I talked to my dad who speaks chinese and reads Chinese paper regularly. I asked him his opinion and dishes at Ding Sheng in which we did not have much success.
He mentioned to me that some of the OTHER dishes are very unique to that place and we missed some of the stellar ones. That bamboo tube that we saw a lot had a few things inside such as rice, etc. It's suppose to be very good and unique.
Also, there were more things to try there that was very good. We should have ordered the SET menu in which their specialties will be well represented !
Also he mentioned to me that most of these places (if not ALL) have certain specialties that we need to be aware of and concentrate on those. Some places that were discussed:
-Grand Taipei is suppose to have excellent and very well known tea smoked duck. Other dishes that was mentioned was already discussed in previous thread.
-The greatest XLB that he found is found in 369 Restaurant in the San Jose branch (near Brokaw) !!!! Not all 369 have good XLB.
-There is a new Szechuan in Hayward that also features some authentic Szechuan. Name is in chinese only and their tel 510-732-5588 I will check this out soon.
-SILK in Walnut Creek is also worthy of a closer look. We never tried this place.