With the celebration of the Chinese New Year yesterday, the Year of the Dragon is upon us. This is a special year because the Dragon is one of the most powerful and lucky signs in the Chinese zodiac. This year the Dragon is the Water Dragon so it has calming influences on the dragons temper. There are many different traditions for the New Year but I just kept up one tradition I have… eating dumplings.
I have an intense love for dumplings. You will rarely ever find a time when I am not craving them. My favorite dumpling place is in downtown Sydney so I couldn’t think of a better time to plan a visit for myself and my friend who has never tried them. I originally found this place because my favorite magazine, Time Out Sydney, rated them ‘the best dumplings’ in Sydney and I had to find out. Let me tell you they weren’t only the best dumplings in Sydney but the best dumplings I have ever had, and my opinion didn’t change the second time around.
Din Tai Fung thinks the key difference in their dumplings versus the rest of the world is precision. Each dumpling is exactly the same size whether you are eating it in Japan or in Sydney on George Street, which is the 41st restaurant to open.
The soup filled dumplings are simply divine. If you successfully get the wiggly dumpling to your spoon without accidentally poking them open, you must create a little hole to let the juice slip out so it’s not too hot. Take a little sip and let the juice slip down the back of your throat. Add the soy sauce, vinegar and ginger mixture to your spoon and you are ready; now you eat the whole thing. It’s hot but not too hot anymore. You taste the rich pork then the savory juice and a ping of the ginger and you taste it all the way down, sinking deeper into your chair. The only thing that makes you ok that the bite is over is that you realize there are more. We ordered the pork dumplings and the crab meat, crab roe and pork mixture dumplings that are both delicious.
We also tried dessert. We got a bun that was called the Golden Lava and the steamed red bean dumplings. The Golden lava had a sticky rice, almost cake like texture on the outside with a frothy orange sweet filling. The steamed red bean dumplings taste exactly as they sound but sweet. The grainy texture of the bean with a deep sweetness that is rich and earthy and unlike any other dessert I’ve had.
After dessert we realized we needed more so we got another order of the pork and soup filled dumplings. These dumplings are too good to be anything but lucky. I think its safe to say we started the New Year off right.
Crab dumplings (above)
Pork dumpling (below)
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