Din Tai Fung, Valley Fair

Right. I’m talking about the US and probably other places

Compared to what we can get in a similarly priced meal in the same city. E.g. for that price we got like 10 pretty tasty dishes to share. At that price point to get that variety at a high level, its a good deal to me. But yes now that I think about it, the actual price itself isn’t relevant since that’s not my reference point.

XLB exotic in the US (especially in California) ?

I suppose if XLB in the US becomes as common as it is in China/Taiwain/HK/Singapore/etc., then it will no longer be ‘exotic’. Tacos were likely exotic at some point right.

But as you suggested, within a given context - e.g. this site or CA - they really aren’t.

XLB are non-existent in Reno/Lake Tahoe. There’s an Asian market that sells a lot of of frozen dumplings and I suppose I should try but I’d likely be disappointed. We go to SF and SEA multiple times a year and I get my fix then :slight_smile: Worth waiting for.

I wouldn’t consider XLB to be exotic in urban areas like the Bay Area today. Most foodies and semi-foodies know of them (even if only as “soup dumplings”).

It wasn’t always so. I had my XLB epiphany in Shanghai in 1992, and when I got back to SF the only place I could find them was at the pricey (but elegant) Wu Kong restaurant, which was in the space at Rincon Center now occupied by Yank Sing. The first hole-in-the-wall we found them at was a place called Shanghai King at Clement and 32nd (where the European Deli is now). Fountain Court (Clement and 5th) also had them early on. Nowadays they are all but ubiquitous, even in Cantonese dim sum places.

If you find this brand of frozen XLB and prepare them carefully, you won’t be too disappointed.

According to KTVU this morning, the DTF management has suddenly decided to go from a NO reservations policy to a reservations ONLY policy.

All reservations? Yesterday when I looked the bar seating is still available for walk-ins. I wonder if that has changed again.

It may be because other stores are complaining about dropping traffic with all those DTF lines snaking outside their stores…

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I was thinking the same thing, that DTF’s lnes might be a nuisance to its neighboring tenants.

The rport was on this morning’s news.

wasn’t WuKong in Embarcadero 4 or something?

No, you may be thinking of Harbor Village. Both Harbor Village and Wu Kong were Hong Kong exports, though one was Cantonese and the other Shanghainese. Wu Kong was in Rincon Center from about 1988 to 1998 when the owner and his wife retired.

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I actually made them a few years ago since I couldn’t get them locally. For me, it was A LOT of work - over two days - and while they were medium good I didn’t think they were good enough for the effort required.

I’ll look for that brand and thanks.

I looked at their reservations and it’s pretty hard to get anything for dinner anytime soon. But I’ll tell ya, having eaten them in the two SEA locations, I think they’re worth the wait…I mean from a res not standing in line standpoint.

What’s not exotic in the Reno/Lake Tahoe region ? In most other regions in California with a decent populations XLB are definitely not exotic even for people who are normally not that much into food

To our surprise, we have quite good Chinese food (and others) but nothing to do with dumplings. If I were wealthy…well, you know :slight_smile:

I tried making reservations at midnight. I was unable to make reservations for a group larger than 4 people. The new date did not become available on their reservation calendar at midnight sharp but only about 10 minutes after midnight.

I played around a bit with the VF one and also Seattle. I didn’t try midafternoon but really nothing was available for lunch or dinner even a week out.

Is it each day they release a day’s worth of reservations? Or is it a weekly thing?

Early on when they first started offering reservations, I grabbed a table that’s neither my preferred size nor my preferred dates. If I don’t plan to make it I will just share it here later on.

Correct, each day.

So each day for that same day?

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2