To celebrate the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Dog, our granddaughter Vanessa and her boyfriend William treated us to lunch at Din Tai Fung in the South Center Mall. This is their favorite restaurant for Taiwanese food. William was born in Taiwan and Vanessa has visited his family there as well.
We let Vanessa and William order their favorite foods. We love Chinese food, but were unfamiliar with the difference between Chinese and Taiwanese cooking.
We started off with a beef broth soup. If we hadn’t been in public I would have sipped, smacked, and slurped directly from the serving bowl. Peg says it’s probably started from marrow bones. There were pieces of baby bok choy and hunks of tender roast beef floating in broth and green onion slices. I’m still in love.
Next, we had two different varieties of soup dumplings. They literally contain soup within the pockets of dough. I liked both the pork and the shrimp dumplings.
“Xiao long bao (literally “small basket buns,” named for the bamboo baskets they’re steamed in) have delicate skins that encase a pork-based filling and a gelatinized meat broth. During steaming the broth liquefies, poaching the pork in a rich, savory soup. As the dumplings cool, the broth solidifies and the skin hardens, which is why XLB need to be eaten quickly, but not too quickly.” – thrillist.com/eat/nation/xiao-long-bao-how-to-eat-soup-dumplings
We only had two different kinds of Dim Sum Soup Dumplings . . . actually, dim sum really good soup dumplings. I want to try these out again. In a search for Dim Sum Soup Dumplings I came up with two Tacoma restaurants and one Lakewood restaurant:
Hong Kong Restaurant – 8843 Pacific Ave
Ming Palace – 8736 S Hosmer St
Peking Garden Chinese Restaurant – 9701 S Tacoma Way #115
I’m familiar with the Ming Palace, the Chinese Reconciliation Foundation Project will be having their annual meeting there on June 2nd. Perhaps, I’ll suggest soup dumplings for dinner.
I gathered that William doesn’t cook much, but will eat the same thing everyday if he as the chance. Fried rice is one of those dishes he would eat three times a day. We enjoyed the food and I will start visiting restaurants that specialize in Taiwanese dishes. In a search for Taiwanese food I came up with two different Lakewood restaurants, and one in DuPont:
Tacoma Szechuan – 9601 S Tacoma Way
Yen Ching Restaurant – 8765 S Tacoma Way
Fortune Cookie Restaurant – 1575 Wilmington Dr # 160
The last dish we tried was fried rice with fried pork chop. It’s on my “try again” list as well. We enjoyed the food at the Din Tai Fung in South Center, but not the traffic, the parking, nor the walking. I’ll take my list of six local restaurants and work my way through them. Taiwan here I come via Pierce County!