Saturday, August 3, 2013

Where to Eat the World's Best Dumplings

Oops, it's been a while! We have been fairly busy (trip to Java, trip to Sri Lanka) but B is going to be really busy at work for the next little while so we won't be going anywhere exciting. More time for blogging!

One of my very favorite places to eat is the restaurant chain Din Tai Fung. It's originally Taiwanese (and yes I have visited the original location in Taipei, which is amazing) but has now spread throughout the Chinese world. Chain restaurants get a bad reputation sometimes but in this case it has not affected quality much. Several of the restaurants are Michelin starred (though they are all very similar: the company runs a tight ship and requires employees to be trained in Taiwan). So far I have visited branches in Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, the United States (near Los Angeles; Seattle has one too) and Singapore.

Their most famous dish is the xiao long bao (which literally means little dragon dumplings, why I do not know), though all the other food is also good. Their dumplings are among the best I have ever had, anywhere (and I have eaten a lot of dumplings). If you ever have a chance to visit a Din Tai Fung, do not miss it!
R loves Din Tai Fung's dumplings too. In fact, the last time we went there she ate the entire order of xiao long bao all by herself! (Note the glazed look in the picture above as she scarfs down the last one.) It is a great place to go with small children in general, as the atmosphere in typical Chinese restaurant fashion is bright, noisy, hectic and lively. You can even watch the dumpling-makers at work as all the kitchens have glass walls. And they offer specially branded children's tableware (in photo, look at the cute dumpling!)

Of course it's not just children there: since the food is delicious, Singaporeans go in droves (it is always crowded). I like this picture as an example of a typical Singaporean date, involving 1. good food; 2. awkward social interaction and 3. extensive cell phone use.

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