Dumpling frenzy is alive and well in Sydney, with every man and his dog attempting the iconic soup dumpling (xiao long bao) – little pastry wrapped parcels of engineering genius that explode with scalding hot soup the moment you bite into it.
What can I say? We’re gluttons for punishment.
Din Tai Fung has been known as the reigning lords of soup dumplings, and in Sydney, it seems, that claim has been challenged by fellow Chinese restaurant giant the Taste of Shanghai.
Of course, one cannot subsist on soup dumplings alone. Well, maybe we can, but probably shouldn’t. So you know, we order other things, too, just as a cover.
…and also cause I was starving.
And the verdict? They do actually serve up a variety of dishes quite well. The service can be a bit impersonal, but really, I wasn’t expecting too much from the gruff manner of the people seating us anyway. At least they’re consistent, right?
The actual soup dumplings pale in comparision to Din Tai Fung, but it’s a good effort, and better than many other places who attempt this structural masterpiece of a dish. Notable dishes include the braised bamboo shoots, olive fried rice and pan-fried pork buns – the fluffy bun equivalent of the soup dumplings, complete with explosive hot soup.
One warning, though, for the high blood pressured amongst us: the food is incredibly uh, seasoned, so you’re probably going to either need lots of plain rice and tea to cut it, or need to drink an entire lagoon of water afterward.
Mermaid sold separately.