Thursday, 15 March 2018

Hang Zhou Xiao Long Bao in Da'an District Taipei 杭州小籠湯包 (大安)



Restaurant nameHang Zhou Xiao Long Bao 杭州小籠湯包 
Address: No. 17, Section 2, Hangzhou South Road, 106, Taiwan, Taipei City, Da’an District | 台北市大安區杭州南路二段17 號 (shop is a short walk east from Chiang Kai Shek Memorial)
GPS25°02'02.8"N 121°31'25.2"E
Nearest MRTDongmen Station 東門站
Tel02-2393 1757
Hours: 11:00am to 10:00pm (close at 11pm on Fri & Sat)

Hang Zhou Xiao Long Bao 杭州小籠湯包 is a tourist and local favourite. The shop always comes in within the top 5 of any list of best xiao long bao shops in Taiwan. It was awarded the Bib Gourmand in the inaugural Taipei Michelin guide 2018. 

Hang Zhou Xiao Long Bao was founded in the 1990s first as a BBQ stand before transforming into a XLB specialist. It is strategically located near the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial which is a "mandatory" stop for any tourist to Taipei.

Hang Zhou Xiao Long Bao serves many variations of XLB.

Fans like Hang Zhou Xiao Long Bao because their XLB taste good - the skin wrap is just the right thickness, bursting with flavourful savoury sweet broth, packed with tender minced pork fillings, and the price is highly competitive. Locals call Hang Zhou Xiao Long Bao, the "people friendly Ding Tai Fung 親民版鼎泰豐".



All of Hang Zhou Xiao Long Bao's meat dumplings are handmade right there at the shop. The team is led by owner / Head Chef 楊克生 who has 20 years of experience making xialong bao.

There is a lot of dedication and precision in making Hang Zhou XLBs which are consistency good.

The dough is hand kneaded to give it "life", so that we can feel the spring when we bite into it. Each skin wrap is made with exactly 6 grams of dough - too little the wrap will burst, a bit more dough and we will have a chewy dumpling. The chefs seal the dumpling at the top with between 18 to 21 folds. Less than 18, the skin will be too thick. More than 21 and it will tear.

Hang Zhou Xiao Long Bao meat filling is made with minced, never chilled, fresh pork ham. The lean meat to fat ratio is 7:3. The green colour we see in Hang Zhou's Xiao Long Bao is from pureed fresh spring onion. The spring onion has a characteristic flavour and fragrance. There is also finely chopped onion in the meat filling. The dumplings are packed with aspic made with boiled-till-dissolved pork skin, so when steamed, it turns into broth with a full gelatinous body and depth of flavour. The broth also has a certain tackiness that greases the lips 👄 Yet, the dumpling does not feel excessively oily. (The broth is key - that is why xiao long bao is also known as 湯包 which means "soup bun".)

Besides the classic traditional steamed meat dumplings, Hang Zhou Xiao Long Bao also serves several variations of the iconic dumpling. Check them out, if you have stomach space to spare.

While at Hang Zhou Xiao Long Bao, try also their popular hand made crispy pancake rolls. The pancakes filled with chopped spring onion are freshly made, and pan fried on the spot. They are then topped with slices of beef shank meat and crunchy stalks of fresh cucumber. The pancake with beef and cucumber is rolled and served as a crispy meat roll. Each roll is a substantial meal in itself.



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