Singapore Adventure

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Ohhhh, Yes
by venitha

Up until Sunday night, I'd been disparaging Chinese food as the most boring and least appealing of Asia's phenomenal cuisines. With delightful friends like the slow seductive burn of Peranakan beef rendang, the tangy zesty zip of Thai som tam, and the hearty intense heat of Indian curry, why even invite the bland greasy pork of Chinese dumplings to my party? And then I ate this.

Ohhhh, yes. Called xiao long bao and served up Shanghai-style at a local Din Tai Fung restaurant, these bitesize morsels of savory goodness literally explode in your mouth. Their English nickname, soup dumplings, is spot on, for the stuffing is a divine pork soup, which showers your tastebuds in a most surprising and scrumptious sensation. Wow!

The mini-nuclear reactor version topped with a shrimp is irresistibly cute but pays a heavy price for its marvelous and amusingly appropriate look by being, crushingly, impossible to pop into your mouth. Believe me, I tried. And Jim almost succeeded.

Din Tai Fung just moved to the top of my list of restaurants to take visitors to, particularly those who are wimps, er, I mean, who don't appreciate spicy cuisine as much as I do. Conveniently, exactly a month from now, we'll be enjoying the first supper together with our visiting family, including my favorite wimp, 11-year-old Matthew. Ohhhh, yes.