Thursday, September 1, 2011

Din Tai Fung Revisit

After the disappointing xiao long bao from Shanghai last year, I wanted to see how one of my favorites, Din Tai Fung, would stack up against it. Light years better than the stuff in Shanghai which is a shame since Shanghai and that region is the birth place of xiao long bao.

Our Menu
Pork Xiao Long Bao *

The dumpling skin is beautifully folded and insanely resilient – no matter how you poke and prod it with your chopstick the skin will not rip. Pork flavor and broth is solid, but I like something with a little more punch.

Pork and Truffle Xiao Long Bao **
Gimicky, but still delicious. The truffle amps up the flavor and complements the pork nicely.

Pork and Crab Xiao Long Bao **
My favorite of the XLB’s. Crab and pork are such an awesome combo in terms of texture and taste.

Squash Long Bao
A pass for me. We had the same version in SF and it was much better – subtle sweetness of the squash is kind of hidden and almost bland.

Fried Rice ***
I know I know, fried rice is Americanized food, but the wife loves the stuff and the ones they serve here are friggin’ phenomenal. Not too oily with all the components (eggs, scallions, and sweet/juicy shrimp) perfectly distinct in terms of flavor/texture, while at the same time being perfectly harmonized. A complete WTF fried rice.

Rating System
--- What the F - in a bad way | (no stars - poor to average) | * Good | ** Great | *** What the F – in a good way

Closing Comments
Din Tai Fung is a phenomenal xiao long bao place. The skin is the best here, but the combo of meat, broth, and skin I've had better elsewhere - maybe Cali?

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