Not the Itialian Ciao, the Taiwanese Xiao.
We were finally able to try Shi Lin. My sister calls it poor man's Din Tai Fung but it really does taste and look a bit like the original Din Tae Fung. I was able to try the Xiao Long Pao of the first Din Tai Fung in Taipei courtesy of a Taiwanese partner in 2007. It was my first time to try Xiao Long Pao. It just sent me to 7th heaven when I tried it along with the other dumplings at Din Tae Fung. I have been wanting to let my family share the experience ever since.
When we went to Hong Kong, I researched where in HK Din Tae Fung is and I found out that there is a branch at Silver Cord, a mall very near our hotel so we ate there. Twice. My sister and my mom loved the food there soh much.
Last Sunday, I brought my sister and brother to Suzhou because they also serve Xiao Long Pao there. It's not as intricate as the ones in Din Tae Fung since the wrapper is too thick and the Xiao Long Pao too big but it's really good nonetheless. My sister enjoyed the Taiwan Beef Noodles and the Xiao Long Pao. It is not like the ones of Din Tae Fung but it is still Xiao Long Pao. I also enjoyed the Kuchay Dumpling, no soup inside but still yummy. I also usually order the Hot and Sour Soup. *yummeeh!* I was also able to try their Fried Rice and it's not that bad either.
We went to the Podium this afternoon and tried Shi Lin. The food price is reasonable. If I remember correctly it's 105Php for the 6-piece Xiao Long Pao. We also tried the Shrimp and Pork Shaomai and it also tasted good. My mom loves the Shrimp and Egg Fried Rice. That also did not disappoint. Service was wonderful and it was not very crowded when we went there this afternoon.
Apart from how far Shi Lin is, I have no complaints.
I love their food and I hope to be back soon. :)