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Din Tai Fung: delish

blackbookali Apr 4, 2009 03:05 PM

Went to Din Tai Fung today for the first time and was blown away. Well, not blow away because I still love the dim sum at elite but Din Tai Fung was very very good. Cant wait to go back and double it up with a day betting on ponies at Santa Anita. Pork and crab dumplings really stood out.

  1. J.L. Apr 5, 2009 12:57 AM

    If you've searched the board, then you'll know that your sentiments about DTF are quite widely shared.

    1. Vince S Apr 8, 2009 10:09 PM

      I am glad that you like it. The only decent thing there these days is the xiao long baos. Everything else is average.

      Also, probably splitting hair here...but dim sum at Elite and what DTF offers are from different regions.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Vince S
        blackbookali Apr 10, 2009 10:39 AM

        what is Elite's region? and What is DTF? Im learning . . .

        1. re: blackbookali
          ipsedixit Apr 10, 2009 11:11 AM

          Elite is Cantonese, and does not have XLB.

          DTF is supposed to be serving Shanghainese food (XLB is a Shanghainese speciality).

          1. re: ipsedixit
            J.L. Apr 23, 2009 06:45 PM

            Hound code, de-coded:

            DTF = Din Tai Fung

            XLB = xiao long bao (what they serve at Din Tai Fung), literally meaning small caged buns. XLBs are a Shanghai specialty, and not Cantonese. XLB are often referred to as soup dumplings, which is actually a misnomer in my opinion.

            Elite = a Cantonese restaurant serving dim sum

            dim sum = Cantonese style "brunch", consisting of small plates of various foods.

            Hope that helps...

            1. re: J.L.
              wilafur Apr 28, 2009 10:06 AM

              please note that elite is not a one trick pony. their dinner service is quite good.

              1. re: wilafur
                J.L. Apr 28, 2009 10:23 AM

                Well aware of the fact Elite serves dinner, etc. I meant that Elite happens to serve dim sum too.

                1. re: J.L.
                  wilafur Apr 28, 2009 10:35 AM

                  that was not directed at you. it was just a clarification for folks that have never been to elite.

                  1. re: wilafur
                    J.L. Apr 29, 2009 12:04 AM

                    OBKB :)

      2. n
        noshie Apr 24, 2009 10:28 AM

        I agree it is a good coupling with Santa Anita (but save room for the corned beef sandwich there); however, there are other places that serve XLB that are lauded on this board.

        If you want to get XLB at dim sum go to Capital Seafood on Atlantic next to the 99 Ranch in MP, or King Hua in Alhambra

        Capital Seafood Restaurant
        755 W Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754

        King Hua Restaurant
        2000 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801

        6 Replies
        1. re: noshie
          ipsedixit Apr 24, 2009 02:53 PM

          Neither King Hua or Capital have XLB.

          1. re: ipsedixit
            noshie Apr 26, 2009 12:13 PM

            I have most definitely had pork buns in small aluminum cups with soup in them that you pop the whole thing in your mouth at Capital and I thougth I did at King Hua. What am I thinking of?

            1. re: noshie
              ipsedixit Apr 26, 2009 02:36 PM

              Soggy dumplings.

              1. re: ipsedixit
                estone888 Apr 26, 2009 02:58 PM

                Elite has them in the little aluminum cups and they are definitely XLB. They are not, however, very good. Other than that, however, I am very fond of Elite's dim sum.

                For that matter I was at DTF last week for the first time in quite some time and was reminded of why I haven't been for a while. It isn't very good. My girlfriend wanted the XLB with pork and crab and I am almost certain they used canned crab meat - even my girlfriend thought they were mediocre, at best.. (At J&J you can frequently watch them picking crab meat out of little crabs with toothpicks to put into their XLB.) We had some new shrimp and pork dumpling that was bland and involved very overcooked shrimp. The appetizer and the green beans were as good as ever - which is very good - but still, I don't think I'll be going back.

                1. re: ipsedixit
                  noshie Apr 27, 2009 09:07 PM

                  Hmmmm. Sounds like they are XLB, albeit maybe not shining stars of their kind, I'm fine with them, dribble on some red vinegar, bite off the twist top and slurp down some of the soup to avoid roof mouth burn and I'm good to go. These are not the reason to go to dim sum, I give you that, but they are there in case you want them, sounds like the OP wanted their dim sum and then some (XLB).

                  1. re: noshie
                    ipsedixit Apr 27, 2009 10:58 PM

                    What you had are probably what Elite's menu labels as "Shanghai style steamed buns" which are not XLB, and which I don't believe are on the menu anymore.

          2. A5 KOBE Apr 24, 2009 04:15 PM

            The frozen ones they sell at 99 ranch taste better than DTF anyday!!!

            9 Replies
            1. re: A5 KOBE
              sel Apr 26, 2009 02:48 PM

              Any brand in particular for the frozen ones at 99 Ranch Market (or were you just trying to make a point so you could slam DTF)?

              1. re: A5 KOBE
                ronnie_gaucho Apr 26, 2009 04:33 PM

                uhhh, no

                1. re: A5 KOBE
                  wilafur Apr 28, 2009 10:06 AM

                  although i'm not a fan of dtf, you gotta be smoking crack with your statement above.

                  1. re: wilafur
                    A5 KOBE Apr 28, 2009 10:56 AM

                    i am dead serious. opt for the shrimp and pork shaomai.

                    flavor at DTF is the problem, not the dumpling wrapper itself.

                    or better yet, opt for Dragon Mark or JnJ, or like i said, the frozen ones like i said

                    --SEL the brand is called Prime Foods and it is called "mini soupy pork buns" although lack a good skin, have GOOD xlb flavor.

                    like i said they are not the best, but will take them over DTF anyday.

                    1. re: A5 KOBE
                      ipsedixit Apr 28, 2009 11:14 AM

                      Well, see, there's your first problem.

                      Shoamai are NOT xiao long baos.

                      Say what you want about frozen shaomai, and say what you want about the XLB at DTF, but comparing the two is exactly what the trite exrpession of "comparing apples to oranges" was invented for.

                      1. re: ipsedixit
                        A5 KOBE Apr 28, 2009 11:26 AM

                        I said opt for the shaomai instead of the XLB.

                        I have had XLB plenty of times, and the best thing by far at DTF is the shaomai.

                        Reading is sometimes fun as well.

                        1. re: A5 KOBE
                          wilafur Apr 28, 2009 11:50 AM

                          i'll have to pick up a pack of prime foods xlb next time i'm at 99. but then again, a xlb is not complete without both good skin and good flavor. alas, i have not found any very good xlb in socal.....just a bunch of mediocre to decent xlb.

                          gonna give DSW a try next time i am out in the sgv.

                      2. re: A5 KOBE
                        sel Apr 28, 2009 08:52 PM

                        Thanks A5 KOBE, I'll pick up some soon cause occasionally I do eat/dine at home!

                        1. re: sel
                          cammyt Jun 15, 2009 12:20 AM

                          i ate there today. the fish dumplings are actually what was outstanding. i liked the rice cakes too, but the fish dumplings were truly wonderful. MUCH better than the pork-crab (yes, canned) dumplings

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