Be ready for the crowds!
Our first stop: Tianjin Foods
Tianjin is known for its dumplings, so we had high hopes.
Good dumplings ($5.50)
These dumplings are exactly like the ones I had back home in China. They're plump and filled with pork and cabbage, and the dumpling skin has a good, chewy texture. If you'd like to spice it up a bit, they have super spicy chili sauce for you to add on.
Fried Bun with Chives ($5.00)
Seems like a bit of a misnomer; the fillings are Chinese leeks, and this is not a bun, it's more like a pancake. Whatever it's translated to, the dish, called Jiu Cai He Zi (leek box) in Chinese, is a main staple in northern regions of China.
Beef with Tomato Casserole ($7.99)
One of our favorite finds, deeply flavored beef soup with plenty of vermicilli and vegetables at the bottom. They make good beef noodles, too, and fish casseroles as well.
Chinese style crayfish ($9.99)
A must-try of this food court, as long as you don't mind getting your hands messy. Drenched in sauce cooked down from Chiense spices and dried chili pepper, the crayfish is flavorful and spicy. (Almost every table we saw ordered this.)
You Tiao ($1.00) from Fuzhou Snacks
Known as Yau Ja Gwai in Cantonese, You Tiao literally means "oil strips." Think of a salty doughnut, only harder and crispier. Paired with soybean mlik, You Tiao is a breakfast staple in many Chinese regions. They taste so good when fresh, straight out of the oil wok, but getting them hot is the luck of the draw.
Guo Bian ($2.00) from Fuzhou Snacks
This is not written on their standard menu, unless you spot their handwritten seperate menu in Chinese; it's a very light noodle dish with some wood ear fungus and chopped vegetables in savory broth.
Boiled Spicy Fish Bowl ($6.99)
We expected this dish to be spicier than it looked, because the fish is drenched in red chili oil and covered with more dried chili. With bean sprouts and some Chinese cabbages at the bottom, The fish itself tastes really fresh and amazingly tender.
Durian and Sweet Black Rice with Coconut Shaved Ice($6.00)
Although there's also a crepe station in the food court, I prefer Manji Dessert because they have my favorite (stinky) durian dish. With coconut milk as the base, two scoops of sweet black rice and creamy smashed durian sit on top. You either love or hate it. (I love it.)
Cold Stewed Duck Wings ($3.50)
We found this on the deli station in the store (#4) that's to the left of the elevator. This dish is usually served as a cold appetizer in China. The duck wings are stewed in tea-infused liquid for hours and then smoked and dried. The smoky flavor comes through nicely with a hint of tea aroma, but it might be a bit work picking out the meat from bones using your hands.
Jelly and Red Bean with Ice Cream ($4.25)
Durian sounds too intimidating? You can try more conventional Chinese desserts like this one, and you get to choose the ice cream flavor.
Yea, the third round on dessert
This Mango Grapefruit Sago is one of their bestsellers, with the sweet mango puree mixed with slightly bitter and sour grapefruit. It is really refreshing and can be a good summer dessert!