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Dim Sum at Ding Sheng [was: Lao You Ju]

Dim Sum at Ding Sheng [was: Lao You Ju]
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  • Post #31 - November 7th, 2012, 3:22 pm
    Post #31 - November 7th, 2012, 3:22 pm Post #31 - November 7th, 2012, 3:22 pm
    Had lunch at Lao You Ju yesterday... Thoughts:

    1.) Best shumai? Better than Hong Kong? Not in my opinion. Shumai should be predominantly pork with some shrimp and what I got instead was more shrimp than pork. I can see how some people may think it's the "best", but this was not traditional for me. It was a good dumpling however. So HK people, don't come expecting the shumai you grew up on!

    2.) Har gow - Nice skin on this, but I prefer Ming Hin's which has larger chunkier pieces of shrimp, which is what I expect from HK dim sum.

    3.) Braised tofu skin roll - Loved the sauce which was lighter than the thick sauce served elsewhere. Though the filling in the rolls themselves were pretty skimpy.

    4.) Ginger tripe (the "fuzzy white" one, not honeycomb) - Nicely flavored which is better than most places, since it can be kinda bland. But I prefer a softer texture, this was too hard for my taste, but then this is a personal perference

    5.) XLB - Nice thin skin, though it was wasted on the bland meat filling. Definitely soupy, but just bland.

    6.) BBQ pork crepe - Skin too thick and "rough".

    7.) Egg yolk custard bun - The molten yellow sweet/savory bun... Again bland. Usually at other places, it's too sweet or too salty, this was just bland

    8.) Steamed custard sponge cake (called egg cake on menu IIRC) - Meh... overcooked scrambled eggs in cake is not a good thing.

    After asking more about the chef, I add three more items. Because the chef had spent many years in Hong Kong, I selected the 2 items that we did not order and dim sum chefs in HK should excel in.

    9.) BBQ pastry (sou) - Mush... No texture, nice and hot tho... but sweet and mushy...

    10.) Glutinous Rice Chicken in Lotus Leaf - Very well done, especially for someone who is not a fan of this dish. Chock full of filling and I especially liked the addition of the duck egg yolk.

    11.) Durian pastry - came strongly recommended by the server, and I am a sucker for durian. The pastry here was firmer than the BBQ one, and I thought the durian taste was there but not over whelming. But you have to love durian... If you don't, don't expect this to change your mind.

    In general, the dim sum was so-so for me. Not good enough for me to switch from Ming Hin. The dim sum came out and while they were not cold, they were definitely not piping hot (except for the BBQ pork pastry). In fact I popped the whole XLB in my mouth and did not even come close to burning myself.

    One note though, after returning to the office, I found myself guzzling water. Definitely more MSG here than in Cai or Ming Hin. Service was good, but then we were not a party of 12 at prime lunch hour on a weekend.
  • Post #32 - November 7th, 2012, 3:56 pm
    Post #32 - November 7th, 2012, 3:56 pm Post #32 - November 7th, 2012, 3:56 pm
    CrazyC wrote:
    8.) Steamed custard sponge cake (called egg cake on menu IIRC) - Meh... overcooked scrambled eggs in cake is not a good thing.


    At Cai, this cake is a thing of beauty: spongy, delicate, full of egg yolk flavor, not too sweet. I love it so much that when my first bite at LYJ was of the above version, I wanted to run right out the door and around the corner to Cai. It was really bad. The scrambling of what I'd guess were poorly-tempered eggs was the worst part, but beyond that the taste was more sugar than egg yolk, which to me misses the point.

    I'm glad I stayed, as the rest of the meal was better. Despite Crazy C's warning, I was indeed a big fan of LYJ's durian pastry even though I haven't been much of a durian fan in the past. The funkiness was very mellow and balanced out without an overdose of sugar, and the pastry itself was impressive. I also liked the siu mai, though perhaps I'm just not enough of a connoisseur to discern one good siu mai from the next. It wasn't markedly better to me than Cai's or others. The ginger sauce with the tripe was indeed terrific, and I liked the tougher, slightly rubbery fruit-roll-up-style tripe texture quite a bit too.

    Other stuff was OK. The flavor of the steamed yolk custard bun was fine, but the custard was unpleasantly grainy, not viscous enough, and not hot. The soup dumpling wrappers were impressively delicate, so much so that with one of them, the soup had leaked into the silly cupcake holder thing before anyone even touched it. The meat filling had good flavor, but the liquid tasted like nothing.

    Service was fast and responsive to requests, but that won't be enough to get me back here unless it's at someone else's request or Cai closes down.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #33 - November 7th, 2012, 10:31 pm
    Post #33 - November 7th, 2012, 10:31 pm Post #33 - November 7th, 2012, 10:31 pm
    I can't get my finger on why there has been so much disagreement about Lao You Ju. It seems dim sum is a very personal cuisine, eliciting different responses from different people. From my perspective, it was the best dim sum I've had in Chicago (though I haven't been to Ming Hin) and the highs were on par with some of the best dim sum I've had. I've been to high end dim sum restaurants that have focused on presentation, creativity, and quality ingredients, but missed the mark for me since the food seemed to lack soul. I've also been to dim sum restaurants with tons of atmosphere and variety, but the food tasted cheap and reheated. Lao You Ju may be working out some of the kinks, but I think they succeeded in delivering thoughtfully prepared dishes that still had the satisfying flavor that makes dim sum such an enjoyable cuisine. Perhaps my biggest complaint was the lack of variety and creativity. Nothing stood out as particularly interesting, and almost all the dishes were steamed or stewed, leaving out the important crunchy textures that round out a great dim sum meal. Nonetheless I enjoyed the meal and I would gladly return.

    Image

    The biggest hit for me was the shumai. It's a little different than other renditions I've had since the mushroom and shrimp were pretty prominent, but I think the combination really worked. Throughout the meal, I was impressed by the sweet, almost creamy flavor and plump texture of the shrimp. Another star was the chive dumpling that had a thin, almost translucent wrapper and was stuffed with plenty of crunchy, fresh chives. As has been mentioned, the chicken feet, and tripe preparations were particularly well prepared. The meats were tender without being mushy and the stews had excellent flavor that complemented the meat in a subtle but effective way.

    The pork buns were remarkably light and had excellent texture. When I heard others criticizing the sweetness of the stuffing, I was surprised since I usually hate overly-sweet foods, but then I realized that I had drowned out the flavor of the stuffing with chili oil since I was enjoying the bread part of the bun so much. Heck, I even enjoyed the much maligned shrimp crepe. Sure the crepe itself was somewhat mushy, but it was thin and soft and had good flavor to go along with the nice plump shrimp. I prefer that to the thick and often rubbery renditions I've had time and time again.

    Image

    The durian cakes were nice and flaky. I'm a fan of durian and I enjoyed dipping the cake in the durian cream in the middle of the plate. Overall I enjoyed nearly everything I ate and thought some items like the shumai and chive dumplings were outstanding. I hope they continue to evolve and broaden the menu, because I think the place has a lot of promise.
    Last edited by turkob on November 7th, 2012, 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #34 - November 8th, 2012, 6:55 am
    Post #34 - November 8th, 2012, 6:55 am Post #34 - November 8th, 2012, 6:55 am
    Diasagreement could be about the cuisine being personal, or could be about a custard with untempered eggs that scrambled, a bun that's supposed to have a hot, viscous center and didn't, or a soup dumpling that leaked before anyone touched it :)
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #35 - November 8th, 2012, 9:47 am
    Post #35 - November 8th, 2012, 9:47 am Post #35 - November 8th, 2012, 9:47 am
    Kennyz wrote:The soup dumpling wrappers were impressively delicate, so much so that with one of them, the soup had leaked into the silly cupcake holder thing before anyone even touched it.

    Good thing the cupcake holder was there! I'm basically just grateful if the XLB at dim sum places in Chicago resemble a XLB in some way. But they really shouldn't break if done right and served promptly. Not sure I can ever remember one breaking at Din Tai Fung.

    turkob wrote:I can't get my finger on why there has been so much disagreement about Lao You Ju. It seems dim sum is a very personal cuisine, eliciting different responses from different people.

    That puzzles me. While there can be some areas of personal preference, in Chicago dim sum even at the better places is mostly about executing the standard items, rather than creativity (non-canonical shumai aside). I'm just not sure there should be that much disagreement about what constitutes a good shrimp dumpling or crepe roll or turnip cake. And yet there seems to be. Many people here clearly don't like Cai or Ming Hin as much as I think everyone should, and they liked Shui Wah way more than I thought anyone should. I will say that for the most part I avoid the absolute busiest times (which is easier to do at menu rather than cart places), so possibly the execution and service at Cai and Ming Hin might be off then. I haven't yet but will definitely try LYJ, but given that even that even the proponents of LYJ acknowledge non-trivial flaws, it's a little hard to see how it's clearly better than Cai or Ming Hin just on the basics. Also, if dim sum service started recently at LYJ then some allowance for start up bumps should be made.
  • Post #36 - November 8th, 2012, 11:56 am
    Post #36 - November 8th, 2012, 11:56 am Post #36 - November 8th, 2012, 11:56 am
    Hao wrote:but given that even that even the proponents of LYJ acknowledge non-trivial flaws, it's a little hard to see how it's clearly better than Cai or Ming Hin just on the basics.
    Also, if dim sum service started recently at LYJ then some allowance for start up bumps should be made.


    Being one of the proponents, allow me to clarify some of my thoughts. I did like Cai but certainly didn't love anything. If i were to rate individual dishes, Cai would probably get B- to B+'s across the board while LYJ would get a mix of A+'s and a couple C's. To me the second option of highs and lows is a bit more exciting, and shows more promise. And you said it yourself, being new, some grace period should be allowed. And there is certainty hope for the possibility of an all A+ restaurant in the near future.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #37 - November 9th, 2012, 8:23 am
    Post #37 - November 9th, 2012, 8:23 am Post #37 - November 9th, 2012, 8:23 am
    XLB hot, soupy, no leakage. Shumai, har gao, pork bung gut, turnip cake, chive dumpling, tripe and, especially, dried shrimp chow fun and chicken feet on the mark. Terrific service, not a bobble, and barely a hint, at least in daylight, of disco LYJ.

    Lao You Ju for dim sum, count me a fan!

    Image
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #38 - November 9th, 2012, 12:09 pm
    Post #38 - November 9th, 2012, 12:09 pm Post #38 - November 9th, 2012, 12:09 pm
    One more point in the scatter plot: I thought the barbecue pork crepes were sensational, not overjelled and with ideally cooked yu choy on the side, and that the egg custard bao were perfectly steamed and fragrant.

    Everything else seemed overcooked and underseasoned, from the chive dumplings to the hard-shrimp shumai to the XLB and sticky rice (duck egg in mine was positively chalky). The turnip cake was on the border of brilliant but didn't get crispy enough, and I agree with previous comments that there's just not much textural contrast on this dim sum menu (at least as we're ordering so far). I think a few things on the regular menu (dry chili chicken with french fries, rainbow fish) are just as compelling and would work well to balance things. The value and company were delightful, and I do hope to return soon.
  • Post #39 - November 9th, 2012, 12:30 pm
    Post #39 - November 9th, 2012, 12:30 pm Post #39 - November 9th, 2012, 12:30 pm
    G Wiv wrote:XLB hot, soupy, no leakage. Shumai, har gao, pork bung gut, turnip cake, chive dumpling, tripe and, especially, dried shrimp chow fun and chicken feet on the mark. Terrific service, not a bobble, and barely a hint, at least in daylight, of disco LYJ.

    Lao You Ju for dim sum, count me a fan!


    I'm happy to know I have at least one comrade on the chicken feet and bung gut front! I think i forgot to mention, in addition to the chicken feet having a great sauce, they also had a nice ratio of substance to bone, compared to other versions.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #40 - November 9th, 2012, 12:48 pm
    Post #40 - November 9th, 2012, 12:48 pm Post #40 - November 9th, 2012, 12:48 pm
    Santander wrote: I think a few things on the regular menu (dry chili chicken with french fries, rainbow fish) are just as compelling and would work well to balance things.


    This is a good idea, texturally speaking. The couple times I've had dry chili chicken at LYJ it has been every bit intense and flavorful as as lao sze chuan or more.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #41 - November 10th, 2012, 4:42 pm
    Post #41 - November 10th, 2012, 4:42 pm Post #41 - November 10th, 2012, 4:42 pm
    I'll join the chorus of Lao You Ju dim sum fans - I was very impressed with the food my friend and I enjoyed there today.

    But first, the XLB - they're not going to fully satisfy you're XLB urge, but I would agree they're the best I've had in Chicago (king of the dip shits situation, as it might be). They're too small and the cupcake wrappers just need to go. It's not just a stylistic issue - there is some sticking, although minimal, and it's a bit cumbersome to get out of the wrapper. Another failure is that XLB should be delivered with large soup spoons so that you nibble on the wrapper, suck out the soup, then eat the dumpling, but with any dripping soup caught in the spoon. Now that's really not much of an issue here because the XLB are also seriously lacking soup filling. But on the plus side, and it's a big plus, the filling is really delicious. And yes, very thin wrappers. The black vinegar sauce is slightly odd, with grated ginger incorporated into the vinegar, as opposed to strands, but the flavor of the vinegar sauce is just right so maybe I should just shut up and enjoy.

    I also thought the chive dumplings were terrific - yes, a lot of chive flavor. We also really enjoyed the shumai, and the wrappers on both the chive dumplings and shumai were terrific.

    I was also a pretty big fan of the bbq pork buns - the dough was light and not at all dried out. And though the bbq pork filling might have been just a touch sweet, I thought it was plentiful, delicious and not the least bit dry. While we're talking about buns, I thought the bun with egg yolk was terrific. Again, the bun itself was beautifully light and not the least bit dry, and the filling was warm, creamy and delicious (even if perhaps a bit too sweet).

    I've never been a fan of durian, but my friend had never tried it and wanted to. I actually enjoyed it. First, there was the amazing pastry which was so light and flaky. I will say that the durian flavor was not as explosive as I have had, which helped a bit, but the accompanying sweet sauce (not durian) worked well with the pastry.

    Stick rice in lotus leaf was also quite good.

    Unfortunately, service is a disaster. We were there around 2pm this afternoon and the room was perhaps not even half full. And yet the entire dining room of customers was more like a flash mob dancing rhythmically, constantly turning heads, waving hands frantically, trying to get someone's attention. It was actually kind of funny watching this happen throughout the restaurant, yet odd because the restaurant seemed very well staffed (but many servers standing around doing little). But since we were not really in a hurry, we didn't care so much . . . just something you should be aware of if you go.

    After all is said and done though, I'm just happy to say that there is now another option in Chinatown for some pretty good dim sum. The best? Not yet sure, but good enough to bring a big smile to my face.
  • Post #42 - November 10th, 2012, 5:01 pm
    Post #42 - November 10th, 2012, 5:01 pm Post #42 - November 10th, 2012, 5:01 pm
    I don't do very much dim sum so I want to ask - how is the price point at LYJ as opposed to the other places mentioned? I was happily suprised that on my 2 visits to LYJ the bill was $15pp for our large Suturday group and a lot of dishes, and only $9pp on our last smaller visit. Is LYJ just very cheap or is this more or less standard?
  • Post #43 - November 10th, 2012, 6:22 pm
    Post #43 - November 10th, 2012, 6:22 pm Post #43 - November 10th, 2012, 6:22 pm
    zoid wrote:I don't do very much dim sum so I want to ask - how is the price point at LYJ as opposed to the other places mentioned? I was happily suprised that on my 2 visits to LYJ the bill was $15pp for our large Suturday group and a lot of dishes, and only $9pp on our last smaller visit. Is LYJ just very cheap or is this more or less standard?

    I think it's generally within the norm. The XLB are particularly cheap, though I'd argue appropriately priced given their small size and because there are only 4 to an order (usually at least 6).
  • Post #44 - April 15th, 2013, 6:54 pm
    Post #44 - April 15th, 2013, 6:54 pm Post #44 - April 15th, 2013, 6:54 pm
    We tried Dim Sum this afternoon at Lao You Ju and for the most part were very pleased. At 2:00pm there wasn't much of a crowd left. Here goes: Shrimp har gow were simply wonderful with an intense shrimp flavor I've never experienced in this dish before. Shui mai w shrimp and pork had that same shrimpy goodness even if they were a little light on the pork flavor. Shrimp fun rolls were delicious, but I the wrapper seemed like it was starting to disintegrate. Steamed spare ribs were strange and had a thick coating that we've never seen before, anywhere...tapioca starch...water chestnut powder...???

    BBQ pork buns, the baked type, were heavenly. Like a hot Krispy Kreme doughnut filled with BBQ pork!

    I sent the steamed beef tripe back. So tough that I couldn't even chew it. Seriously. As a point of reference, I'm sure I've eaten this dish easily 100 times. I'm not talking a bit of chew here, but heavy duty rubber bands.

    Missed the XLB. Next time. I thought the chive dumplings were just ok, but the chicken feet were really enjoyable.

    But even with the high notes, I really missed not having dishes like taro puffs and those football shaped fried pork-shrimp dumplings in that sweet rice dough. I will return to LYJ but need to get my fix elsewhere on those other items.
    "Bass Trombone is the Lead Trumpet of the Deep."
    Rick Hammett
  • Post #45 - April 15th, 2013, 8:36 pm
    Post #45 - April 15th, 2013, 8:36 pm Post #45 - April 15th, 2013, 8:36 pm
    The football shaped sweet rice pork dumplings are there but go by the name of "fried dough" on the menu. And speaking of dough, both the durian and guava have one of the best pastry dough's I've ever encountered @ dim sum. Their steamed rice in lotus leaf is one of the better examples of this dish as well.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #46 - April 15th, 2013, 10:07 pm
    Post #46 - April 15th, 2013, 10:07 pm Post #46 - April 15th, 2013, 10:07 pm
    Thanks, Alan.
    "Bass Trombone is the Lead Trumpet of the Deep."
    Rick Hammett
  • Post #47 - May 19th, 2013, 7:57 pm
    Post #47 - May 19th, 2013, 7:57 pm Post #47 - May 19th, 2013, 7:57 pm
    With a long wait today at Cai, headed to Lao You Ju for dim sum instead. This was my second visit, and the experience was quite mixed. On the plus side, although the restaurant was almost full, service was considerably better than on my first visit, and even pretty good. As for food, there were some real hits: the sticky rice in lotus leaf is one of the better versions I've tried, the chive dumplings delicious even if perhaps slightly too gummy, and the chaozhou style dumplings also quite good, with a pork and daikon?? filling.

    As for the not so good, the shrimp crepe featured a terribly gummy and thick crepe which made it so difficult to eat. The steamed bbq pork bun was steamed nicely, but was lacking bbq pork filling (not a problem on my first visit). And while the egg custard bun was tasty, the egg filling was overcooked so none of that oozing liquid filling you hope for.

    But the biggest disappointment was the XLB - they now have thin carrot slices on the bottom to prevent them from sticking . . . ugghhh. And yet, that wasn't even close to being the biggest problem. There was absolutely no soup filling. I bit into two XLB and neither had more than a couple of drops of soup in them . . . and the meat filling was incredibly bland. Also, the bland meat portion took up the entire interior of the dumpling, thus not even leaving any room for soup.
  • Post #48 - November 3rd, 2013, 5:54 am
    Post #48 - November 3rd, 2013, 5:54 am Post #48 - November 3rd, 2013, 5:54 am
    Question!
    I tried Lao You Ju yesterday at about 9:30am as I was in Chinatown for some shopping and to get take out from Lao Sze Chuan.
    I only had two dishes, the shrimp crepe, had to send it back to be microwaved as it was tepid, other wise OK but no cilentro taste at all. The Shu Mai were rustic, filled with large pork chunks. I have had Shu Mai at at least three other Chinatown establishments and have never encountered such large pork chunks.
    Is this accepted?
    Since I was alone, I did not try anything else, but my initial impression from these two dishes was not great.
    On another note, I did find a newish liquor store in Chinatown while waiting for my take out.
    China Place Liquor City
    Finding Chinese wine for cooking that is not salted is difficult and I went to Richwell Market before to get my supply.
    But the selection at Richwell is limited compared to China Place Liquor City(CPLC).
    The selection at CPLC is outstanding if a little more pricer than Richwell.
    -Dick
  • Post #49 - November 3rd, 2013, 10:53 pm
    Post #49 - November 3rd, 2013, 10:53 pm Post #49 - November 3rd, 2013, 10:53 pm
    budrichard wrote:Question!
    I only had two dishes, the shrimp crepe, had to send it back to be microwaved as it was tepid.

    First of all, what kind of LTH mutant are you that you went to Dim Sum and only ordered 2 dishes?

    The cold dish is definitely abnormal for LYJ. I have been numerous times, and my biggest praise is that if they don't do everything perfect, at least every dish comes out piping hot. I would wager that you simply got unlucky with that one.

    budrichard wrote:The Shu Mai were rustic, filled with large pork chunks. I have had Shu Mai at at least three other Chinatown establishments and have never encountered such large pork chunks.
    Is this accepted?
    -Dick


    Are you sure it wasn't larger shrimp chunks you were noticing? I love these at LYJ and notice the larger pieces of shrimp but I'm pretty sure it's ground pork.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #50 - November 4th, 2013, 5:12 am
    Post #50 - November 4th, 2013, 5:12 am Post #50 - November 4th, 2013, 5:12 am
    I believe you are correct! I was expecting pork and tasted pork.
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ushcvZV1k_ ... shcvZV1k_Q
    As to only two dishes, I was in ChinaTown making one of my forays for supplies and was alone. Two dishes was all I could eat.
    Thanks for the info.-Dick
    BTW, the takeout from Lao Sze Chaun was again terrific.
    I have to say the 'Beef Maw with Blood Cake' is one of the spicest dishes I have ever encountered, Chiles, SzeChaun peppercorns and red Chile oil abound, you have to extract the Maw, Blood Cake and Soybeans from the liquid/oil and mix with rice to have a chance of eating it. The Maw I believe is Bible Tripe. Not for the faint of palate and comes as two large containers. The first time I ordered the dish, I thought we got two orders, now I know better. We will be eating this for a few days. In my walk while waiting for the take out, I did pick up menu's from Tony's other restaurants. One could spend a lifetime trying all the different dishes!
  • Post #51 - September 25th, 2014, 1:05 pm
    Post #51 - September 25th, 2014, 1:05 pm Post #51 - September 25th, 2014, 1:05 pm
    Any recent reports here, especially about whether weekend service has improved?
  • Post #52 - September 25th, 2014, 2:37 pm
    Post #52 - September 25th, 2014, 2:37 pm Post #52 - September 25th, 2014, 2:37 pm
    annak wrote:Any recent reports here, especially about whether weekend service has improved?


    Dim Sum at LYJ is still in my regular rotation and remains at the top of their game. The dumpling wrappers and other pastry items remain without peer in the Chicago market.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #53 - October 6th, 2014, 9:33 am
    Post #53 - October 6th, 2014, 9:33 am Post #53 - October 6th, 2014, 9:33 am
    annak wrote:Any recent reports here, especially about whether weekend service has improved?


    I dropped by Saturday morning for a dim sum breakfast this past weekend. My first trip to LYJ, but a frequent visitor to LSC. I ordered the shui mai, shrimp dumplings, chaozhou dumplings, and some other dumpling (I was in a steamed mood, not a fried mood).

    The shui mai was my favorite, and would have been even better with some fried garlic sprinkles on top. And the rest of the dumplings were also much better than what I've had in Chicago (unfortunately, I'm a northsider where dim sum is scarce and Furama seems to be the best average option). I'm less concerned about authenticity of matching a Hong Kong standard, and more focused on whether I enjoy it or not.

    Service was a joke, with only 3 or 4 other tables filled but not attentive wait staff at all, and a lot of clueless looks to boot. I had to flag various staff down to give my order, ask for sauces, and get the bill. Then again, I never expect anything better at dim sum places, so that didn't bother me at all.

    Next time I'm in a dim sum mood, I'll bypass Furama and do the extra drive to LYJ . . . for the food, not the service.
  • Post #54 - January 19th, 2015, 8:52 pm
    Post #54 - January 19th, 2015, 8:52 pm Post #54 - January 19th, 2015, 8:52 pm
    My dim sum at Lao You Ju was the best I've had there of several visits. The xiao long bao were particularly good -- thin wrappers, plenty of soup, delicious filling. I hate that they put them in foil wrappers with a carrot slice at the bottom (requires some maneuvering to safely extricate them) but the flavor was terrific. I would like a better dipping vinegar, but it's decent and the dumpling itself was great.

    Durian pastry was flaky and delicious. Sticky rice in lotus leaf was my favorite version of the ones currently served in Chicago. And shumai had a wonderful texture (though I think I slightly prefer flavor at Cai). Also excellent were the dumplings with dried scallop and cilantro. The bbq pork buns were good, but the bottom of the dumplings stuck to the wrappers and the filling was a little lacking in flavor. Finally, great egg yolk custard buns -- oozing yolk, unlike the hardened versions I've recently had at Cai and Ming Hin. Tea was pretty bland, but that's not so unusual in our town.

    But overall, I thought this was my best Lao You Ju experience and rivaled the best of dim sum I've had in Chicago. Service was just fine too. I hope today's dim sum is representative of what I can now expect from Lao You Ju. If so, they'll be seeing a lot more of me (mainly because of how tasty the XLB were).
  • Post #55 - May 13th, 2016, 12:31 pm
    Post #55 - May 13th, 2016, 12:31 pm Post #55 - May 13th, 2016, 12:31 pm
    Now that Lao You Ju is well and truly dead (RIP) - so much so that even their dinner menu has changed, does anyone have a sense if the dim sum chef has moved on somewhere? Last time I was there late, it looked like the dim sum kitchen was all closed up and disused, so can only assume he's no longer there...

    Given more room to run chef does amazing things, though I suspect he was hemmed in in recent years - hence all the sub-par things creeping in.
    Last edited by subtitles on May 13th, 2016, 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #56 - May 13th, 2016, 3:18 pm
    Post #56 - May 13th, 2016, 3:18 pm Post #56 - May 13th, 2016, 3:18 pm
    It's now known as Ding Sheng. The dim sum chef is the same as when Tony owned it, and is for the most part, as good as ever. For my taste, the best in town (I know, "tallest midget in the circus"). Ding Sheng morphed from a brief stint as Szechuan, to what is now, Cantonese. Had one meal there that was quite good. Seafood chow fun was excellent, though I'd lose the surami fake crab, a great rice dish that I think was the Yang Chow fried rice (but not certain)and a short rib w/mayo that was whopperesque. Close your eyes and think of Burger King. I'd pass on that one, but the others were quite good. Needs more visits w/some ordering power.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #57 - May 13th, 2016, 7:48 pm
    Post #57 - May 13th, 2016, 7:48 pm Post #57 - May 13th, 2016, 7:48 pm
    I think the food is still good, but the service made it all but impossible to tell. Ordering was chaotic with the expected result of missed dishes, interminable waits for things we saw served to others around us who arrived after us, no replenishment of drinks and sauces and extended periods in which we couldn't get anyone to address any of it. It was sad to see, since service at LYJ was always attentive and hospitable . Would have a really hard time returning.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #58 - May 22nd, 2016, 5:47 pm
    Post #58 - May 22nd, 2016, 5:47 pm Post #58 - May 22nd, 2016, 5:47 pm
    Ding Sheng was hopping on a Sunday afternoon, communicative staff, smelled good, much more fun-looking than LYJ even with the radioactive bar still in the center (though entrance now from the south).

    We had the barbecue pork crepes, XLB, pan-fried chive dumplings with eggs, and the XO turnip cake, and I'd rank them in that order from very good to not-quite-right.

    Crepes were excellent, with cilantro stems inside and braised fresh greens flanking. Pork filling had no gristle and nice flavor. XLB are the same as they've been - foil wrapper, carrot slice, unpredictable soup level, dense meatball filling, vinegar-ginger slurry (rather than fresh ginger). The best ones are quite satisfying.

    The pan-fried chive dumplings taste like (whether they are or not) freezer case veggie pot stickers quickly fried and then folded into an omelette, drizzled with thin chili oil. The whole composition is not flavorful, but I actually really liked it and felt I could adapt it at home. The XO turnip cake had some awesomely funky preserved seafood bits, but the texture was off - like old mashed potatoes fried in tepid oil. It was a disintegrating mess with no wok hei, and only the celery and peppers were snappy. I can picture this being ok if execution were better.

    I liked the atmosphere, and, although the first three dishes were on the table within 10 minutes and the elusive chive dumpling omelette took another 40, will be back.

    Note: they are still using LYJ servingware, and the receipts say Tony Hu Restaurant & Lounge.
  • Post #59 - May 22nd, 2016, 5:57 pm
    Post #59 - May 22nd, 2016, 5:57 pm Post #59 - May 22nd, 2016, 5:57 pm
    Was there MSG in the Xiao Long Bao?
  • Post #60 - August 13th, 2016, 8:32 pm
    Post #60 - August 13th, 2016, 8:32 pm Post #60 - August 13th, 2016, 8:32 pm
    Had an excellent meal here this evening. Fast turning into my favorite Cantonese in town. A double lobster special w/ginger and scallions for $25 and Singapore noodles both were of the highest order. Staff was very attentive, probably because the place was barely full. This place needs some LTH love. Go and enjoy.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata

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