If you are on vacation in Xi'an and want to have some fun, go to De Fa Chang with a group of friends and get the dumpling banquet. It is not an authentic, street food, Michelin star rated experience. If that's what you want you should be eating on the street in the Muslim Quarter or going somewhere more expensive.
I went to De Fa Chang with 2 friends and we ordered the smallest dumpling dinner banquet and a few beers. A tray of cold vegetable salads was included, they tasted fine, also included was a sweet and sour soup with wontons and the final soup with tiny lucky dumplings. The special dumplings don't taste like much but it is great fun to watch them get dropped on our table one after the other. The waitress spoke enough english and did a good jump of explaining the dumplings to us.
Everyone who said the generic dumplings taste best is correct. They were by far the freshest dumplings and tasted like typical pork and cabbage steamed dumplings like my uncle makes at home. The meal comes with a big bowl of the generic dumplings so we were stuffed by the end of the meal.
I went at 7pm on a Tuesday night and got a seat upstairs no problem. I wanted to sit by the window but those tables were already full. The waitress was typically gruff but she battled through her english like a soldier. The best part was watching the waitresses fight over table territory.
Consider these dumplings like fondant cake: fondant tastes like crap, yet people still get them for their special occasions. That's the case with the special dumplings here. Where else are you going to get dumplings in the shape of ducks and walnuts and pinwheels for 22 USD? Just get the smallest banquet, if you are still hungry go prowl the the Muslim Quarter for snacks to finish you off.
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