Dinesty - Aberdeen

  I was craving some xiao long bao the other day. I haven't had XLB in months!! The last time I ate xlb was at the original Din Tai Fung in Taipei. It was glorious. I'm salivating just thinking about it. Why can't we have a DTF in Vancouver?! 

If you missed it, read my review of DTF here - where I reviewed 15 dishes: http://www.vancitynoms.com/2015/02/the-legendary-din-tai-fung-review-of-14.html

  Dinesty actually really reminds me of Din Tai Fung. The way their menu is laid out, the atmosphere, they also have a lot of the same dishes/desserts! Their XLB, noodle, fried rice, and desserts section is almost identical! Dinesty makes some decent xiao long bao, but they still can't compare to DTF in terms of xlb mastery. Dinesty's menu is really large and they offer a wide range of classic Shanghainese and Taiwanese dishes! I only sampled a small part of their menu, so I really want to go back next week and try more dishes!! :D

  All in all, I was pretty satisfied with the dishes I tried at Dinesty. Except: I asked the waitress if their crab soup had egg in it, and she said no, so I ordered it. After it came and I took a few bites, I realized that there was egg in it. Afterwards my tongue swelled up and I couldn't taste anything for 3 days :(

Sigh...such is the life for someone with allergies! I guess I have to be super careful with ordering now!

  This place gets packed during lunch hour, so make a reservation if you don't want to wait in line!! Luckily I went right when they opened at 11 am. I went on a weekday, and within 10 mins, the crowds starting pouring in. They also have another location in Richmond, one on Robson, and they're also opening one across from Crystal Mall in Burnaby (which I'm SUPER excited for!!) :D But they're going to be competing directly against Shanghai Elan across the street!!

Side Note: I read on Yelp that the Aberdeen location only gives you 6 xlb, whereas their other locations give you 8 for the same price! Does anyone know why?

Read my review of their other location here: http://www.vancitynoms.com/2013/12/dinesty-chinese-restaurant.html

I really like how the restaurant is laid out! :D

Salty Fan Twan (Chinese donut wrapped in Sticky Rice) 
They also have a sweet version! 

4/5 stars

  So Taiwanese!! :D  Totally brings me back to Taiwan. Fan Twan is basically a Taiwanese burrito that people eat for breakfast!

  I was surprised at how good this was. It tasted pretty authentic. The rice was just the right texture, chewy and glutinous! The rice was wrapped around a crunchy chinese donut, with pork floss and sour cabbage! The inside is super fragrant, and I love the mixture of different textures! There wasn't a lot of rice, so you can probably eat 2 of these and still have room for XLB!! The ones in Taiwan usually have a lot more rice!

  I also really liked how they cut it into smaller pieces and wrapped in plastic! Perfect for sharing and it makes eating it a lot easier! The first time I went I tried ordering it after I had finished my rice cakes but they were already sold out! So the next day when I went I ordered it right away and I got it! :D

I'm so trying the sweet version next time! :D

You Tiao (Salty Chinese Donut)

2.5/5 stars

  Clearly someone's still obsessed with you tiao!! ;) After eating my fan twan, I wanted more you tiao...so I got this! This was actually different from the you tiao they put in the fan twan. The ones in the fan twan are crunchier and airier, these ones are denser and doughier! While the outside was nice and crunchy, it was a bit too crunchy, to the point where the dough cut the inside of my mouth! The inside was decently moist though and it wasn't too oily!

Chicken XLB

3.5/5 stars

  These were pretty decent, but I still prefer Din Tai Fung's chicken xlb! The skin wasn't as thin as I would've liked, but flavour wise, pretty good!! The chicken flavour was really strong, and the dumpling itself was filled with chicken soup! The chicken was really tender and not too salty!! I like their signature pork XLB better, but these are a close second! :)

Stir Fried Rice Cake w/ Salted Vegetables and Pork

3.5/5 stars

  I use to eat ricecakes all the time when I was younger. I would call them "skateboard" cakes in Mandarin because they looked like little skateboards!! :D

  I really enjoyed this! The portion size was really generous - definitely meant for sharing, but I devoured the entire thing! The rice cakes themselves were perfectly cooked, perfectly chewy! The salted vegetables added a lot of flavour and made the entire dish really fragrant!


Noodles w/ Crab Soup

Noodles: 4/5 stars

  The noodles were really good! They actually kind of remind me of Din Tai Fung's noodles! They come a bit stuck together, but you're suppose to mix it in with the soup to untangle it! The noodles were perfectly cooked, al dente, chewy, with bite! 

Crab Soup

I had an allergic reaction to this, the waitress said there wasn't egg in it but turns out there was! My tongue was swollen for 3 days afterwards :(

2.5/5 stars

  The soup itself was creamy and pretty light tasting! There wasn't a lot of crab in there, but there was a generous amount of shrimp! It was a pretty big bowl and combined with the noodles, makes for a pretty filling meal!

Glutinous Red Bean XLB
They also have a non-glutinous version!

4/5 stars

  I've also tried something similar at Din Tai Fung in Taipei! The only difference is that these are made with glutinous rice wrappers! They have two versions, and I opted for the glutinous version, cause I love the chewy texture!

 These were delish! The XLB skin was reasonably thin, and really chewy! The red bean filling was fragrant without being too sweet. If you like XLBs and red bean, definitely try this! So good!! :D

Little morsels of goodness!

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  1. Have't been to the Aberdeen location ..... looks elegant and fancy. Those red bean paste XLBs look great ..... I have a sweet tooth so that's like the best of both worlds.

    Selina I REALLY think you should have complained (or go back to complain) to the management about the waitresses' mis-information to you. Whether by accident or by negligence, her mistake caused you physical (and maybe psychological) discomfort and stress. Imagine if someone with peanut analphylaxic, life-threatening allergy received food that they were told did *not* contain peanuts ..... the outcome could be fatal. A real good thing that didn't happen to you, but you know what I mean, right ? She should have at least double-checked with management, and maybe even triple-checked with kitchen manager/staff. You're a paying customer with allergies and they (and ALL restaurant industry staff) need to be very cognizant of the risks and dangers.

    OK, jumping off of my soapbox. We just don't want to see anything bad happen to you !!!

    1. Aw thanks LR! :D

      Your words mean a lot. Not a lot of people understand the hardship people with allergies go through!! You're one of the compassionate few!! :)

      Her mistake did cause me physical and psychological stress. Especially since I waited an entire month for my tastebuds to come back! I forgive her though, I just hope it doesn't happen again! :)

      I was thinking about complaining, but in the past management/the waitresses usually just shrug it off as "no big deal." Some places don't even apologize, and I've even had people blame me! Especially since I'm pretty young and I always eat by myself, nobody takes me seriously. Oh well haha. But you're right, next time I'll try and be more assertive!

      The inside is quite fancy for a mall establishment! It's really clean too! You should definitely try the red bean XLBs, they're delish!! They even have a chocolate/redbean version! Or better yet, try them at Din Tai Fung if you get the chance! :D

      "Jumping off of my soapbox" LOL!! Your words really made my day - thankyou!! :)

    2. Ooooh, chocolate/red bean XLBs ! Even better :-)

      DTF ..... yeah funny we were planning to go down to SEA yesterday for another event and I'd already semi-planned to head over to their new store in Univ Village Mall, since our event was just on the other side of I-5 across from Northgate Mall, so a few mins drive to DTF. But the wind storms and aftermaths delayed us and we settled for hanging out in Bellingham for the afternoon. Seattle's DTF will have to wait another time.

      Of course, what you choose to complain about is entirely your discretion. And yes, Chinese establishments & cultural norms generally shrug off customer feedback/criticism. Sad. It's a chance I personally take (and I *do* complain from time to time, with limited success in terms of acknowledgement and responses). You have to decide what's important to you and each restaurant & situation is different.

      Sometimes I actually like crappy service at some Chinese restos because that means I can get away tipping less, LOL.


    3. Ah that's too bad! It's been really windy lately. I'm jealous you can drive down for xlb, my dad never agrees to drive down to Seattle, so I can only eat DTF when I'm abroad! :(
      You have to try their red bean xlb the next time you go!

      Agreed, expressing your discontent, more or less, doesn't help that much unfortunately.

      LOL crappy service can be a good thing sometimes!

    4. LOL that you can't get down to Seattle for DTF so you go across the ocean for them in TWN :-D

  2. omg is it really opening one at metro? how did you know? I'll be super happy if they did!!! I love dinesty

    1. I saw the coming soon sign!! :D They're opening one across from Crystal Mall, next to Trattoria!! I'm SO excited hehe, I can't wait!! Now we don't have to go all the way to Richmond!! My guess is that they'll be open in a few months!! YAY!!! ;D

  3. Dinesty also has a location on Robson, not far from Denman. But that space is small-ish and lineups can be long.


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