March 7, 2011

鼎泰豐

I've eaten at Taiwan's 鼎泰豐 a couple of years ago when I visited Taipei. Since then, the chain has expanded to Hong Kong and China. I was, of course, super excited to try out one of the Hong Kong locations! They developed a highly efficient wait system, and you can even see what number they're calling on a display screen. So even though it was very very crowded that day, we only had to wait around 20 minutes for our party of 3.
First up, steamed black truffle pork dumpling (黑松露小籠包). I've never had black truffle before, but I never imagined that my first experience with it is with Chinese cuisine! The flavour was a little too exotic for the traditional pork dumpling, in my opinion, but it was an interesting thing to try. The black truffle also made the dumplings a lot more pricier than the other variations available.
This place is famed for being very precise with the execution of the dumplings. Even the number of folds is specified and uniform for all the dumplings.
My favourite is the steamed crab roe and pork dumpling (蟹粉小籠包). You can see the fragrant yellow crab roe beneath the thin dumpling skin. The addition is absolutely delectable and I couldn't get enough of this delicate dumpling.
I was curious to order one steamed green vegetable and pork bun (菜肉包).
I don't have a very strong impression of this bun, but it was pretty good. Nothing extraordinary, but delicious and satisfying nevertheless.
I also adored the Taiwanese noodle with spicy sesame and peanut sauce (台式擔擔撈麵). I loved the combination of the springy noodles and spicy peanut sauce! I could've used more heat, but then I realize that most people can't take that much heat. The noodle was scrumptious and I wanted to eat the whole bowl!
Spicy pork and vegetable wonton (菜肉紅油炒手) also lacked a little heat in my opinion. The flavours were good, but not as memorable as the spicy noodle.
The sauteed indian lettuce with garlic (蒜蓉油麥菜) was a delicious, healthy addition to the meal. I always love my veggies.
Egg-fried rice with deep-fried pork chop (排骨蛋炒飯) sounded heavenly on paper. In reality, it was pretty good too, but fell a little short of my expectations. I particularly enjoyed the fried rice.
For dessert, we had the steamed taro paste dumpling (荔芋小籠包). I love taro so this was just the perfect sweet ending to a wonderful meal.  All in all, I was quite impressed with the quality of the food and the cleanliness of the restaurant. I can't wait to go back next year to eat pork dumplings again!

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