I’m so glad that when S and J brought us to eat xiao long bao, they did not bring us to din tai fung, but to another XLB place, which they said was just as good and one of their favourite places. We have din tai fung in Singapore, so I did not really fancy visiting it again, even though the flagship Taiwanese branch is super famous.
At shengyuan XLB, the moment you walk in, you can see the kitchen where the chefs are busy preparing the XLB. An open kitchen is always intriguing so it’s always great to catch a glimpse of the chefs at work, even if it’s only for a few seconds before you’re whisked off to your table.
There is a side dish bar in the corner of the restaurant. It’s a self service concept, and you can pick as many side dishes as you like.
Of course, the star here is the XLB and we ordered 8 longs!
J was trying to school us on the art of eating XLB. You’re supposed to carefully take hold of the steaming XLB, let it sit in your vinegar tray for a while and then pop the entire thing into your mouth and feel the burst of flavour instantly. Or, you could do it Y’s style and just pop the entire steaming XLB into your mouth without giving it a few seconds to cool down.
The XLBs here were really good, the skin of the dumpling was thin enough that you had to be careful when holding up the XLB, but not so thin that the dumpling fell apart easily. The broth was really tasty and the restaurant also had other sauces that you could have your XLB with.
XLBs are not the only food item sold here. We also tried the restaurant’s spicy beef tongue soup which was really good as well.
Definitely a recommended spot if you’re craving for XLB in Taipei and don’t want to brave the long queues at Din Tai Fung.
Add: 106台北市大安區杭州南路二段25巷1號1樓 / No.1, Lane 25, Section 2, Hangzhou South Road, Taipei