My sister told me she sees Lin’s Chinese Cuisine and Tea House pack full everytime she pass by. That’s’ the only excuse I needed to go visit and have a feast there. I was there during peak hours for dinner but the restaurant was not packed at all. However, the take-out line was never ending. Lin’s is a Chinese restaurant specialize in Shanghai cuisine.
As starters, we ordered Beijing style chicken fenpi (mungbean pasta) salad ($7.99). Fenpi (mungbean pasta) is a noodle with a chew texture. It is transparent in colour and has no taste. This is a cold “salad” dish with cucumber, chicken, and a spicy savoury sauce.
The first thing you would do to this salad dish is to mix it well. This is to ensure the fenpi gets the sauce.
Another starter I absolutely love is the pan-fried green onion cake ($4.99). This is a very thin pancake made with a dough that has green onion mixed into it. No filling inside. The green onion gives a very nice flavour and smell to the pancake. It is very addictive. However, there is not enough green onions in this one. A little disappointing but it is not a bad green onion pancake. (Sorry about the blurry picture)
I must say, I can never get enough appetizers in Shanghai cuisine. The most classic and most popular one must be Xiao Long Bao (Shanghai juicy pork soup dumpling) ($4.99). The best xiao long bao must have a very thin dumpling skin that is not soggy (over-cooked) but not too thin that it will break when you lift it up. The key is to be able to put the whole dumpling in your mouth so you can taste the dumpling and the soup together. Bite of paradise. And Lin’s aced this dish.
Enough of appetizers. This is something new, I never tried before. In Chinese, it is call 全家福 ($19.99). 全家 means whole family. 福 means happiness. This is a big pot of soup, and the idea is to have a little bit of everything to resemble wealth and happiness in the family. But to make it easy. this is basically a hotpot soup supreme.
The soup base is mainly made with homemade chicken stock and Chinese ham (dried salted ham). There’s a lot of ingredients including minced pork balls, Chinese cabbage, and up to 3 or more types of dumplings.
Moving into main courses, the tea-smoked duck is something you don’t want to miss out on. It is Lin’s signature dish and it did not disappoint me at all. The tea-smoked duck comes in half order ($15) or full order ($29). It comes with Chinese steam buns. Some people like to stuff the duck in the buns like a hamburger, and some just eat it like a side. There’s really no big difference how you eat it. This duck is so tender and so rich in smoky tea flavour. It is absolutely remarkable.
Pictures might not show well but the meat is perfectly cooked. I was so excited that I had to take a picture of that meat. It is so good.
Something which is also very classic is the deep fried whole cod fish with sweet and sour sauce ($19.99). This is a very refreshing dish as the sweet and sour sauce’s acidity will encourage appetite. Kids will love this dish.
I’m pretty sure everyone love this dish, the honey garlic spareribs ($11.99). Super crispy, and the sauce is really well made. The heavy garlic blends the sweetness.
The last protein course is honey prawns ($16.99). I know.. I don’t know what we were thinking of ordering two sweet sauce for our protein.
Chinese love to finish a full course meal with some rice or noodle dish. If you ever attended Chinese birthday or wedding banquets, you probably experienced this.
We ordered classic Shanghai style chicken noodle soup ($6.99).
And ended the meal with a heavier soup noodle, the Szechwan Tan Tan noodle soup with minced meat ($6.99). It is a spicy soup base. Not my favourite but it is very flavourful dish. I highly recommend it for people who haven’t tried it before.