We visit Din Tai Fung once a month and each visit never fails to impress. We always arrive around 11:30am as it does not accept any reservations, and we prefer not to sit idle and wait for hours before we can get a table. The crowd lining up outside the restaurant is never short, even at an early time like 11:30am. The crowd consists not only of locals, but expats and tourists who come afar to quench their lust for Din's delicious steamed dumplings.
Din Tai Fung is a restaurant from Taiwan, specialising in xiaolongbao (steamed dumplings). It was named one of the top ten restaurants in the world by the “New York Times” in 1993, and was awarded one Michelin star in 2010. Because it is so popular, it has branches across four continents in the world.
Din's dumplings have eighteen folded wraps as its owner discovered that 18 folds tasted the best. To ensure the highest quality of its food, it uses very specific ingredients. For example, it uses 16-week old chickens to make its steamed chicken soup, rear pork legs for the rice dumpling stuffing. It uses an e-ordering system that records the nationalities and language spoken of each table so food served and service provided can be tailored. Based on the clients' nationalities, dishes are served in different order. For example, for Japanese, the order will be dumplings, soup then rice. For European or American customers, the soup will be served first. Din also has an automation ordering system which shows the waiters and kitchen what dishes haven't been delivered yet, and when they should serve a dish. The staffs here have better benefits, salary, and working hours than other restaurants (ie they can enjoy massages at work). All these factors make Din a well deserved 1-Michelin Star restaurant.
Photo obtained from: https://i0.wp.com/imageshack.com/a/img673/3964/ssa98M.jpg
The decor of the restaurant is nothing to rave about. It is simple but clean. The restaurant area is big, but tables are packed closely together to create a lively buzzing atmosphere like that of a Chinese family over Chinese New Year.
As mentioned above, its meticulous picking of ingredients of the highest quality and its quality control on every step of the cooking process ensure that food served is of the highest standard and quality. I love all the dishes on the menu, from noodles to dumplings to fried rice to Taiwanese dessert. There is nothing fancy about the way food is presented or cooked; not much additives (salt, pepper, spice). They try to preserve the original flavor of the food ingredients and let the food's natural taste shine. I don't feel my digestive system stressed by artificial additives or stale food, but only by sheer volume eaten, after dining at Din.
We usually order: Din Tai Fung's signature Xiao Long Bao, Shredded Pork and Vegetable Dumplings, Drunken Chicken, Hot and Sour Soup, Shredded beancurd & seaweed in vinegar dressing, and the Double-boiled Chicken Soup. We also like the Shanghainese wild vegetable and diced beancurd, Steamed shrimp and pork Shao-Mai, and Spicy vegetable and pork wonton.
My 3 favorite dishes are
1. Shredded beancurd and seaweed in vinegar dressing
2. Xiao Long Bao
3. Double boiled chicken soup
Shredded beancurd and seaweed in vinegar dressing: Doused in sesame and black vinegar dressing, this appetiser also has a mild chilli element to it, hence, combining spicy and sour tastes, and chewy and crunchy textures all into one dish.
Xiao Long Bao: These delicate dumplings are skillfully constructed with 18 folded wraps in each Xiao Long Bao. I have yet to try a restaurant that makes Xiao Long Bao with a thinner skin (without breaking) than Din. To eat the dumpling, I like to add some sliced ginger and dip the dumpling in their home made vinegar sauce and soy sauce. I relish how the hot sweet "soup" in the dumpling explode in my mouth as I take the first bite into this delicious treasure.
Double boiled chicken soup: Cooked with 16-week old chickens and ginger, this is the best and most natural flavored chicken soup I've ever tasted. I think anyone ill with no appetite could drink this soup like water.
Service at Din is warm and tailored. You will find a sincere smile on every waiters' faces. Din Tai Fung's high-quality ingredients, delicate cooking skills, and customized and friendly service all make the dining experience a 1-Michelin Star one.
Din Tai Fung
Yee Wo Branch
Shop G3-11, G/F, 68 Yee Wo St., Causeway Bay
(852) 3160 8998
Photos obtained from:
http://www.theinsatiableeater.com/2013/05/dumpling-delights-at-din-tai-fung.htmlPhotos obtained from: