Tuesday, March 03, 2015


Vegetarian steamed dumplings
at Real Food.

I like steamed dumplings very much. In all its forms- xiaolongbao (小笼包), jiaozi (饺子), khinkali or kudi, manti or manta, momomandu, gyoza.... Dumplings with thin skin. Potstickers. The fried ones won't do.

My only problem- I wish the filling isn't usually meat. Definitely not fond of those with chicken or pork. Inevitably, those are popular. The vegetarian versions are often unappetizing. Dunno why. The one vegetarian version of dumplings done good here is at Real Food. Something about its crunch and layers of flavors. Love that.

Once in a while, I could do meat dumplings, but not that many. At most I could do five and I'll need vegetables to go along with them. With the girlfriend and her boys visiting, we rocked up to Din Tai Fung (DTF) Raffles City at 5.30pm and ate up all their xiaolongbaos. I didn't exaggerate. The boys literally inhaled baskets of dumplings. They knew exactly what they wanted and wasn't too interested in other kinds of food. They absolutely rejected century eggs. Hahahaha. They didn't mind the fried wontons. Also ordered three types of stir-fried greens and other stuff to go along with the meats. DTF's vegetarian dumplings are pretty okay.

The man really likes DTF but we think the outlets in Seattle and Bellevue WA are the best, even better than what we get at home or in Taipei. Something about the smell of the meats and the thinness of the skin. Outlets in Singapore and Taipei seem to ignore our repeated requests of using less oil in stir-fried greens. I have a special dislike for the Taipei outlets that served me horrendously stinky buns, mushy vegetarian xiaolongbaos and greens soaking in a pool of oil, three times over. We were seated immediately at DTF Raffles City, but it was still a 40-minute wait for the food. Bahh. Queues in Taipei and US are just as ridiculous and restaurants just as packed, if not more. But once seated, we never had to wait more than 10 minutes for food to arrive on the table. Says loads about logistics.

Such a long wait for food. The boys must have been hungry. But they still sat quietly, and entertained themselves, leaving us adults free to chat. That's one advantage of having siblings. In the case of many families with one child, the child would wield a book. Or a gadget of sorts. The girlfriend and the husband have raised some very fine young men there. You can't just call me biased because the boys took out the trash when I ordered them to. :P Dumplings for prosperity. Part of the lunar new year festivities, and something cool and easy for year-round eats. Till the next meal, woman. Till the next one in either city, wherever. I'm looking forward to it. xo

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