How many Ivy League grads does it take to make a xiaolongbao
? Two (Harvard; Stanford). And one graduate of Din Tai Fung
. Witness: Simon's Kitchen
I had lunch there today. The decor is mod-Ikea and the staff is dressed in curious Scotch plaid pants, white dress shirts, and black vests -- out of place next to the polished concrete floor. The location is perfect for... delivery. But judging by a quick lunch this afternoon, the food is good.
Simon's Kitchen's chef -- not named Simon -- is a Din Tai Fung alumnus, and he's taken the Taiwanese dumpling perfectionist's thin, thin wrappers, excessive top folds, cloth lining for steamer baskets, and about a quarter of DTF's menu with him. I had a few OG plain pork dumplings, and a few made with a wrapper dyed green with spinach juice. (The restaurant's other talking point is their fancy cold-press juicers. Cross a juicer in the kitchen with a xiaolongbao
and you end up with wrappers dyed with beet, spinach, and carrots.)