Saturday, December 13, 2014

[Taipei] Mingyue Tangbao (明月湯包)

When it comes to soup dumplings (aka tangbao, xiaolongbao, XLB, 小籠包), the name that comes to your mind immediately is perhaps Ding Tai Fung (鼎泰豐).  I have been to DTF a few times myself and I like their XLB.  However, I just hate waiting in line and it's available almost worldwide these days... so why go to DTF in Taiwan? All their shops follow the same process when making their XLB anyways (unless your city doesn't have it I guess).

Well, that brings me to Mingyue Tangbao (明月湯包).  I was introduced to this place in 2009 by my friend and we had such a great time.  I have wanted to come back for their XLB since.

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I don't recall the exact time we arrived but it was shortly before they stopped lunch service so we didn't have to wait (it was a Saturday).  The crowd was comparable to my last visit - lots of Japanese tourists.

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Since it was just my mom and I, we didn't order a lot of food.  Even so, we had a hard time finishing everything.  Perhaps my appetite shrunk over the years?  The food was still good so I will say it's a good alternative when you crave soup dumplings and didn't want to stand in queue at DTF for over an hour.  (It still beats anything I had in the United States, Joe Shanghai included.)

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Since Ming Yue failed to leave me with the impression like last time, I went back and dug up my pictures from my first visit to see if there were any notable differences... It would seem that all the portion size have shrunk (and prices went up) and the good looking chef no longer worked there (j/k).

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I don't even remember seeing this on the menu this time :/
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The cabbage was also greener last time
I remembered I had to enter into chopsticks war with my friend for the last piece of cabbage.
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My doubt was confirmed, the soup dumpling shrunk.
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It was a bite of juicy goodness last time
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It would seemed that we only had a half order of the pan-fried dumplings last time
However, how come it seemed bigger than my full order this time? 
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I really liked there vegetarian dumplings and really wanted to order it this recent visit too
but the soup dumplings and pan-fried dumplings were already too much so we had to give up on this.
If you tried this dish recently, let me know if it is still any good!
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This was the best vegetarian dumpling I ever had
I have already measured the subsequent contenders to this.
In a way, I am glad I didn't order it this time since I probably will be disappointed?
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According to the time stamp, we (3 ladies) mopped up all the food in less than an hour...
We must be hungry...

Ming Yue Soup Dumplings (明月湯包)
No. 162, Section 2, Keelong Street, Da'an District, Taipei Taiwan
台北市基隆路二段162號
Tel: +886 02 2733 8770
Hours: (Lunch) 11:00 am - 2:00 pm; (dinner) 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

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