We're not the biggest fans of Chinese food(sorry to all our Chinese buddies). I'd like to think that maybe we just haven't gone to the right places yet. Even though I grew up in the SGV(San Gabirel Valley), I grew up eating more Mexican food and Filipino food. So as a kid, I thought Chinese food was Dim Sum Express and Sam Woo. Which is what this blog is really all about, finding and sharing good food around town(so please school us if there is some good Chinese food out there). For us, going to a place like Din Tai Fung made us realize that just because we might not like the type of food, we will always enjoy the food if we know its freshly prepared.
We both enjoy places that have DIY dipping sauces, be it a shabu shabu restaurant or just a place with a huge condiment counter. The ginger always seems fresh, and boy do we love us some fresh ginger.
We would put garlic on everything if it tastes good, so the sauteed garlic green beans is one of our favorite starters. They usually have a few seasonal vegetables that they serve sauteed. The vegetables are never overly greasy and still have a good crunchy bite to them.
We always get a little excited when we see these 10 little guys in the steamer. A puff of steam will bellow out when the waitress opens up the steamer(I'd like to imagine that they've been hot boxing in there waiting for us to eat them). All of Din Tai Fung's dumplings are made in house just like they are supposed to. These pork and soup filled morsels can be really delicate to handle with chopsticks. So be gentle or it might just squirt out prematurely(it's never happened to me though, I swear). We're still talking about dumplings right?!?
Fortunately, the proper way to eat these things is printed on the back of your chopsticks(sorry we didn't snap a picture of that). The gist of it goes: dip, nibble, sip, add ginger and devour. I'm sure you'll get the hang of it because you will not stop eating these things. The filling is well seasoned and the dumpling wrappers always have that fresh made doughy bite to them. The initial bite is a rush of pork flavor from the soup, and adding the ginger at the end makes the final bite that much more tasty. However, the dumplings are on the smaller side. We've been to other places that served xiao long bao(soup dumplings) and theirs were almost twice the size, but that will have to wait for another review.
1108 S. Baldwin Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91007