First, a comment on repeated arguments in the last two weeks about Din Tai Fung vs. Meilong Village (kinda like east coast vs. west coast rap, but instead of G-funk vs. the NY flow, we got al dente wrappers vs. gooey wrappers. Er, that pun was unintended. It's late.)
(First, sorry for always replying so late to threads. I used to check Chowhound every day, but once I started writing Chownews, the total time was insane, so I try to spend all my time on the board in lump sum, which is when I write Chownews).
There are a bunch of people who really raise the banner for Meilong (Mielong?) over Din Tai Fung, for soup dumplings. Just want to relate my experience:
My first soup dumpling was Meilong. Was astonished by the broth depth and complexity.
First time at Din Tai Fung, I didn't like it. I thought (and still think) that the broth in the dumplings is inferior to Meilong's. BUT, on a second visit, I managed to forget my insistence on Meilong-quality broth and managed to really enjoy DTF's dumplings - most of all, for their firm, virile-textured, tasty wrappers.
And also the beautiful vegetarian dumplings, which are almost flavorless, but have a fine, gorgeously mealy texture. I think it has to do with the mince level of the veggies and vermicelli noodles. Anyway, an addiction.
So - both are fine, in their different ways. (All bad dumplings are alike, every good dumpling is good in its own way?) I say this only because it looks like some people are going to DTF once and abandoning it in favor of Meilong. Give DTF a second chance. Accept The Way of the Toothsome Wrapper. Luckily, dumplings are not like love-partners. Monogamy is not required. One can learn to love both and go back and forth.
Secondly: a new dumpling place: Dumplings 10053. The first successful tryout of the Carl Chu book that I was talkin' about. A fine tryout it was.
Noodles were only alright, though the spicy beef that accompanied was good. But dumplings:
Fish dumplings were very fine (though less cloud-like than Mandarin Deli's.) But pork-crab-sea cucumber dumplings were excellent. Dumpling wrapper good, though not exceptional or delicate or anything (these being good ole fashioned dumplins) but the filling was very good - kind of suave, really. An excellent flavor.
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