Saturday, July 14, 2018

Dian Shui Lou 點水樓 (Taipei, TAIWAN) ★★★☆☆

My friends have been telling me this for a number of years now, how Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐) isn't what they used to be anymore. That's an assessment I completely agreed with based on my recent experience (Their overseas outlets are even worse). But thankfully, there are more than enough steamed dumpling and noodle restaurants in Taipei with Dian Shui Lou (點水樓) always viewed as a close second to Din Tai Fung.

Out of Dian Shui Lou's eight branches in Taipei, this one at Fuxing SOGO has always been one of the most popular one. Of course, this is their bread and butter, steamed dumplings (or xiao long baos) in all kinds of different colors (Gourd and shrimp, crab roe, truffle, XO sauce, black garlic and mala, take your pick!).

Sautéed seasonal vegetable (季節煸芥蘭菜) (NT$320) - Starting off with something green is always a good idea. I couldn't recall having this kind of Chinese kale before. It looked and tasted more like water spinach than kale with lots of fibre, which is always nice.

Steamed dumpling with fresh angled gourd and shrimps (翡翠小籠包) (NT$220) - Aside from the "original" flavor, this is their most popular steamed dumpling with fresh angled gourd and shrimp but to me, it's a fail. Underneath the thin wrapper was diced gourd and shrimps but no broth? And we all knew what a xiao long bao would taste like without any broth. Not a pleasant sight.

Braised beef tendon and tenderloin soup noodle (點水樓牛肉麵) (NT$680) - Another house specialty and thank goodness, this one PASSED! I thought the noodle and braised tendon was both really tasty. The tenderloin was a little on the hard side but I could live with that.

They have all these small dishes on display but both V and I thought we've seen enough so time to settle the bill and move on.

A pretty disappointing meal. I thought they could replace Din Tai Fung as our source for steamed dumplings in Taipei but judging from this lunch, it's quite evident that it's not going to happen.

Food Rating: 4.5/10
Price: $$$
Address: 11/F Fuxing SOGO, #300, Section 3, Zhongxiao East Road, Taipei, Taiwan
Closest Metro Station: Zhongxiao Fuxing
Tel: +886 2-8772-5089

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