Posts tagged soup dumplings

6 Notes

Taipei Day 1: Living and Eating like a Local (sort of)

We flew out of Osaka and arrived in Taipei in the late afternoon. Looking to save some money, we decided to book an apartment in Taipei rather than spend $200 a night for a hotel. I found an apartment rental through www.vrbo.com and made several inquiries for apartments throughout Taipei city prior to the trip. We decided on an apartment located in the Daan District. It was nicely located within walking distance to some great food locations, about 7 minutes away from the MRT subway station, and it was pretty well priced at around US$82/day. The apartment was clean and just enough space for 3 people. We were living among the locals. image

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Lydia has family in Taipei and her cousin Meng met up with us at the apartment. Meng had a whole itinerary planned out for us. Our first stop was dinner at Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐), the original store located on Xinyi Road in Daan. When in Taipei, Din Tai Fung is a mandatory stop. Everyone goes there for their famous paper thin yet juicy soup dumplings.image

Being the original restaurant, the Xinyi Road location usually is pretty crowded but we were seated pretty quickly. Over the few years, many other stores have opened around Taipei as well as overseas. They must get a lot of Japanese tourist because all waiters and waitresses speak fluent Japanese. For a second, I thought I was back in Japan. image

I particularly love their Shanghainese appetizers especially the drunken chicken and pickled spicy cucumbers. image

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We ordered a round of soup dumplings and some other vegetarian dumplings to share. image

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So good! I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Next we walked to a nearby night market and settled for some pan fried dumplings. Made on the street, fried on the street, and eat on the street. So good! imageimage

Next we went to look for shaved ice! I did not get to eat shaved ice the last time I came to Taipei so I was really looking forward to it. Meng took us to this famous local dessert spot. imageWe shared a strawberry shaved ice and a bowl of hot peanut tong yuan (sweet glutenous rice ball). It was so refreshing and good. I was in heaven!image

After shaved ice, we walked back into the night market. Taipei is filled with night markets where various vendors set up shop. Vendor range from clothing, jewelry,to all kinds of food. It’s especially busy during the weekends. I found a gua boa stand (steamed bun wrapped around fatty pork) I just had to have one! Lydia and I each got one to go and ate it while walking back to our apartment. I love Taipei!image

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More eating in Taipei to come!

Thank you Lydia for sharing some of your photos.

2 Notes

First stop in Taipei-at 鼎泰豐 信義店 (Din Tai Fung) for soup dumplings!

First stop in Taipei-at 鼎泰豐 信義店 (Din Tai Fung) for soup dumplings!

7 Notes

I found Din Tai Fung in Hong Kong by chance. That night I was really hoping to get a table at Ippudo (a Japanese Ramen restaurant) but the line was just too long. I walked around the shopping mall to see what other options I had and I found them.

The xiao long baos (soup dumplings) come in 6 pieces per order. They were amazing. The skin was so thin and the soup inside was hot and flavorful. I also ordered a spicy cucumber appetizer and a small bowl of DanDan noodles. The cucumbers were spicy and perfectly marinated with fragrant sesame oil. Even though my mouth was on fire and my nose was dripping from the heat, I couldn’t stop eating them. They were so addictive. The noodles were mixed with broad beans, minced pork, and marinated tofu…yum! 

Din Tai Fung- Hong Kong, Silvercord Branch
Shop 130, 3F, Silvercord, No.30, Canton Rd., Tsimshatsui, Kowloon

7 Notes

My first stop after checking into my hotel in Taipei was to grab lunch at Din Tai Fung. Din Tai Fung is most famous for their soup dumplings aka Xiao Long Bao. The first original shop is located on Da’an Street in Taipei. Due to it’s popularity, there are many branches not only around Taipei, but also all over the world. Unfortunately, one hasn’t made it to New York yet. I stopped by their Zhongxiao Branch which was just 2 blocks away from my hotel.

There are 10 pieces with one order of Xiao Long Bao. In addition, I also ordered a bowl of hot and sour soup and a small dish of sauteed sugar pea shoots with garlic. First, the dumplings were delicious. The wrapper was so thin, yet sturdy enough to not break when you like it up with your chopsticks. They come piping hot, so if you don’t want to scald your tongue with the juices inside the dumpling, let them cool just a little bit. The hot and sour soup was just okay; it wasn’t sour enough or spicy enough. The pea shoots sauteed with just some fresh garlic were perfect. 

If I closed my eyes and just listened to the table conversations next to me, I swear I was in Japan. Din Tai Fung is quite popular with Japanese tourist, and all the servers speak Japanese fluently. In addition to Chinese and English the menus also have Japanese.

Din Tai Fung, Taipei Zhongxiao Branch, No. 218, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Rd., Da’an District, Taipei City (Alley 216)

9 Notes

I’ve said that for everyday since I came back from Asia, I was dreaming that I was still there.  At least now, I don’t have to dream about the food. I found a place in Chinatown that is quite comparable to the food I had in Hong Kong. This place is called Noodle Village.  

Soup dumplings in Chinese are called Xiao Long Bao because they are steamed in small bamboo baskets. They are usually filled with ground pork and an aspic; which when heated the aspic melts and creates a soup inside the bun. We ordered one regular and one with crabmeat and roe. The bao’s here are larger than the ones I had at Ding Tai Fung in Hong Kong and Taipei; but still taste pretty good.

We also ordered wonton noodles and fried fish skin.  Fried fish skin is so popular in Hong Kong eateries.  I was surprised they had it on the menu at Noodle Village. Eating the fish skin definitely brought back the feeling that I was still in Hong Kong. 

Noodle Village, 13 Mott Street (at Chatham Square) Chinatown, NYC

5 Notes

Xiao Long Bao also called soup dumplings. Can’t wait to get the real deal when I’m in Shanghai this weekend! 

Xiao Long Bao also called soup dumplings. Can’t wait to get the real deal when I’m in Shanghai this weekend! 

3 Notes

Birthday Celebration #2 with the Fam at Congee Village
Peking Style Pork Chop, House Special Garlic Chicken, Pork Intestines with Pickled Mustard Greens, Cantonese Pork Chow Mein, Soup Dumplings, Dungeness Crab with Garlic & Pepper. 
Congee Village, 100 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002

Birthday Celebration #2 with the Fam at Congee Village

Peking Style Pork Chop, House Special Garlic Chicken, Pork Intestines with Pickled Mustard Greens, Cantonese Pork Chow Mein, Soup Dumplings, Dungeness Crab with Garlic & Pepper. 

Congee Village, 100 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002