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Ian_Lee

Xiao Lung Bao (Steamed Soup Dumpling)

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Ian_Lee

Have you eaten any mouthwatering Xiao Lung Bao lately?

The best Xiao Lung Bao should have ultra-thin skin, fresh filling and tasty soup inside. Once you bit it, the hot soup inside should overflow your mouth.

IMHO: The best Xiao Lung Bao can be found in Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐) -- a famous restaurant in Taipei which has been awarded by New York Times as one of the 10 best restaurants in the world.

When Tung Chee Hwa met Ma Ying Jeou, the first thing Tung inquired Ma was how he missed 鼎泰豐

If you will not visit Taiwan soon, you can try the 鼎泰豐 branches in HK and Tokyo. Even the food quality at HK's branch is a little bit not as good as that of Taipei's, my pizza-addicted kid could still finish two bamboo containers (24 dumplings) by herself alone.

鼎泰豐 also has an open kitchen which allows you to watch 7-8 chefs preparing your order by starting from rolling out the layer from the flour thru steaming.

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skylee

I must say that I find the service at the HK 鼎泰豐 (at Whampoa Garden)disgusting. I mean being a famous restaurant doesn't give them the right to treat their customers badly (in HK I never tolerate poor service). I have been there once and have blacklist it since.

The most delicious xiao long bao I have tasted is 南翔小籠包 in Shanghai's old quarter. It was cold and the dumplings were hot. I finished the whole serving (15 dumplings) on my own.

This topic also reminds me of 徐小鳳's song 叉燒包.

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Ian_Lee

Skylee:

Many people get pissed off at the bad service and long waiting time at 鼎泰豐 (over two hours waiting right after Grand Opening couple years ago).

I would say that is a common drawback for most famous eateries in HK like Yung Kee, Fook Lam Moon, Luk Yu,....etc.

If you don't want to spend time waiting, the trick is to get a number there, then go downstairs to Wing Lai Yuen Restaurant to eat their Sichuan Dan Dan noodles and then go back up. Then it is probably your turn.

But I would say the quality of Dan Dan noodles is worse than what it was at the old shop in Tai Hom village.

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confucius

Didn't 徐小鳳 also have a song called "mai hun dun" (Selling won tons) ? I seem to recall her singing "mai hun dun, ya, mai ya mai hundun...ruguo ni bu chang wo de re hundun ya, zenme zhidao hundun weidao...la di da di da..."

I forgot the lyrics.

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tara

mmm.....xiao long bao....yum yum.....well, i can't really compare the ones we have in malaysia....coz i've never tried the ones in china or hongkong....are they the same? i mean the ones here are served with vinegar and thin strips of ginger? i love vinegar and ginger so my xiao long baos are normally drowned in them...

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skylee

Ian, it is not the waiting that pissed me off. We went there at lunch time on a weekday and we didn't have to wait (it is not really that popular and there are a lot of competitors in the same building). We (two of us) were directed to share a big round table with other customers, whereas there were many empty 2-pax tables around with no "reserved" signs. We pointed this out but the waitress insisted (not in her best manner - like if you don't like it you can leave) that we should sit at the big round table. OK. And after ordering and waiting for half an hour watching other people eat, we discovered that our orders had been forgotten completely. And the waiters there were totally indifferent to our complaints.

I have lunch at Whampoa Garden frequently (I work nearby) . But I have no desire at all to eat at 鼎泰豐 again. And I will not hesitate to dissuade anyone who wants to go there. In the same building I like 阿斗官 (順德菜) most - the food is inexpensive and tasty and the service is good. And 詠藜園 is not bad.

Maybe the service of the Taiwan 鼎泰豐 is better.

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Quest

今时今日.......

Well you know what I would say, but your experience reminds me of Beijing.

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Guest Kaiser

Since this is a language forum, how about spelling the name of the food item in question in proper pinyin? (Xiao long bao, or even more correctly, as this is one word and not three, xiaolongbao). That said, those little suckers are delicious!

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confucius

Is this Kaiser from That's Beijing? (Or should I type "that's Beijing")

I enjoyed your "Raging Expat" game column in January's issue.

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Ian_Lee

Skylee:

I sympathize with your plight in HK's 鼎泰豐. But I advise you to give it one more chance. Otherwise your taste buds will be deeply regretful for your decision.

I tried 鼎泰豐 during the dinner time. The service is okay but not especially hospitable. Unlike how you were maltreated, we were taken to a 10-person table even though we were just a 7-people party.

By the way, 鼎泰豐 also has branches in NYC and Shanghai.

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niubi
Kaiser:

Since we are talking about a food product that a famous restaurant in Taiwanese specializes in' date=' we should use the Wade Giles system that Taiwan has been using officially.

The correct name of the food product should be:

[b']Hsiao Lun Bao[/b]

Read:

http://www.taiwanfun.com/north/taipei/dining/0202/0202wnDintaifung.htm

now, let's not get carried away...

that having been said, the correct wade giles is hsiao lung pao - and let that be the last time i use wade giles.

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Ian_Lee

Niubi:

The Hanyu pinyin may be more appropriate (and more popular worldwide) to the original pronounciation of Mandarin.

But so far I am still very uneasy in using it because of its extra heavy usage with the alphabets of "X" and "Z" which are less frequently used in English.

Well, primary school kids may not agree. Since a boy with last name "Chang" became "Zhang" under pinyin, he has less chance to be called to answer question in class.

Fortunately Hong Kong doesn't need to be changed to be called as "Xianggang".

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smithsgj

> Fortunately Hong Kong doesn't need to be changed to be called as "Xianggang".

It would have been Hsiangkang, no?

Anyway the official romanizations in Taiwan are Hanyu Pinyin in Taipei and something called Tongyong Pinyin elsewhere (mostly, TYPY avoids the Xs and stuff that Ian objects to). I don't think Wade-Giles has any official status here. The usual pronunciation aid used is non-alphabetic, and resembles hiragana: bopomo or zhuyin fuhao.

Oops better stop I've just realized this is the food forum. Sorry!!

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cuthbert

small steamed bun(xiao long bao)'s hometown is shanghai,nanxiang country.do u know? :P:wink:

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chapka
Have you eaten any mouthwatering Xiao Lung Bao lately?

Yes, at Grand Sichuan and Joe's Shanghai, both in Manhattan. At Joe's Shanghai the soup dumplings (as we call them here) are the specialty; there's a sign on the wall explaining how to eat them without burning your mouth.

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pazu

Indeed I can't believe people would really queue up outside 頂太瘋, they're really crazy.

I tried that one, they're expensive (about HK$80, the most expensive type there), and it was so disappointing. I've already tried many Xiao Long Bao in China, even the Xiao Long Bao at Nanxiang (near Hongqiao Airport of Shanghai, a little town, nothing really special except that they claimed themselves to be the birthplace of XLB.)

Almost everywhere I went in China could make better XLB than the DTF.

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Ian_Lee

Pazu:

I can't comment for what is in China but I would say DTF at least makes good XLB in HK. I am looking forward to try the DTF in Taipei soon.

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