It was with much anticipation that we first went to the newly opened Crowne Plaza Hotel. We're not sure if they've been awarded any stars just yet, but from the looks of it, it should garner quite a few, but probably no more than 5. When we got to Mingren Mingjia, its in-house restaurant on the third floor, it was so packed with people that we had to take a number and wait in line. Who would have thought that such a new place could have attracted such a crowd? Needless to say, by the time we got to our table, we were starving. After watching so many delicious dishes pass from the kitchen to the tables, how could we not be? We got a table after about fifteen minutes of waiting, we were greeted by a smiling waitress who did us right the whole meal. Although the menu wasn't yet complete, we were assured it would be soon. It wasn't a problem most of their dishes were on display around their immaculate bar. We started with a delicious version of Deep Fried Dough Sticks in Eight Treasure Sauce 八宝油条, followed by a very light and fresh plate of Fried Cabbage with Onion炒什菜. Though the Big Braised Pomfret in Garlic and Soy Sauce红烧鲳鱼 took up half our bill, it was so huge that we could barely flip the thing after finishing off the first side. The hit of the meal had to be their Shrimp Dumplings 虾饺皇, which took a while to arrive as our happy waitress warned they would, because they were made fresh at the time of ordering. They were worth the wait. Coming in a close second was their Steamed Pork Dumplings 小笼包, which put the Zhiweiguan variety to shame and we love those. Because of the fish, which we couldn't stay away from, our bill for four came to RMB378, but it could easily have come in under RMB200 had we paid attention. Special Dim Sum set menu available till April 10th. English menu available.
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