Saturday, 26 November 2011

Imperial Lamian, Alam Sutera - Serpong

I've always been curious about xiao long bao.
Xiao long bao (soup dumplings)

The idea of soup inside of translucent skin of a dumpling intrigues me. For those who aren't familiar about xiao long bao, it's actually steamed dumplings with various fillings and piping hot soup innards.

I've heard that Din Tai Fung got the best XLB (xiao long bao), but I haven't got the chance to try theirs, both in Sydney and in Indo. I hope to try them soon, but meanwhile, I'm more than happy to try XLB from other restaurants.

When we first saw Imperial Lamian restaurant, we thought that maybe it's just another fancy Chinese restaurant with mediocre food yet too high prices. However, a quick glance at the menu on the glass window proved us wrong about the price. So we gave it a try.

Imperial Lamien restaurant

Entering the restaurant will almost feel like teleporting to Chinese in past times. The interior is pretty, full of wooden chairs and tables, and there are also old-looking lamps and a quirky, big tree in the middle of the restaurant.

Restaurant's interior

The kitchen is an open kitchen, which I love very much. Diners can easily see their food being cooked. I noticed that some of the chefs clearly have Chinese blood, so I believe they really know what they're doing with the noodles.

Open kitchen

The kitchen placement is neat, it doesn't disturb the sublimity of the restaurant although it looks quite big. The kitchen is divided into several parts, each part is devoted for different type of food. If I'm not mistaken, there are dimsum, lamien, BBQ, and special dishes stations. The place also have a mezzanine, which I'm not sure if it's for dining area or not.

Dimsum station and the bamboo steamers

And the ice shop is teasing me, really. I saw few tables ordering the snow ice, and I promised to myself I'll get that for dessert.

The ice shop, preparing drinks

The menu offered varies from dimsums to their specialty, the lamien noodles. The 'flying noodle' made me curious, and later I knew that it is a way to prepare a noodles, where they're tossed in some ways it looks like they're flying. The choice of noodles includes the flying noodles, but the waiter didn't say anything about it, and the silly me didn't really pay attention either. I actually would love to know the difference of the normal noodles with the flying ones.

The menu

Whilst waiting for the food to come, I walked around and immediately drawn to the noodles-making bench. It's really interesting to see the chef twisting the noodles, massaging them with oil, tossing them repeatedly, and finally the thin noodles are ready to be boiled.

Chef making lamien noodles

Drinks options are many too, but we stick to our usual favs. The lemon tea (IDR 12,900 - $1.35) is the best lemon tea I've had so far, being very fresh and not overly sweet. The lime juice (IDR 12,900 - $1.35) is more on the sour side, and has a slight bitter aftertaste. It's really refreshing actually, but I prefer the lemon tea. The father was really content with his pot of jasmine tea (IDR 5,900 - $0.55), which is aromatic and tastes really original and nice.

Clockwise from top left: lemon tea, lime juice, pouring jasmine tea, the jasmine tea set

The dim sums were first to be served. Tim pangsit isi sayuran (steamed vegetables dumplings) was the father's choice, which he regretted afterwards. It's not my cup of tea either, as the fillings are kinda weird in terms of flavour. The fillings consist of some funny smelling herbs and crunchy mushrooms, and I don't find these dumplings enjoyable.

Tim pangsit isi sayuran (steamed vegetables dumplings) - IDR 11,900 ($1.25)

On the other hand, fong zao (steamed chicken feet in black bean sauce) was a big hit among the brother and myself. Very flavorsome, and I believe the amount of black pepper used is quite high. the chicken feet is very tender, and the sauce is tantalizing.

Fong zao (steamed chicken feet in black bean sauce) - IDR 12,900 ($1.35)

'Wow' was the first word escaped my mouth when the tim superior xiao long bao isi daging babi (steamed minced pork soup dumplings in four combination) arrived on the table. Very pretty with four different colours, these babies successfully made me drooling like a fool.

Having read so many reviews about how to eat XLB, I know exactly what to do. I poked the thin skin of it, and then sipped the piping hot soup. And then I went to food coma. It's so divine! The soup is clear yet super tasty.The minced pork is also superb and addictive. I believe that the filling for all four dumplings is pork, but I reckon the soup is kinda different. The orange one tastes a bit fishy and different than the green one that I tried first. The purple and the white dumplings' soup tastes a wee bit creamier than the other two.

Tim superior xiao long bao isi daging babi (steamed minced pork soup dumplings in four combination) - IDR 19,900 ($2.2)

I ordered mie Cah Chiang dengan daging babi (noodles with minced pork and mushroom in spicy sauce) as my main. The brother ordered the same dish, but with chicken instead of pork.

The noodles are hidden below the brown, thick gravy, and also topped with julienned squash (or labu siam we called it here). The big bowl also comes with a small bowl of pork bone broth, which is light and flavorsome. The brother's noodles comes with a small bowl of chicken broth, which is even lighter than my pork bone broth.

The Cah Chiang noodles are tasty all the way through. The gravy is full of minced pork chunks, it's actually sigh-worthy. The noodles are thin and perfectly cooked. I love everything in that bowl. The pork bone broth isn't really needed in my opinion, as the gravy itself is already superb. And the spoon is huge. It's like mini bailer or something. It's perfect for scooping the remaining gravy.

Mie Cah Chiang dengan daging babi (noodles with minced pork and mushroom in spicy sauce) - IDR 23,900 ($2.55)

Mie dengan udang dan daging kepiting (noodles with prawns and crab meat in pork bone soup) is the father's main. The prawn are really worth fighting over, being very juicy and sweet. This one's tasty too, although I think it's less rich in terms of seasoning. The flavour explosions still occur nevertheless, and if I order this one, I'd ask for half boiled egg.

Mie dengan udang dan daging kepiting (noodles with prawns and crab meat in pork bone soup) - IDR 25,900 ($2.8)

I finished my lunch feeling extremely full and there was no way I can have a bowl of the snow ice. Next time for sure. And the peking duck looks appetizing too no?

Peking ducks in display

I can't wait to try some more XLBs, and I'll make sure Din Tai Fung is next on my list. Or alternatively, I can come here again and have XLB, plus a big bowl of the noodles and ended the meal with snow ice. Hmmm, decisions decisions.

Rating: 4/5 (Recommended)
Great noodles and dim sums, quick service, affordable price, good ambiance although can be noisy during rush hour.



Flavor Bliss Alam Sutera No. 7
Jl. Alam Sutera Boulevard Kav. VI

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  1. u make the food look more tasty...thanks for the foods and resto's review :D

    1. Hi Laura!
      You are very welcome, thanks heaps for dropping by! :))

  2. thanks for the review irene, i'll go there tonight with all my family members

  3. This looks and sounds like a great place. I hope, I get a chance to try it once.
    Great blog and excellent photos :-)

    1. Thank you for dropping by, lamianworld! :D


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