Friday, September 10, 2010

HC Dumpling

HC Dumpling had gone through a long downward slide ever since we first ate there about five years ago, when it served perhaps the best Shanghainese food south of San Francisco and north of Los Angeles. Located in the Cupertino Mall near the intersection of Homestead and Wolfe, it went through a few changes in management, staff and food selection. All that remained constant was the name.

The food quality got worse with each reincarnation of HC Dumpling, all the way up until a few months ago. However, lunch today signaled a turn for the better. Arriving first was the litmus test of any Shanghainese restaurant, the xiao long bao. We ordered ours with a crab filling. The dumplings were excellent. They the xiao long baos that could be had here five years ago, but excellent. Each dumpling screamed "Crab!" with every bite. The only aspect that suffered in any way was the skin, which was a touch too elastic to be considered truly authentic. The skin reminded me a little of a wonton wrap that lost some of its moisture.

The vegetable rice (below) was excellent and reminded me of the glory years of HC. It came this time with bacon, providing a welcome twist. The fish soup should have had more fish, but it was hot. The fresh ham (Tung Po Pork on the menu) was tender and it came with buns, an unexpected bonus. My only complaint is the ham was cut against the grain of the meat, so the sides of the slices were a tad rough.
Going to HC over the past few years was like one long fall off a cliff--with eacCheck Spellingh visit the food quality was much lower than the one before. Nevertheless, I'd go every several months or so just for old time's sake. When I walked into HC today I braced myself for the worst. But, instead, the experience brought back fond memories of the HC of long ago.

HC Dumpling
10877 N Wolfe Rd.
Cupertino, CA 95014
(408) 873-4813