Jolin – Take a Bao, and a Menu of Mystery

Xiao Long Bao
Xiao Long Bao

How now, pork bao?

I love a good Xiao Long Bao. There’s nothing like squashing a whole one in your mouth (hopefully not burning yourself to oblivion in the process) and having a fantastic pork stock burst out along with the pork mince.

That’s what attracted me to Jolin on Dominion Road. Rather than waiting for the Xiao Long Bao trolley to roll around at Yum Char, I can order it off the menu from these guys.

Deep Fried Pork Bun

Now, if you’re used to the flavourings at the likes of China, Grand Park, and North Sea Village, you may be disappointed with these. They’re definitely on the sweet side, the same with the deep fried pork buns and dumplings. While it’s jarring for me too, there’s something endearing about the experience. Mrs Peckish isn’t for it though. Sometimes you’ll get that same sense of line stepping at yum char, like the glazed barbeque pork buns and pastries. It’s like someone took a sprinkling of Baker’s Delight type sweetness and tucked it under the shirt of the savoury so you don’t notice until the last minute. Be prepared to have split juries on these ones. Between the deep fried dumplings (not pictured, we had those on a previous visit)  and buns, I’d recommend the buns. They come with this golden sesame crust on the hull, little crunchy barnacles that add an extra dimension of texture and taste to the experience. Be prepared for the heaviness of the dumplings and buns as well. They’ll knock back most regular appetites, and even some more robust ones.

Pork and Veges Won Ton Soup

I can more easily recommend the pork and veges won ton soup and dry noodle with pork mince topping. As you’ll be able to see the won ton soup is generous with the won ton, but you can’t see how light and flavourful the broth is. It’s like bobbing gently in an old fishing boat in the South China Sea with some classical Chinese music in the background. A sensation that washes over you and is refreshing and soothing at the same time. I was sneaking spoonfuls of this out of Mrs Peckish’s bowl, and was grateful when she offered up a couple of beached won tons towards the end of the meal.

Dry Noodle with Pork Mince Topping
Dry Noodle with Pork Mince Topping

The dry noodle with pork mince topping was the quiet star of the day for me. I was a little disappointed at first that there wasn’t as much mince as was pictured on the menu, but after mixing it all through the noodles, I discovered how far a little went. It does the job that a good spaghetti Bolognese does, without needing as much meat to do it with, or the cheese. If you’re not familiar with Chinese cooking, it’s a fun game of hide and seek trying to pick out the individual flavours.

At $34.80 for the lot pictured, some of which is chilling in the fridge as I write this, Jolin offers plenty of hearty food for the price. Try as I might, I was forced into that old move from eating martial arts, defeated stance:

Little Tea Pot Defeated Stance
I’m a Little Tea Pot Defeated Stance

Oh, you’re still reading? Here’s a little something for the extra credit hounds, trivia fonts, and lovers of curiosities among you. On the menu below you’ll see a couple of items that were mysteries to us:

Mystery Menu
Mystery Menu

Deep Fried Oil Stick – two up from the bottom (for $2.50? So cheap… I imagine?) no idea what this is.

And the last item on the list that’s handwritten and has no English translation. What is this, are we missing out on something?

Jolin Shanghai Restaurant

248 Dominion Rd, Mt Eden.

9 thoughts on “Jolin – Take a Bao, and a Menu of Mystery

    1. I can tell you, if I ever have a fried oil slick, you’ll be the first one I’ll tell. The plan is to start going back to some of our regular joints and try things that I wouldn’t normally, and see what happens.

  1. 小籠包 looks very authentic… Man! Reading the menu, you have no need to fly yourself to China. You can taste the world in Auckland.:-) Same here, I am staying put in San Francisco. Beautiful photos by the way…

      1. LOL! That’s a weird one… It means “pan fried” but pan fried what? What’s the exchange rate between NZ $ and US $? I think it’s 1 USD = 1.25 NZD last month (I am dealing with currency exchange rates monthly; very boring). So your price looks a bit cheaper than SF… We have to add 9% CA sales tax plus 15% tip.:-( BTW, the closest I got near New Zealand was Cook Island. 🙂

      2. Cook Islands is a pretty good consolation prize if you can’t make it to NZ. How long were you there for? Were you checking out the plant life there?

        General rule of thumb these days is about 80c to the dollar. 15% really drives it over the top for you guys. We have a 15% sales tax (well not a sales tax, but the closest thing), but that’s included in the price. I’m studying tax at the moment, and even our lecturer thinks USA has a pretty complicated system.

        Thanks for the info about the menu, I might have to try that too next time.

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