Wandering up and down the streets of China Town Philadelphia, my friend Lindsay and I searched for place to grab a quick dinner before a concert we were attending. Overwhelmed by the abundance of options, we stumbled into Shiao Lan Kung.
We immediately noticed the place was full of college-aged students, and it didn’t take long to notice why – it appeared to be a BYOB restaurant, which is always ideal for college students. It seemed busy enough to promise it would be good, so we took a look at the menu and their many options.
I decided to go to my usual appetizer – hot and sour soup. This soup was a bit thicker than what I am used to and wasn’t super spicy. However, it was still tasty and met my standards for what I expected.
Lindsay and I ended up ordering the same entree but we really had no idea what it entailed. The menu described it as “triple stuffed” – eggplant, tofu and hot peppers stuffed with shrimp paste with black bean sauce. We weren’t sure if this meant the shrimp would be stuffed or if the vegetables and tofu would be. It turned out that the vegetables and tofu were stuffed, creating a delightful surprise when we bit into it. The menu described the dish as spicy, however, it didn’t meet our spice level so we requested more chili paste. The dish came alive more once we added the chili paste. We agreed the stuffed hot pepper was the tastiest one, but the dish overall was very average.
Lindsay and I both agreed this wasn’t the best, nor the worst, Chinese food we had. If did the job but we wish we ended up at a better restaurant if we had the time to do the research. The food was satisfying, though, and well priced. The service was also decent. I wouldn’t go back again but I see why Philly college students are attracted to it.
Shiao Lan Kung
930 Race St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Tues-Sun 3:00 PM-2:00 AM