Sunday, September 26, 2010

More than Bread: Qing Dao Bread Food

In my endless quest for great dumplings, especially in the wake of Dumpling Master's closure, I have been scouring the San Gabriel Valley for great dumplings. My latest stop was the Qing Dao Bread Food, which specializes in dumplings and buns.

Overall, the buns an dumplings here were a bit uneven, though the good things were very good. Boiled lamb dumplings were fantastic, with a great well-seasoned lamb filling (indeed, better than those I used to get at Dumpling Master). The fried dumplings were a bit too doughy for me and the other bread heavy buns were pretty unexciting. There was a traditional, but well done pork bao, but for some reason, it's only on the menu in Chinese. Look for it directly under the pork with cabbage on the "Fried Stuffed Dumpling" portion of the menu.

My favorite dish, though, was the noodle soup listed as "pork chop with mustard greens." They nailed every element here, soup, meat and noodle. It was a dark, porky broth with chewy, handmade noodles. The chunks of pork chop, marinated in a sweet soy glaze, were fall off the bone tender. I slurped up all the broth I could and delighted in the varying textures of noodle and pork. Great stuff. This was definitely the best dish of the meal, and the kind of thing I will be craving for a long time.

Between the soup and the lamb dumplings, Qing Dao will be a definite return trip and I will want to try more of their boiled dumplings, but next trip, I'll stay away from the buns and fried dumplings.

Qing Dao Bread Food
301 N. Garfield Ave. #G
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 312-6978

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