sabby Mammy think? I thought there was the slightest nod of her head, but I think the verdict was clear when she polished off her food.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Good for: Weekend brunch, Groups, Asian parents (or impressing the parents of your Asian partner)
* steamed dumpling traditionally made with a pork and vegetable filling and a cube of gelatinized broth which melts as the dumpling is steamed
** steamed rice sheets