Friday, October 25, 2019

Gardetto's Snack Mix

The Gardetto Family Bakery started in Wisconsin in the 1930s, specializing in bread sticks.  Their claim to fame however is a snack mix that someone made from leftover bread sticks and other items in a special blend of seasonings.  The snack mix took off and became so successful that General Mills bought them in 1999.  Yup, the owners of another popular snack mix you may have heard of: Chex Mix.  Since I love snacks, I obviously have tried it.

The mix is available in several varieties, and other versions have existed over the years, but all follow an "authentic family recipe".

Original Review: June 2016

There is nothing really homemade tasting about this to me, nor did I really enjoy it.
Original Recipe.
I tried the "original recipe", which I quickly learned isn't really that original, as General Mills has changed it several times.

The spicing is a clever mix made from dried Worcestershire sauce (that is a thing?!), MSG, sugar, and corn syrup, plus salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.

Ah, now that explains it.  Sugar and MSG.  I sorta doubt the authenticity of the "dried worcestershire sauce" though.

Anyway, while there was some mild seasoning, I honestly didn't taste much sweet nor salty nor tangy.  The pieces weren't plain exactly, but, not nearly as flavorful as this mix would imply.
Original Recipe: Components.
The mix itself contains 5 different items.

The pretzels were, well, pretzels.  No real difference between the rods or the classic twists, and these items in particular didn't have much spicing.  I separated them out and dunked them in peanut butter, and enjoyed them much more that way.

Next were the little "bread" sticks, in two forms.  These tasted identical and were just hard little bread sticks.  They had minimal spicing, more than the pretzels.  I didn't care for them.

Finally, the rye chips.  These were almost good, and did have caraway inside for some actual flavor, but, they also tasted kinda burnt.  Still, my favorite of the items.

Update Review, 2019

Every holiday season, I eat way too much of my mom's chex mix.  The problem is made worse (or, better, really), by the fact that she's taken to making *custom* batches for each member of the family tailored exactly to our preferences.  My version does *not* have Goldfish crackers, but my sister's has extra.  Mine also has all sorts of totally non-traditional snackies in it - wasabi peas, corn nuts, plantain chips, fried chow mein noodles, and more.  My cousin who can't have dairy has a version made with soy butter.  The list goes on and on.  The net result?  I have TONS of Chex mix, with exactly the things I love in it, that is all for ... me.  Thus I have to eat it all right?

Once my stash runs out, I breath a sigh of relief.  Until, you know, two days later, when I crave it again.  And in those cases, I attempt to fall back on commercial versions, like the ones made by Chex, or, Gardetto's, which I've also reviewed before.  I've never been satisfied with any, yet, when the craving calls ...
Original Recipe.
I don't like plain snack pretzels.  Of course my custom Chex mix doesn't have regular pretzels, it only has Snyder's of Hanover Pretzel Nibblers (in whatever variety my mom has on hand, usually honey mustard though, since I like those), and it has sticks from Pretzel Perfection (a gluten-free company actually, but I really like their products!), because apparently once I told my mom "I'm only willing to accept plain pretzels if they are Pretzel Perfection brand".  Oooph.  But she took note.  So these pretzels, both rods and braids, are not my thing at all.

The pumpernickel chips I almost like, good crunch, decent flavor to the chips themselves, but ... not much seasoning at all.

And then the other blond sticks, one kind with ripples but otherwise seemingly identical.  They have seasoning, and, I don't like it.

Dear self: stop trying this.  It most certainly isn't mom's, but it also just isn't anything you like.
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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Bengong Black, Sydney

Ben Gong's Tea is a chain from China, founded fairly recently in 2014.  It isn't a huge chain, with only 15 locations in China, and, uh, 2 in Sydney, which is where I discovered it.  The original Sydney location is in Burwood, but I visited the newest location, dubbed Bengong Black..

Location

Bengong Black is located in the new section of Darling Square, an area that was entirely different just a year ago, and is now quite walk-able, and filled with very attractive storefronts, featuring new branches of many successful Sydney area businesses.

I still don't quite understand why it is "Bengong" Black vs "Ben Gong's" Tea, but, every reference I have seen uses one word for this location, vs two words for the others.  I'll just go with it.
Store Front.
Many establishments in the area have outside seating, but alas, Bengong Black does not.  Only inside, so minus one point for that, although there is plentiful communal seating just a short walk away, which we were able to utilize.

Baked Goods

The majority of the space inside the shop, besides the seating, is occupied by bakery cases, all self-serve.  Unlike many larger asian bakeries, the items were all already individually wrapped, although trays were provided to put your selections on.

The baked goods lineup at Ben Gong drew me in even more than the soft serve ice cream and drinks, actually.  Why?  Well, I love asian baked goods, but the Sydney staples of Breadtop and 85°C Bakery Cafe just haven't been winners for me (although I did like the Pasadena location), even though they are everywhere in the city.

Offerings were mostly sweet, but the requisite cheese hot dog was certainly there for a savory (and a ham and cheese bun, a prawn roll, etc).  My favorite ingredients of taro, ube, and pork floss were front and center.

Making decisions was hard, and I returned several times to try more items.  All were fine, but, I won't feel compelled to try more.
Brown Sugar Taro Mochi. $4.20.
The first thing I tried was this sweet bun, named "brown sugar taro mochi".

I was drawn in to this for the taro, always a favorite ingredient of mine, even though I really had no idea where the taro would be, and was confused that it was called "mochi"' when it looked like a soft bread.  I also didn't quite know why it had the dark coating ... was that brown sugar?

I'm still not sure what it was that dappled the outside.  It did not seem to have a particularly distinct taste, and my brain kept wanting it to be black sesame, but alas, it was not.

The bread was fine, slightly sweet, soft, pleasant enough.  Not stale.  Better than 85*.  It was well stuffed, only the first bite or two had no filling, after that, the filling took center stage.
Brown Sugar Taro Mochi: Brown Sugar Inside
At first, even once I had taken several big bites, and ripped off chunks, I still could not find the taro.  There was certainly a sweet, sticky, brown filling, but taro?  I didn't find it right away.

What I did find I guess was the brown sugar filling, it tasted sorta like black boba pearls, but, it was syrup-like paste.  My brain was confused by the familiar taste, but unfamiliar form factor.  I call it a syrup, but that isn't quite accurate.  It was thick, and ... glutinous.  Was the mochi aspect in here?  It was odd, no question, just something new for me.  I don't think I liked it.
Brown Sugar Taro Mochi: Inside.
As for the taro, once I did find it, there really was a very, very generous portion of taro mash inside, it just wasn't distributed to the top where I started.  It didn't need more, there really was plenty, and it was good, sweet, taro mash.

I warmed my bun up later, and liked the taro even more warmed up.

So overall, I had a ok soft bread, a strange brown sugar filling, and enjoyable taro.  It didn't add up quite as I wished though.  I needed something, and in my head, I just really, really wanted some cream to have with it.
Salted Egg Pork Floss. $5.80.
Next I went slightly savory, going for a pork floss option.

Pork floss shows up in several items, such as the basic pork floss bun, or a spicy one, or a tempting sounding one with taro and pork floss.  But I wanted the most interesting sounding of all: salted egg yolk and pork floss.  I kinda have a thing for salted egg ...

The bread itself was again fine, soft, slightly sweet.  Not really remarkable though.  It was coated with a little salted egg yolk, which mostly just made for messy fingers, rather than gave it much flavor.
Salted Egg Yolk Pork Floss: Inside.
But of course, while the bread being soft and fresh is important, I was most interested with what was inside.  

I ... was very underwhelmed by this one.  There was a mound of pork floss, and there was some mash that was slightly egg yolk tasting.  Both were salty and slightly savory, and both were very dry.  I really wanted to taste more egg yolk.  But really, it just ate ... boring.  Dry bread, dry fillings, nothing really that interesting.

I tried dipping it in some curries, and in some sauces, but it just never really got much better.
Star Fall. $4.80.
Back to sweets.

Uh, yeah.  I got the rainbow bun.  Called a "Star Fall", as if that helps understand what it is.  I had to ask.

The answer, I was told, is a salted egg custard.  Given that I like custard, and I like salted egg, this certainly sounded fascinating.  Plus, if nothing else, the 'gram would like the brilliant color, right?

I don't think the bread was actually a different flavor than the others, but it really did seem like it had a slightly more subtle, sakura like flavor.  I'm sure that was in my head due to the coloring.  Anyway, another fine bread base, although it seemed sweeter, moister, softer, and I liked it more than the others.
Star Fall: Inside.
Inside was the goodness, although this one was less well stuffed than the others.  Maybe just due to its massive size and large cavity inside?

It was ... well, a salty egg yolk custard.  Creamy.  Rich.  Salty.  Savory.  Sweet.  I loved it.  Chunks of the soft sweet bread slathered with that custard were just delicious.

I really enjoyed this item, and rather inhaled it.  I kept trying to save a chunk for later, and really should have, given how large it was, and how much I had just eaten prior to trying it, but ... it was just too good to put down.

Hands down favorite item, and I'd likely get it again.

Drinks

Most people seem to go to Ben Gong's Tea for the drinks, all of which are made to order.
Drink Menu: Part One.
The drink menu is fairly large.

First up is the fruit ranges.  "Fruitea Fresh" is fresh fruit iced teas, the lightest option.   "Fruitea Smoothie", are fruit & tea smoothies, interestingly topped with cheese foam by default.

Other cheese topped options are the "Cheezo Tea", basic jasmine/oolong/matcha topped with cheese foam.

These all allow sugar and ice level customization, and are served cold.
Drink Menu: Part Two.
Drinks get more interesting on the second page.  Here you find the "Wuwu Handcraft" range, which turns out to be brown sugar pearl milk teas, in classic black tea, matcha, or just milk base, with or without taro or purple rice added.

Next up, "Tea Cubes", which are smaller drinks, just classic black milk tea or matcha tea, with your choice of flavored konjac jelly inside.  I really wished you could add these jellies to other drinks, as I liked the sound of the lychee or coconut jellies.

And finally, "Shaking Yoghurt Tea", drinks made from yogurt and tea base (I think green tea?).

Seasonal specials rounded out the menu, and in October, strawberry was the theme: strawberry wuwu fresh milk, smoothies, shaking yogurt tea, ice cream sundaes.  Berries, berries berries.

When I headed to Bengong Black, I was planning to get the "Wuwu Taro Purple Rice Milk", as I really like taro, and have been into drinks with purple or black sticky rice in them on this trip, but ... my other random obsession this trip was yogurt drinks, so, at last minute, I went for one of those instead.  The purple rice shaking yogurt tea would have made the most sense, the most like the other drinks I had liked, but ... I don't know what happened, I kinda accidentally ordered a seasonal fruit one instead, even though ... it didn't seem like anything I'd like.  And, spoiler, I didn't.

I'd still consider returning to get a rice drink, but I wasn't particularly inspired by seeing other drinks being made either, and wished they had more customization options (e.g. add taro to the purple rice shaking yogurt tea).
Seasonal Special: Berries Shaking Yogurt Tea. $7.80.
Well, um ... I'll just cut to the chase.  I hated this.

It did look pretty, when it was first served.  Fresh berries (strawberries and blueberries) in the very base, a layer of yogurt, a layer of berries, and then the mixed up tea / fruit / yogurt drink.  It quickly looked gross, as it separated out, and had chunks of yogurt all floating around, but, at very first, it was appealing. 

The idea is to shake it to mix it all up, hence the "shaking" name.

I first used my straw to get the layers separate though.

The fruit was fine, soft, mushy, stewed in sweetness, but I think fresh (not frozen) fruit.  Very, um, fruity.

The yogurt was just yogurt.  Just generic as can be, fairly thin, fairly runny, fairly tart, yogurt.  Nothing special about it, at all.  I was really hoping for something creamier, richer, more interesting (like the Koomi yogurt - review coming soon!)

And finally, the majority of the drink.  I was told it did have some tea (I think green?) although I didn't taste it.  It was very, very sweet, very very fruity.  Except for the fact that it also was yogurty.  I guess it tasted like a smoothie, but like one that wouldn't stay mixed together well.

I did shake it.  And shake it more.  And more.  But it just kept separating out, into a watery fruity layer with floating chunks of yogurt.  I wouldn't mind the horrible look if I liked the taste, but I also just didn't like it.  At all.  The watery fruity layer tasted like the top of jam or jelly when you make it, the part you normally skim off.  Major meh.

Now, granted, I don't like smoothies, and I don't generally like yogurt, so maybe this is expected, but, the other yogurt drinks I had in Sydney I really did like.  

Clearly, this wasn't for me, and certainly did not leave me inspired to try any other shaking yogurt teas, or smoothies, from there.

That said, I did love the plastic reusable bottle, and gladly kept that for future use.

Soft Serve Ice Cream

And, last but not least: soft serve ice cream, a passion of mine.  Bengong Black always carries a basic vanilla flavor, plus a seasonal flavor.  I was sad to see the black sesame from a few weeks before my visit was replaced with the seasonal strawberry flavor.

Soft serve is available quite simply in a cone, no toppings, or, as a pre-designed sundae.  No options to craft your own, which I think would be great given all the toppings and mix-ins they have available.

One sundae is always available, the vanilla based "Wuwu Oreo Sundae", and two seasonal options were also offered, both featuring strawberries - one used the strawberry soft serve base (the "Strawberry Supreme Sundae"), and the other used vanilla base, plus fresh berries and agar.  Since I wasn't really excited about the berries, the Wuwu Oreo is what I got, even though I wasn't actually excited for Oreo either (but I knew that was a minor component).
Wuwu Oreo Sundae. $5.80.
The soft serve was good.  Just simple vanilla, but it was perfectly creamy, sweet, and fairly vanilla flavored.  Not bad at all.

At the base of the sundae was brown sugar boba, although you can't see them here.  There was a standard scoop, just like in a bubble tea.  Does "wuwu" mean boba?  I haven't really been into boba lately, but I did like the idea of the boba in the sundae.  The boba was fine, nicely chewy.  The brown sugar flavor I certainly prefer over standard tapioca pearls.  

The brown sugar syrup drizzled throughout added a really lovely flavor.  I would never think of using this as an ice cream sauce, but it really worked.  I'm inspired to add it to future ice cream sundaes.  It was also fun for my brain to compare the brown sugar flavor here, as a syrup and as pearls, to the paste from the brown sugar taro mochi ... this was so much more successful for me.

And finally, a bit of Oreo crumb on top, that honestly just was odd, chocolate cookie and brown sugar are not a combo that made sense to my brain.  The crunch was nice, but, meh.

I felt it needed just a bit more oomph, so I added licorice sprinkles that I had with me, and that really did help.  More brown sugar syrup, or, the ability to add lychee or one of the fruit toppings (or cheese foam?) on top would really make this incredible.

Overall, I'm glad I tried it, but I wouldn't get it again.  Good enough soft serve, and a new inspiration for use of brown sugar sauce, but Sydney has some outstanding soft serve (creamier, more intense flavors, etc), and I'd rather get those if I wanted soft serve.

Cakes / Desserts 

The final offering at Bengong Black is cakes and other desserts, all displayed behind a glass case and fetched by the employees.
Pretty Cakes.
They looked fine, but I had a hard time wanting a cheesecake or tiramisu, when I had so many other unique items to pick from (even though they did have matcha red bean cake, and a cute strawberry mousse).

When I brought a group of co-workers with me, one got the black forest cake, but didn't comment on it, so I can't imagine it was particularly notable.
Bengong Black Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Waffling Leftovers: Onion Rings

Yup, another installment of Waffling Leftovers, my never ending quest to put random leftovers into a waffle iron, and see what happens (you can read all about my previous adventures here!)

By now, you know I've tried waffling just about every class of leftovers, sweet, savory, main dishes, side dishes, breakfast, dessert ... I've done it all.

But somehow, I've never tried anything like simple french fries, onion rings, and the like.  I have no idea why.  I think I usually go for more interesting starting points.

It turns out, a waffle iron works absolutely fine for this, at least, for onion rings ...
The Original: Leftover Onion Ring.
I started with, well, an onion ring.  The original was great, a fresh, crispy, greasy in the right ways, onion ring, from a local Korean place (yeah,  I don't know what was Korean about it ...).

Onion rings, for me, have about a 2 minute shelf life when fresh, and after that, I kinda dislike them.  Lukewarm, soft, soggy onion rings just have no place in my life.

But, I am always generally pretty happy reheating them in a toaster oven, although it takes effort, flipping them every couple minutes, making sure they don't over cook.  The window of getting them perfectly crunchy again vs way too crisp sometimes feels like 20 seconds.

So I decided to see how the waffle iron would do, potentially requiring less work (no flipping!), and less diligence, while still giving me crispy greatness.
Leftover Onion Ring: Waffling.
I started with a tester, alongside another experiment (not really a success, leftover autumn vegetable gratin, you can read about that here).

350*, and I did nothing to it, just threw it in.  Which, is exactly what I wanted.  No work.
Waffled Onion Ring!
It took only a few minutes, and when I checked on it, I saw visible char marks, and it felt crispy overall.  Well, that was easy!

I plucked it out, let it cool enough to handle, pulled out my favorite honey mustard and ranch dipping sauces, and eagerly dunked it in both.

The verdict?  Yup, that *totally* worked.  I loved the extra crisp bite where the waffle iron made contact, and the rest was crisp, but still moist.  Really, exactly what I was looking for, and I found that I liked the two crunch levels even more than a standard ring that is all uniform.

This was a big success, no question.  And so much easier than manually flipping and watching.  I've since done it a number of times, and been absolutely thrilled with the easy results.  100% recommend.

Next, I'm definitely trying french tries, I think they'd work just about the same ...
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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Yank Sing - Catering

Update Review, October 2019

I've reviewed Yank Sing only once before, just for catering, and was amazed that I've never written a formal review.  Yank Sing was formative to my early days in San Francisco, long waits, lazy weekends with friends eating way too much dim sum.  Such fond memories.

So whenever Yank Sing shows up as the caterer for an event I'm at ... I go running.
Catering Feast.
I eagerly loaded up a plate.
Pile of Goodness.
Yes, I took some of everything: chicken chow mein, bbq pork buns, potstickers, spring rolls, spinach dumplings, shrimp dumplings, sesame balls ...   I was famished!  (Ok, ok, and I was sharing my platter with my co-worker).

The shrimp dumpling, spring roll, pot sticker, and sesame balls were definitely the top four, and I'd gladly have any again.   The chicken chow mein was rather mediocre, just not special in any way, although it had generous chunks of chicken.

Steamed BBQ Pork Bun
"A fluffy bread bun stuffed with nuggets of honey-glazed BBQ pork."

The bbq pork buns are usually a highlight for me, but I found this just ... ok.  The dough was soft, the filling juicy and bbq'ed, but ... it was just ok.  Nothing above average.

Chicken Spring Roll
"Cantonese spring rolls filled with a wok-cooked mixture of hand-cut julienned chicken, cabbage, winter bamboo shoot tips and scallions."

I was really pleased with the spring roll though, a surprise to me, but it was soooo crispy, oily in the right ways, and the filling was flavorful.  I couldn't even tell it was chicken (a good thing for me).
Spinach Dumpling (V).
"Fresh vegetable filling of hand-chopped spinach, water chestnuts, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots, in a natural chive juice colored dumpling."

I remembered not liking this before, but, I wanted to give it another try.

I again ... hated it.  I honestly don't know what it is, but there is something in the flavor, even of the wrapper, that I just can't stand.

I think it is well made though, generously stuffed, well minced filling, and soft but slightly chewy wrapper.  I just ... hate it.
Pork Potsticker.
"Northern Chinese style dumplings with a minced pork, Napa cabbage, scallions, ginger, and toasted sesame oil filling, steamed in a wok, then shallow-pan-fried." 

The pork potsticker was again quite good.  Not life changing, but a great execution - crispy exterior,  well seasoned juicy moist pork interior.  I enjoyed.
Shrimp Dumpling.
"Succulent shrimp embedded with crunchy sweet winter bamboo shoot tips and fashioned into a bonnet."

I haven't reviewed this one before, but it was a big hit for me this time.

I was shocked by just how chock full of shrimp it was.  No fishy quality, just juicy, well, yes, "succulent" shrimp inside.  Exactly as promised.

My favorite piece this day.
Sesame Ball.
"Light sticky rice-flour balls stuffed with sweet lotus seed puree, rolled in sesame seeds deep-fried until golden brown and crusty. "

The sweet option I usually go for at Yank Sing is the coconut cream roll, or sometimes the soft sweet buns or egg custard tarts, so I don't have the sesame balls often, unless I'm with a group and we can get a bunch of things.  Always something I like, but not my top choice.

I quite enjoyed it though - perfectly crispy fried exterior, delightfully chewy mochi like wrapper, and a small amount of filling inside.

Original Review, September 2018

I don't understand how I've never reviewed Yank Sing before.

For background, Yank Sing is basically *the* place for dim sum in San Francisco if you don't want to venture to the Richmond.  Its also significantly more expensive than dim sum usually is, and always causes me to take a pause when I see the prices.  That said, it is consistent, you can make reservations (!), and, well, they do use quality ingredients, and the seafood offerings in particular are impressive.

Yank Sing is the first place I ever had dim sum, way back when I moved to the Bay Area and my culinary horizons expanded.  We used to go regularly for brunch, always with a group, and always feasted.  I've since had dim sum around the world (like the beautiful unique creations at Lulu and Yum Yum in Sydney, in breakfast buffets at hotels like the Westin in Tokyo or airline lounge buffets like Cathay's in Hong Kong, on flights like Cathay Pacific Business Class flights where it wasn't great, and First Class wasn't much better, and even from food trucks like Let's Do Yum Cha).  I've safely had my share of dim sum by this point.

Anyway, I don't know how I've never reviewed Yank Sing.  I don't go often now, but I still have visited since I started a blog, likely just not taking notes and reviewing since I was with a group.  I usually dine in, always with a group since items come in sharing portions.  It is a standard setup at the restaurant, you order tea from a server, then items come through the room on carts, you gesture if you want something, you feast.

Yank Sing has two locations in San Francisco, both downtown.  They also have a takeout place that I've also ordered from a few times, when I haven't felt like dealing with the crowds, or, when I just want a few items and don't have a group.

But this review is of the group take out experience, catering.  Never a restaurant's place to shine, but, Yank Sing still did pull off a reliable meal.  It made me want to go back in person after a bit of a hiatus!
Pork Potsticker.
"Northern Chinese style dumplings with a minced pork, Napa cabbage, scallions, ginger, and toasted sesame oil filling, steamed in a wok, and then shallow pan fried." 

I went to Yank Sing for years before ever having a potsticker there.  I have no idea why.  We all always weren't interested.

And then one time, I was there with a huge group, and someone ordered them.  I thought they were crazy, but then I had one, and I recall loving it.

So I was thrilled when the catered event had the potstickers!
Pork Potsticker.
Yank Sing gets all the elements of the pot sticker right.

The wrapper is the right thickness, and the sear on one side perfect and crisp.  I love how well they get them crisped up, without feeling oily.  The sear was better on the ones at the otherwise not good Dumpling Depot in Sunnyvale, but these were better overall.

Inside is generously stuffed with a ball of minced pork with good flavor from the cabbage, scallions, and ginger.  The filling is a bit mushy for my taste, but otherwise, is fine, not too porky.

A solid potsticker, not quite as memorable as that first time I had one, but still, good.  My third favorite item.
Pork and Shrimp Siu Mye.
"Diced pork and shrimp filling, hand-wrapped in fresh pasta skin and hand-formed into a fluted 'basket'".

Pretty much every time we go to dim sum, this piece gets ordered. I've never thought it was the best piece, nor the worst piece, but definitely one always worth getting.

Very classic siu mye, with pork/shrimp/chives inside.
Pork and Shrimp Siu Mye.
But I adored the shrimp siu mye this time.

The wrapper was my favorite of the assortment of dim sum I had, a slight chew to it.  The filling was generous, juicy, and just loaded with big chunks of shrimp.  I didn't actually taste any pork, but, I think there was some ground with the other goodies.

My favorite piece from this visit.
Scallop Siu Mye.
I don't think I had ever had this one before!

It was labelled as scallop siu mye, but, certainly not the shape of a siu mye ... it didn't have an open top?
Scallop Siu Mye.
I think it might have been the seafood and chive dumpling instead, as, you can see, it had lots of green inside too!

But really what was inside was a huge juicy scallop.  If I thought the shrimp sui mye was loaded with shrimp, this was even more so.  Tons of protein in this one!  The scallop was fine, not particularly notable, but, fine.  Which was surprising given that the majority of this item *was* scallop, I expected to taste it more.

A decent dumpling, one I'd consider getting again since I do love scallops, but, the scallop didn't really present itself how I'd like.
Spinach Dumpling (Vegetarian).
"Fresh vegetable filling of hand chopped spinach, water chestnuts, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and bamboo shoots in a natural chive juice colored dumpling." 

I had a vague memory of trying this years ago when I dined with vegetarians and we had *all* the vegetarian items, and I remembered not liking it, but, I still tried it again.

And, yup, not my thing.

The shape is more like a large tortellini, and the wrapper a bit thicker than most other offerings, in not a good way, as it dominated.  Green from chive juice, but you don't taste it.  Eh to the wrapper.

The filling I didn't care for either, the crunch from the bits of water chestnut was nice, but otherwise, the flavor of the spinach didn't do it for me.

One of my least favorites, and I don't want to try these again!
Mushroom Dumpling (Vegetarian)
My absolute favorite piece of dim sum from Yank Sing is a vegetarian item.  No question.  I really truly adore their snow pea shoots dumplings.  These at least looked similar, the same shape and size, and I do like mushrooms, so I gave them a try.

The wrapper was good, nicely steamed, not too thick, and it was well formed.
Mushroom Dumpling: Inside.
But the inside wasn't for me.  The texture of the chopped slimy mushrooms, and the overall flavor ... eh.

Probably my second to least favorite piece they serve (after the spinach one!).
Steamed BBQ Pork Bun.
"A fluffy bread bun stuffed with nuggets of honey glazed BBQ pork. "

Yank Sing's steamed BBQ pork buns are always reliable.

Huge, fluffy, slightly sweet bun, chopped up bbq pork inside.  The bbq pork is fine, decent quality pork, decent flavor bbq, not too sweet, nicely coated pieces.  I don't adore it, I've had bbq filling I like better, but this is a decent version.

Solid, reliable, but not, "OMG great".
Egg Custard Tart.
"Velvety smooth and sweet egg custard in a flaky pastry tart shell. "

Yank Sing makes a fine egg custard tart.  Flaky shell, shiny top, well set egg custard, slightly sweet.  Best warm, no question.

It is a fairly standard offering, not remarkable in any way, but reliable if you are in the mood.

I personally adore some of their other desserts though, like the coconut cream rolls, so, the egg custard is always just "ok" to me.
Yank Sing Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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