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Jun 5, 2007 01:31 PM

din tai fung coming to vallco mall, cupertino, ca

a friend who owns a share of vallco mall in cupertino, ca mentioned that din tai fung is going open a restaurant there.

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    1. that would be wonderful. the branch in arcadia is great.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Big Larry

        Have you ever by any chance been to the Taipei original? Just curious how well they're holding up their standards. Look forward to finding out .... Any idea on when we're talking about? This year?

        1. re: gordon wing

          I've been to both.

          If the Taipei original is a 10, the one in Arcadia is about a 5. Better XLB can be found in LA/SF, but it's still good.

          I expect the new Cuptertino one to be similar to the one in Arcadia...

          1. re: gemster

            i concur. the taipei location is lightyears ahead of the arcadia branch.

      2. Awesome. Maybe now I can finally experience XLB with actual soup in it.

        1. Vallco Mall? Isn't that a dead shell? I thought they were trying to close that place down for remodeling or th like.

          13 Replies
          1. re: grinch

            That place is actually coming alive. The new AMC theaters are already open and looks pretty nice.

            If you want to experience DTF quality XLB without waiting for it to open, then head to Hu Chiang dumplings in Cupertino. They probably have the best XLB currently in the bay area.


            1. re: tanspace

              No way. How cool. I have only been to the one in Xintindi in Shanghai...

              1. re: LPCagain

                I found the service at the Xintiandi DTF overbearing and the XLB ridiculously overpriced for Shanghai. They were good, but neighborhood places like Jia Jia Tang Bao offer equally good xiaolong bao for 1/6 the price (but no legion of bowing and scraping supernumeraries).

              2. re: tanspace

                Su Hong Palo Alto had excellent XLB 4 out of 5 visits. On the first 4 visits, they were freshly steamed, with a juicy well textured filling. On my most recent visit, the restaurant was packed and the XLB suffered in quality. They looked oversteamed or resteamed and a few of them broke. But when they are on, Su Hong is just as good as Hu Chiang. Koi Palace XLB is on that same level too.

                1. re: Porthos

                  Agreed that the Su Hong Eatery XLB is quite good. Didn't have XLB at Hu Chiang, but I was disappointed with the stuff that I did have there and am not inclined to go back.

                  1. re: Chandavkl

                    I've only eaten at Su Hong Eatery once, but agree that XLB is superb (I must have gone on a good day). Probably the best in the Peninsula and trumping Happy Cafe or Shanghai East in San Mateo. The best thing about Su Hong Eatery is walking out without suffering from MSG symptoms (arguable they use little to zero).

                    Hu Chiang is only good for the si gua tang bao (silkie melon and minced shrimp style xlb) which is a great out of the box prep here but arguably more common in Taiwan. Their standard Hu Chiang Tang Bao (aka their xlb) is mediocre and subpar in comparison. Very very very heavy in MSG as well. The table next to us complained to management about the signature cai fan or vegetable and salted pork rice in clay pot being overly peppery and that their replacement order was the same.

                    Also recall some rumor somewhere that the HC Taiwanese dumpling chef left. I still need to go back sometime to see if the silkie melon version (loofah actually) is still good.

                    1. re: K K

                      We take Westerner/Caucasian customers to Din Tai Fun in Shanghai. Service has never been anything but just fine. And to them the cost still seems low:). Note, I also am a Westerner/Caucasian...

                      1. re: LPCagain

                        I was there on a rainy midweek midday, and business was slow. There were more people standing there in spiffy clean uniforms with their hands beind their backs trying to not look bored than at the People's No. 1 Department Store. The waiter captain/maitre de or whatever he was came by every five minutes or so to ask if everything was ok or to explain something I already knew. When I left I had to walk a gauntlet of "Thank Yous" "Goodbyes" Iand slight bows of the head. I'm Caucasian myself, so I guess I got the Caucasian treatment.

                        I agree the XLB were excellent (DTF wouldn't dare come up with anything less on XLB's home turf) and it's probably a good "safe" place to bring guailaos. Nothing with eyes is served there, I think.

                        1. re: Gary Soup

                          I don't mind the eyes as long as I don't have to eat them...

                          Actually duck necks out of a plastic bag was the only thing that I actually couldn't even look at...

                          1. re: Gary Soup

                            I think it's interesting to compare local spots to their overseas counterparts but wish you'd either continue discussion on the appropriate board or make really clear that you're discussing details of foreign dishes/service so readers don't have to try to figure out which comments apply to which side of the Pacific!


                            1. re: Fine

                              DTF is a Chain, after all, (25 branches in 8 countries) so we probably shouldn't even be discussing the merits of it on this board. What someone finds at an overseas DTF might have some bearing on what to expect from a branch in the US.

                              1. re: Gary Soup

                                Tsk tsk, you started this thread in Chains and must have forgotten about it ;-)


                                Before everyone chimes in and compares locations in different countries, bear in mind that materials such as pork would taste different in each country. This is already apparent in DTF's famous clear broth chicken soup. Of course it will taste richer in Taiwan compared to the USA, because their range chickens are like skinny Lou Ferrigno's/Hulks, with tons of flavor (though the breast meat is impossible to tear off, almost rubbery). Only our local organic free range chicken farms would produce a similar flavor, but still not quite the same.

                                If DTF is opening up at Vallco, or anywhere in the Bay Area, that is good news. Competition is always a healthy thing, it helps drive innovation, creativity and helps boost quality (hopefully), plus more choices for the consumer. Ideally DTF at Vallco would open up a concept of turning the place (rumoredly now known as Cupertino Square) into Cupertino Village part 2, or Milpitas Square part 3.

                                1. re: K K

                                  I haven't forgotten a thing. I said (in THIS thread) that discussions of merits and characteristics of DTF branches should by rights be in Chains, so what's to "tsk, tsk" about?

                                  It also should be borne in mind that perceptions of DTF's will vary according to one's own background and biases. Someone with Taiwanese roots, for example, might find everything about the Taipei branches beyond compare even though Taiwan doesn't have Pudong chickens and Wuxi swine as raw materials...

              3. I hope it's not as crappy as the one near LA b/c that one is god awful and do not hold up the standards of the ones in asia.