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Mar 2, 2011 03:47 PM

Jin Din Rou Soup Dumplings, Has Anyone Tried Them?

I read the StarAdvertiser article and my wife has been saying we should eat there for a few weeks now. I know those soup dumplings are famous in China and Japan and was wondering if any local hounds have eaten here? Thanks.

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  1. Yes we have and it was a mixed bag. The Dumplins were good but not anything close to Din Tai Fung (Taiwan, Los Angeles). The rest of the menu items were ok but not special.
    No rush to return. Very Loud also, like Rock Concert Loud.

    1. I'm glad there's a thread on this place because I just went here and I wanted to talk about it.

      First, the Xiao Long Bao, soup dumplings or Shanghai dumplings, as my friend calls them, was a good-to-OK. I ate there at lunch and they have two set meals: A choose a ramen/fried rice/and something else, plus four dumplings. (There are different types, but the waitress recommended the standard so I got that). They recommend you dip the dumpling in a black vinegar sauce; place the dumpling in the soup, while puncturing the side of the dumpling; then place a piece of shredded ginger and eating it that way. I enjoyed the first one, but the dumplings cooled rather quickly and they weren't as good as the first one.

      Some other things.

      The wrap is more like thin manapua bread rather than pasta (like in pork hash). My friend (who loves Shanghai dumplings and tries them wherever he can) complained about the lack of soup and gritty texture of the filling. I do agree that there wasn't enough soup. The flavor of the filling wasn't great. For me, I liked the fresh ginger and the texture of the dumpling.

      Having said that, I think the soup dumplings at Ming's in Kalihi is better. That one has more soup and it has the pasta wrap. I just remember biting into them and getting this burst of savory soup flavor bathing the inside of my mouth. Yum! That definitely is not the sensation I got at Jin Din Rou.

      But here's what I want to talk about: the tan-tan ramen!

      I've had the tan-tan at Goma-Ichi and Goma-Tei. Imo, Goma-ichi's tan-tan is significantly better. (The soup base is just better.) The tan-tan soup base is one of the best broth flavors I've had, I think. Anyway, while it's been a long time since I've eaten at Goma-Ichi, I think Jin Din Rou's tan-tan is better. Let me put it this way: I''ve been constantly thinking of going back and eating this--and I don't feel the same towards Goma-Ichi.

      Jin Din Rou's tan-tan is a bit different. My brother described it as Goma-ichi's tan-tan plus the Tekkaipin kotteri soup base--the thick, creamy soup. It's not as thick as the kotteri, but it does have that creamy texture and flavor. JDR also has some granules of ground beef sprinkled on the noodles, and the beef flavor is perfect complement. In addition to the ground beef, you get a stalk of choi sum (or what looks like choi sum). My friend and brother didn't care for the noodles, but I thought they were fine. (But I'm don't have a good sense about noodles.) In any event, when the soup broth is this good, who cares about the noodles.

      One warning. You might be tempted to drink all of the broth (which I did), but you might think twice because it is quite rich and oily. (You could see the globules of sesame oil in the soup when they first bring it out. Stir it up before eating.) Or if you can't resist, drink a whole lot of tea.

      Set A was about $11.

      Also, it gets crowded so beware. We got there about ten minutes before 11:00 on a Friday and there was a line forming. (We got in easily though).

      You guys need to at least try this place!

      Jin's Restaurant
      4303 Rice St Ste B6, Lihue, HI 96766