Dinesty 聚

November 03, 2011
I have an interesting history with Dinesty. When it first opened, I was excited about trying it because of the location. I visited with a couple of friends and we were horrified by the food. The sour and spicy soup left a particularly lasting impression because it was bright red with flecks of black pepper. It was the weirdest soup I've ever tasted. A year later, another friend suggested this place for a group dinner and said they had the best stir fried noodles ever. I thought to myself, "Oh they must be under new management." and decided to give it another try. Everyone at the table (except for said friend) found the food disgustingly oily and barely touched anything. Fast forward another year or so, and I found myself coming back again because I was very curious as to why the place was packed every time I passed by. Did my friends and I just happen to have weird tastes? So I went back again with my parents because they too were curious about the consistent long lineups. This time we ordered lighter items mainly consisting of buns and dumplings, and we actually had a pretty good experience. I kept returning until this one time I walked in near closing time, and the waitress tried to discourage me from eating there because the place was closing in 45 minutes. I told her I wouldn't take long and asked to be seated. I ate quickly and as I was holding the last bit of food with my chopsticks, she grabbed my plate and stood there waiting for me to take the last bite. As soon as I put the food in my mouth, she grabbed the chopsticks from my hand and proceeded to clean off the rest of the table. I felt so rushed and disrespected that I didn't go back again for a long time. Yesterday I was craving Shanghainese food, and Dinesty was the first place that came to mind. The green bean paste cake (綠豆沙酥餅) ($3.95) arrived first, and although it looked like a dessert, it was actually classified as a savoury dim sum. I liked the crispy and flaky pastry crust, but found the green bean paste a bit powdery. Nevertheless this was a pretty well-executed pastry.

The steamed glutinous rice and red bean paste dumplings (麻糬豆沙小包) ($5) were quite expensive, but I really enjoyed them. The sweet and smooth red bean filling was perfect with the chewy mochi wrap.

The egg roll (蛋餅) ($2.95) looked appealing with a nice golden colour, though it didn't taste as good as it looked. The egg was soft and flavourful, but the pancake was too thin and slightly bland.

One of my favourite items here is the steamed kimchi and pork dumplings (泡菜小籠包) ($5.95). It's a twist on the original xiao long bao with the addition of kimchi. I think the spiciness makes it more appetizing and less heavy on the stomach.

Similar to Kirby's experience, I was quite surprised when I saw the salty soy milk (鹹豆漿) ($2.50). It looked too solid to be soy milk. There were lumps of tofu on close inspection, so I was convinced it was actually extra soft tofu all squished up and disguised as soy milk! The flavour wasn't bad, but the texture was strange... And I didn't like how the Chinese donuts were completely soggy. I think they were cooked in the soy milk, but they should have been thrown in just before serving so that they would still be slightly crispy.

Overall I still enjoyed the meal because I loved the kimchi xiao long bao and the sweet red bean dumplings. I would probably come back again when I crave Shanghainese buns and dumplings, but I would stay away from the soups and noodle dishes.

Dinesty Chinese Restaurant 聚 on Urbanspoon


  1. Kimchi XLB sounds so interesting! If I (ever) go back to Dinesty again, I'll try that instead of the normal ones! :P

  2. @Kirby: Yea I figured lots of places have the normal kind, so might as well try something special. I actually like this more than the normal one.

  3. Really love your blog. I periodically check your blog for new eats!! I actually had the same experience as you did with Dinesty. Never understood the long lines, but like you said, their dumplings and buns are supposedly really good!

    Salty soybean milk is my favourite breakfast in Taiwan. Salty soymilk is made by coagulating plain soy milk with the addition of vinegar.
    It's actually pretty easy to make at home. I think you might have mistaken the curds in salty soymilk as squished up soft tofu! =)

    Some fabulous breakfast items in Taiwan including Salty Soybean milk: http://eatingasia.typepad.com/eatingasia/2011/07/xian-doujiang-salty-soy-milk-kaohsiung-taiwan-breakfast.html

  4. @Ivy: Thanks! Good to know that you enjoy reading my posts :)
    I didn't know that authentic soy milk is supposed to be curdled, but I'm still not convinced the salty soy milk I had was authentic. Maybe you could try it and let me know!


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