I love you Dumpling Man

27 August 2012

I have been obsessing over Chinese food over this weekend, well more than usual. Mostly because I have been rather enjoying the Exploring China 4 part documentary on BBC2 which has been pretty good actually. Unlike a lot of Chinese cooking shows made for Western TV, this programme even had my dad captivated and since he's a typical judgmental Chinese chef, that's really saying something about it's authenticity.

Anyway, it also reminded me about all those food pics that I've taken over the past few visits to HK. It's time to dust off the cobwebs and get more food posts back on this blog. First up, was one of the first restaurants I visited when I touched down in HK back in Feb, Din Tai Fung.
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Din Tai Fung is actually a massively successful Taiwanese chain specialising in dumplings but most famously of all, the 小籠包 (Siu Long Bao/Steamed soupy pork buns originating from Shanghai). They now have countless branches world wide (but not the UK yet!) and I visited their branch in Causeway Bay which was awarded a Michelin Star.
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First up we had Jellyfish and Chinese radish (also known as Chinese turnip or Japanese daikon) salad and  Pickled cucumber with Chilli and  garlic. Both were refreshing, crunchy and really moreish.
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Above are Pork and chive dumplings in vinegar chilli sauce and just looking at them now makes me wish I could eat them all over again - perfectly juicy and the right amount of chilli kick.

The main attraction was of course the Siu Long Bao which is a common dim sum dish. Technically, they're not dumplings because of their shape and difference in cooking methods/prep. Despite this, I'll refer to them as dumplings for now! UK versions just don't seem to live up to Asia where there is barely any of the famous soup inside and more often than not, over-steamed. It's definitely an art to retain that soup inside the thin skin and the ones at Din Tai Fung had plenty of hot soup inside each little pork filled dumpling. You can just about see the bulge of the soup in each one in the picture below. Removing each one carefully (heartbreaking stuff if you accidently tear one and lose the soup!) you dip them into rice vinegar, often served with some fresh ginger before chomping into the porky-soupy goodness. So SO delicious.
SDC11706The branch in Causeway Bay also has big windows where you can watch the chefs prepare all the different types of dumplings on the menu. I watched them for a little while, until it just got a bit weird after catching eye contact a few times and I made a swift exit...
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I also freaking love their Mascot. It definitely plays into my love for the kitsch and kawaii, I mean he has a dumpling for a head AND he is carrying more dumplings! Who can beat that? I am most definitely making a return trip there the next time I go back to HK...

31 comments:

  1. Hey Winnie, have you checked out my Din Tai Fung blog/petition? http://dtflondonfanclub.blogspot.co.uk/

    Always glad to come across a fellow fan!

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  2. I agree the mascot is really cute. This post makes me want to try dumplings! :)

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  3. Sounds fantastic, the food looks yummy. I love Chinese food, one of my faves.

    Sadie x

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  4. Ahh I love dumplings, I think there was one of these dumpling chains when I stayed at Langham. Definitely recognise that mascot - going to make sure I go to one the next time I visit HK!

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  5. ooo this looks like a yummy place! I think I shall be making a visit next time I visit:) x

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  7. Love this post! We get these where my dad lives and is from in Kathmandu but they are called mo mo, I thought fresh Samosas were good till I tried these babies!xxx



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  8. What a cute mascot! And yay for more food posts. The dumplings look delicious and with all the mention of chilli I think I definitely have to book a flight to HK soon.

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  9. He's so adorable. The food looks delish!

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  10. Such pretty foods. He looks like someone you'd want to take home.

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  11. Love the look of those dumplings. Great mascot!

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  12. i love their little mascot too! it sounds like an interesting place - the dumplings do sound good.

    <3 katherine
    of corgis and cocktails

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  13. I have just got back from the gym and this is not helping me stay away from the bad food! aha

    Looks like you had a lovely time though :)

    Makeup for Biochemists

    xx

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  14. It's Mr Dumpling! Ah I miss Din Tai Fung now, the food was delicious!

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  15. ahh yes din tai fung! when i went to taiwan i definitely went there and ordered a bach of xiao long bao<3333!! AHhH i loooove soup dumplings!!! i can eat them everyday...haha
    and i agree! their mascot is SUPER adorable!

    alex @ carouselstreet.com

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  16. Oh, I am the biggest fan of xiao long bao. I have been craving them for ages and ages, ever since my last visit to Joe's Shanghai in New York, which is, I'm convinced, the only decent xiaolongbao place in the United States. I've never heard of this place, but I'm googling it now! Maybe there'll be a store someplace near me...ah, wishful thinking probably. XD

    ♥ x i x i a | thisisxixia.com

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  17. Ahhh, om nom nom! I haven't ever eaten much dim sum but I know I love Japanese gyoza. They're probably pretty different.
    This post comes at the perfect time to tell you about the cooking travesty my friend perpetrated this evening, he tried to make dumplings with leftover bolognaise. Ew. He also made the wrappers too wet and dropped them a few times, then boiled them so it looked like I'd imagine sheep brains look once he'd finished. Being a horrid boy he still ate it.

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  18. I love him too! supercute!

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  19. ohh this looks delicious!! haha I love dumplings

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  20. They look so delicious! I really want to try some dim sum but never really know where to go in Liverpool. silly really cos our china town is really good but still - I don't want to be let down by my first experience!

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  21. OMG, I am now STARVING!!!

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  22. me and my parents love chinese foods a lot...
    but my mom cant cook chinese food at all LOL
    so when we go out we usually choose chinese restaurant ;)

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  23. I'm still practicing with soup dumplings. I'm hoping to try a dim sum place this weekend. Mostly inspired by all of your dim sum instagrams, and also by this article about a really old dim sum place in the lower east side - the author/restaurant owner had a engaging writing style and now I am super curious. If I ever visit HK I am coming to you for tips.

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  24. I've had dumpling wrappers sitting in the freezer for ages, you've definitely motivated me try making some now. Hope it doesn't turn into a total disaster, I don't have the best relationship with pastry :D

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  25. I love love love their red bean steam cake.

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  26. They look delicious, I would definitely have to visit a big city to try them if one of these restaurants opens in the UK. I have only every had Dim Sum twice once in Birmingham and once in Malaysia, in my local town fish and chips is about the best you can get!

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  27. This has made me so hungry!

    But erm...isn't that dumpling man a cannibal?!

    Becky | lifestyleflash.com

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