December 29, 2014

Mushy dim sum

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A friend is in town for a short trip and wanted to meet up for lunch.  Dim sum was requested, which made sense given the lack of decent choices in Taipei.  Given my friend was coming in from the airport, I figured I'd pick a place near the Airport Express Station in Central... and I decided to check out The Square (翠玉軒) after being away for a few years.

We opened up the menu to find only about 8 dim sum items available on weekdays.  This was very much unexpected, and kinda defeats the purpose of coming here.  My friend jokingly (or maybe she was serious?) suggested that we get up and go somewhere else, but I decided to stay put.  What a mistake this turned out to be!

Baked pastries with spring onion (黃橋焗燒餅) - call me shallow for judging a book by its cover, but after one look at these I knew we were in trouble.  When you get served items where the puff pastry is broken... something is wrong.  Biting into one confirmed my fears.  These were simply just too greasy and mushy inside.  Flavors were OK, but the texture was all wrong.

Steamed pork, shrimps and crab roe dumplings (蟹籽燒賣皇) - these were OK.

Steamed vegetables dumplings (娥姐素粉粿) - very finely diced filling of water chestnuts, carrots, radish, shiitake mushrooms, black wood ear fungus, hairy gourd... Vibrant colors, and the taste was delicious.  The wrappers were a little flabby from over-steaming, and the filling had just a little too much starch so that when it got cold, the texture turned a little mushy.

Why did it get cold, you ask?  Well, it's because they did what so many Chinese restaurants in this town do... they serve you ALL your dishes at the same time, and you simply don't have the time to get to them all before they turn cold.

Steamed fresh shrimps dumplings (水晶鮮蝦餃) - a little too much mushy starch in the filling.

Steamed fried rice with assorted meat wrapped in lotus leaf (四季荷葉飯) - this was OK, with a nice, plump shrimp on top.

Stir-fried choy sum (清炒菜心) - this was OK.

Well, it was really good to see my friend, but the lunch I arranged for us was a little disappointing.  Am I being harsh?  Maybe a little, but this isn't what I would expect from a restaurant with a Michelin star.  I've heard that it's tough to find good dim sum chefs nowadays, and maybe the à la carte dishes are of higher quality, but honestly... after two visits over the last 4 years, I'm not willing to give them any more of my money.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sadly, this is my experience as well. I haven't been there for some time now.


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