taiwanese soup dumplings

in nyc, you know about the infamous soup dumplings of joe’s shanghai.
in taiwan, you know of the infamous soup dumplings of din tai fung.

no longer just in taiwan — but also in various countries in asia: japan, china, singapore, indonesia, korea, malaysia and hong kong; as well as australia; and one location in the US: california — this little dumpling place didn’t start out as a restaurant. it made its humble beginnings as a cooking oils store in its flagship location in xinyi, taiwan. but after opening its new business as a dumpling house, this restaurant soon became one of the must-see / must-eat places in taiwan.

the xinyi location is still busy today. on any given day, you walk by the restaurant and there is a crowd of people waiting in front of the store as if to catch a glimpse of a celebrity inside. i guess you can say there is a celebrity: the dumplings! a group of workers can be seen through glass windows making the xiao (little) long baos (dumplings). when you finally make your way in, you may be led to the dining area or a private room in one of several floors in the restaurant. when you sit down, the wait staff asks you what languages are spoken at the table. s/he returns with the “guide to enjoy a xiao long bao” laminated card(s) in the languages requested to make sure you have the most pleasurable eating experience — without burning your tongue — as some novices might do. but enjoy them you do! the dumpling skin is thinner than the soup dumplings at joe’s shanghai but the little dumplings are just as flavorful and soupy … if not more so!

excuse me, i have to wipe some drool off my face.

m & i almost had din tai fung twice in one day! my cousins took the whole family to din tai fung in xinyi for lunch one day. the main restaurant is always packed so one of my relatives went earlier and waited on line and called us when it was almost our turn. then that night, we met up with m’s relatives and they were going to take us to din tai fung in the new sogo! indeed, this restaurant chain which previously didn’t need any advertisement to have people lining in the streets for them, continues today.

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eat at joe’s shanghai in various locations in ny

eat at din tai fung in taiwan or in various locations around the world

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