[Photographs: David Straight]
We went to Jolin for lunch recently, and rolled out very full. It cost $41. Jolin is one of the few Shanghainese restaurants in Auckland and so it is here that you will find xiao long bao, the little dumpling that could. These are the classic Shanghainese dumpling – technically they’re a bun, only they’re delicate on the outside, pinched and gathered at the top, with stock and pork inside. You bite the top, suck out the stock and then eat the rest quickly. The Dominion Road Dumpling Wars just got hotter.
There are other things at Jolin, and if you’re not familiar with Shanghainese food you might think it bland – it’s delicate and oily. (Sadly, Jolin put things that aren’t Shanghainese on the menu: don’t bother with them.) Try the cold dishes – we like the salted duck, salty and slightly nutty from soy sauce. Recently, we also ate an astonishing dish called “cold Shanghai noodle”, which was a plate of noodles, cold, topped with chilli-peanut-pork mince, almost like Chinese spag bol. We liked it a lot.
So there is the food. But what we really like about Jolin is the service. Yes. Service in a Chinese restaurant on Dominion Road. Recently, our waiter looked contemplative when we ordered. We asked him if we needed something else. “Oh yes,” he said. “I think a wonton noodle soup.” And it didn’t come with a fork and spoon. SFG
HOURS Open seven days, 11am to 10pm.
ADDRESS 248 Dominion Road, ph 631-5575.
IMPORTANT DETAILS There is parking around the back. And be careful – sometimes they’re a bit heavy on the MSG.