i made it to the flushing laguardia sheraton hotel restaurant today for the DIN TAI FUNG soup dumpling fiesta. first off, boy were they suprized when i mentioned why i was there---i scored a lot of cred right away so thanks for the tip mooncakes :)
of course i was prepared for xiao long bao but thought maybe they might have some other taiwanese food too like san pei or yam congee or something. no, its mostly the bao soup dumplings only on the menu. i'll post the whole menu if anyone wants it i brought one home.
first, i got the 'house appetizer' of shredded pickled seaweed, tofu and sprouts w/ cilantro ($2). very nice start.
next up was the 'crabmeat steam buns.' great light casing, minimal yet tasty soup inside(10/$14). unfortunately, the meat was creamy but undistinguished. next was the 'pork steam juicy bun'(10/$9). same thing. looks nice, lacked much flavor. the verdict? disappointing for the high price.
i ended w/ dessert 'red bean paste steam bun' (4/$4). these were the winner for me. sweet yet not too sweet. snappy casing. total was almost $36 w/o tip which is a lot. but it was fun and i'm glad to have experienced some of the best soup dumpling experts.
its true the DIN TAI FUNG guys will be there thru 6/15. also, if you go fyi you only get one chance to pick what you want, no second orders allowed. i was there at the first seating 11:00am but they were totally full of people when i left so word gets around and you do have to reserve. everyone was ordering about the same as me, as i said the menu is rather limited.
ps--after walking it off at a street fair nearby on kissena i actually went to 100 DUMPLING HOUSE for an order of lamb/bok choy dumplings before i left (12/4.95). plenty of taste in those.
so after 36 (!!!) dumplings in flushing i "bao'd out" and called it a day. sorry i couldnt resist that one!