Lin’s Cuisine has been serving up Northern Chinese cuisine since 2007, earning nods from the Chinese Restaurant Awards and guests alike. The restaurant gives off a family and budget friendly vibe, making dining here very approachable.
We had Smoked Fish, Marinated gluten curds, Shanghai vegetables with pressed tofu, Chef’s special supreme hotpot soup, xiao long bao, green onion halibut, honey prawns, braised pork ribs, tea-smoked duck, Shanghai spicy tofu hot pot with seafood, , Shanghai vegetable rice cake and eight treasure sweet sticky rice.
We started off with the Marinated Gluten and Shanghai vegetables with pressed tofu. While I can’t say I’m that big a fan of the marinated gluten, it had a nice sweet and salty flavour to it. It’s not something I would personally order myself, nor would I have any compelling reason to order it again.
The Shanghai vegetables with pressed tofu had an interesting mix to it – from far away it looks almost like a dense vegetable dish with nuts – but it’s actually tofu! It had no outstanding taste to it, other than being slightly salty and comforting.
The smoked fish was an interesting item I’ve never had before in a Chinese restaurant. It’s more dense than other fish dishes and the smokey taste was not too jarring yet not as subtle as I thought it could’ve been.
The Chef’s special supreme hot pot soup had dumplings, meatballs, pork belly, tofu and vermicelli. This is a nice, hearty dish that would be perfect for cold nights. I think to round out the flavour, it would’ve been great to be served something pickled alongside it (but that’s just me and my weird taste buds).
Our Xiao Long Baos arrived, freshly steamed and juicy in the middle. The XLBs here are made to order, so you get some fresh dumplings every time! We loved them so much, we ordered a second round.
Next up – Green Onion Halibut. I was a bit confused as to what this was until we cut it open to reveal the halibut. As you can tell from the photo, the halibut is a bit on the candied side with the darkened sugar. Despite that, the halibut was quite tender.
Braised pork ribs came up next. The pork itself is tender, but overall I found the sauce a little too sweet for my liking (and I like my sweets). I like meats that are sweet – the honey glazed meats and such when we go for other Chinese food – but the sauce was a little heavy on this dish. I think it might’ve been a lot better if I had diluted it with rice or noodles.
The honey prawns were next and I have to say this is one of my favourite dishes and probably my favourite dish of the evening. The big prawns are coated in a nice layer of honey sweetness and the prawns themselves were cooked perfectly, with a bit of snap to them still.
The tea-smoked duck is next and I’m going to have to say that although I love tea, I just can’t find a smoked dish that I enjoy. I had a similar experience when I went to Hawaii and had roast pork wrapped in tea leaves and I just did not enjoy it either, its a very strange taste to me, That being said, I think it is a dish you should try if you’re feeling adventurous because you’re not going to see this dish a lot in the city. It is quite smokey!
Our next dish came – the Shanghai vegetable rice cakes and I literally said “YAAAS” outloud – I love rice cakes. Usually when we go out to eat and I can substitute noodles or rice for rice cake, you know it’s going down. I have no complaints with this dish, it wasn’t overly oily and the green vegetables really spruced it up. It’s definitely something you would order to compliment your main dishes.
Our last dish before dessert is the Shanghai spicy tofu hotpot with seafood. The hotpot was nice and spicy and had a good portion of fish and shrimp that were not overcooked. The soft tofu was a nice touch to give this dish more weight to it.
Finally, the Eight Treasure Sweet Sticky Rice. From the little I know of being partly Chinese and the wonder that is Google, this dish is typically served at festivals or special events and having Eight in it’s name – lucky. While some of the internal ingredients change pending region, the foundation is the same: sticky glutinous rice and sugar. I found this dish to be too sweet for me with the syrup surrounding the rice but not sweet enough to warrant being a dessert (I know that makes no sense, but I just felt like this dish wasn’t as ‘dessert’ orientated as I want it to be). Again, just a matter of my own opinion and taste, but not something I’d particularly be fond of ordering again.
Disclosure: Please note that I was invited by ChineseBites and my meal was comped. However, all opinions are my own.
For more information, check out Lin’s Cuisine’s website.