On our first night in Singapore, Christian and I met up with some of his friends for dinner. I was pretty excited when I learned that we’ll be dining in Din Tai Fung – a Taiwanese restaurant most popular for its Xiao Long Bao. I have heard and read great reviews about the place and their amazing Soup Dumplings but none of those could have ever prepared me for its awesome awesomeness!
I would like to describe the whole gastronomic experience to you but I can’t. Xiao Long Bao is one of those few delicacies that you need to taste first hand in order to truly appreciate it.
To add to its superb taste is the semi-complicated way of eating it. Being a Xiao Long Bao virgin, I was lucky to have very willing tutors who prevented me from making a mess out of myself. You see, Xiao Long Bao is not called Soup Dumplings for no reason. Aside from the usual ground meat, there’s actually a hot soup inside the bun. So you just don’t just pick it up and pop it into your mouth like your good ol’ dumpling. You need to carefully chopstick your way into it and avoid punching holes into the bun to fully gain the Xiao Long Bao Experience.
I was told that the best way to eat it is to:
1. Pick it up by the tip using your chopstick (because that is the part where the bun is the thickest).
2. Dip it into the sauce and put it into your spoon. These dumplings are perfect with black vinegar and shredded garlic.
3. Bite a small hole in one of the bun’s side.
4. Sip the soup.
5. And eat the rest of the dumpling.
But if you want to be weird like I am and to complicate things further, skip the second step and go straight to 3 and 4. After that, get little pieces of shredded garlic and insert it into the hole that you nibbled, lather a bit of black vinegar on the bun’s surface, and pop the whole thing in your mouth.
If you’re picturing the goodness of it all in your head, then take a look a this:
I haven’t tried it but really? Truffles??? I’m drooling rainbows in my head just thinking about it. I’m not a fan of Valentine’s but give me these on the 14th and I’ll be yours forever. @_@
Sadly, there’s no Din Tai Fung in the Philippines yet. But I’m crossing my fingers that one would open up soon. I’ll be tripping my way over.