Thursday, November 13, 2008

Din Tai Fung - Post 2, another visit

I think one of my favorite comfort foods is dumplings. They're just so perfect - the right amount of wrapper and meat filling, steamed, boiled and in soup, panfried, fried, just so many ways to enjoy a dumpling. And so many kinds! Different fillings, different ways to enjoy them. There's no limits to where you can take a dumpling. One evening, I was craving them bad, as were some of my (ex)coworkers, Ray and Kurt. So we took the trek to enjoy them at the mecca of soup dumpling establishments, Din Tai Fung.

I've been here before (post is here) but hadn't enjoyed this place in awhile, and thought it deserved another post. This time around, I noticed that Din Tai Fung had renovated a bit and had a little more room - I guess they had taken over the space next door, so there were fresh new booths in the back and a surprisingly nice and modern bathroom.

There was a crowd outside the door, as always, when we arrived. I was expecting a gnarly wait time (30 minutes and above, my guesstimation) but the hostess said we would have a ZERO wait time if we decided to share a table with another group. Heck yeah! We were seated immediately at a big table, already being half occupied by 3 other diners. Admittedly, this is not the optimal dining experience, as we don't know these other diners yet are in this small space with them, but for a zero wait time, we were all willing to compromise.

The menu is also the tally for which the wait staff tear off a copy, and use to keep track of what to bring to the table. We made a bunch of choices and soon food started arriving at the table...
Din Tai Fung
The traditional xiao long bao - pork soup dumplings. I noticed one of them had already burst, spilling out its' precious guts all over itself. Sad! But it was still tasty! Ha! You know the drill - carefully lift dumpling into soup spoon, dress it up with some soy sauce, vinegar and thinly sliced ginger threads, bite at the top, slurp out the soup, then devour whole dumpling. The process of eating is even fun, and the taste is just killer - savory, thin skins, porky innard goodness.
Din Tai Fung
One does not live on dumplings alone (although I probably could!) We also ordered some noodles, I think they were with pork pieces. The noodles themselves were pretty good, I don't usually prefer this noodles style (lo mein) but at a place that makes their own dumpling skins, I guess it was good to take a chance on these. The veggies that accompanied the noodles balanced out the soy sauce flavor. Kurt really liked these noodles a lot.
Din Tai Fung
We gotta have some veggies too, right? Ray suggested we get some veggies, and we had a choice of spinach or chinese broccoli. Ray chose spinach, and I commend him, it was a great pick. The veggies had a great flavor to them - lots of garlic - just really tasty.
Din Tai Fung
More dumplings! These were crab and pork, I think. Solid and good as the other dumplings, though I prefer the ones with with soup in them, from here.
Din Tai Fung
To round out our carbs, we got pork chop fried rice. The pork chop was a little dried out, but I thought it was still edible. The rice was nice and fluffy. This was really good with the aforementioned cooked spinach.

This place is always hopping, but I'm glad we got to skip the wait time this time around. I will be back, I'm sure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that place is the bomb!!!
we need to set up and go to ondal2
how about next week after the superbowl weekend????