Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Dumpling delights at Din Tai Fung, Silvercord Branch Hong Kong

Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung
If you like to eat dim sum then you probably already know about Din Tai Fung. If not, add it to your "must eat" list when travelling in Asia. While the menu is extensive and covers all of your dim sum favourites, DTF is probably best known for its Xiao Long Bao. These delicate little bite sized morsels are a wonder of skilful construction. The thin, almost translucent casing is pregnant with hot soup and demands some patience to avoid a mouth scalding. DTF make around half a dozen XLB varieties, but this is no one trick pony. Spicy wontons, a wonderfully flavoured chicken soup and a great tofu salad were some of the things I ate recently. Throw in terrific, friendly service and you're bound to have a good time despite, inevitably, having to wait.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Sarashina Horii, Tokyo - perfecting the art of soba

Soba with fresh baby bamboo at Sarashina Horii
I have to come clean and admit that ramen doesn't really float my boat. All the new ramen joints that have emerged in central London over the last year have been great for variety (and of the bunch, Shoryu's yuzu tonkotsu is my favourite), but mainly I yearn for cleansing noodles from Koya - if only the queues were shorter! For me though, soba noodles are where it's at. My first trip to Tokyo coincided with New Years Eve and the local tradition is to eat soba noodles at midnight. For some reason this left an impression on me. So on my recent return to Tokyo, ramen didn't feature on my must-eat list at all. I wanted to try more soba and udon. Happily, when consulting the sages of Twitter, I came across Sarashina Horii, a soba noodle specialist with a history dating back 220 years.