If I said “an internationally renowned dumpling chain”, it should bring to mind only one place: Din Tai Fung.
Ever since I tried their xiao long bao in July last year, I’ve never been able to forget them (lameee, I know !!). Sure, there are those who claim that Din Tai Fung is overpriced and even overvalued (although I’ve never heard anyone say that), any place that gives a guide to eating their dishes gets a big thumbs up in my book ;)
There is an art to eating xiao long bao – not that I would propose to know.
But Din Tai Fung prepares you well – equipped with a small dish of ginger strips and another empty sauce dish, you’re free to mix a combination of vinegar and soy sauce for dipping your xiao long bao :)
Not only are you paying for exemplary food, but the waiters are well-trained and polite, providing everything from a cover for your jacket to a hamper for your oversized uni bag (and replacement chopsticks in ten seconds flat if you so happen to drop them on the floor). I’d say that it is a testament to their attentive service that Din Tai Fung still has a sizeable crowd even at 2pm.
What I do enjoy is their method of service. If you have to wait outside for a table, a waitress will give you a brochure with dishes so you can choose what you’d like to eat (and sneakily enough, with no price tag attached).
You can also choose what dishes to come out when, and as they arrive, they are marked off on the receipt given back to you when you’ve placed your order.
What we ordered
Strawberry Italian Soda – $4
For ultimate hygiene purposes, the strawberry soda straw comes with a little paper cover that you slip off when you’re ready to drink it.
Despite the abundance of ice and carbonated water, you can taste the sweet yet tangy sensation of strawberry pulp sitting at the bottom of the glass. Also comes in red plum, green apple, and blue coral (think lemon, honey, and blue curacao ..yuckkk)
Hot Soy Bean Milk – $3
Pork Dumpling (8 pieces) – $10.80
The only thing I love more than xiao long bao is Din Tai Fung xiao long bao.
The only problem with having such thin, delicate xiao long bao skin is the MAJOR ISSUE of accidentally tearing it with your chopstick and wasting your precious soup =[ …which I accidentally did :(
The xiao long bao murder =(
All this from one small dumpling =[ It looks like a baby soiled its nappies =(
Vegetable & Pork Won Ton with a Tangy sauce (5 pieces) & spicy noodle – $10.80 ? no idea.
The dumpling skin was deliciously fresh and sturdy, neither too fragile nor too thick. Encased was a pinch of crunchy spinach and pork, nestled on a bed of texture-y noodles bathed in chilli sauce ….which was VERY SPICY.
The tagline on the menu labelled this dish (and its cousins) as “A little spicy” – whattt a liiiie omg ! If we changed ‘a little’ to ‘a lot’, it might be a tiny bit closer to the truth.
Prawn & Pork Parcel (Shao Mai – 4 pieces) – $9.80
Thanks to the Enliven Your Senses deal I found on KG’s, it was a Buy 1 Get 1 Free dumpling meal, so this Shao Mai dish was the ‘free’ one. Lucky us ! Shanghainese presentation of their Shao Mai is always a feast for the eyes !
The prawn acts as a plug on the small packages of pork pieces, ensuring that the broth stays wrapped tightly inside the soft dumpling skin
Triple Strawberry Crushed Ice – $9.80
Freshly cut strawberry, strawberry ice cream and strawberry puree served on top of crushed ice
THIS was the king. Despite UNCALLED for comments that this dessert resembled a piece of male genitalia (although how, I genuinely have no idea), it was just sosososo delicious =9
Ever since I watched my friend order a “crushed ice” at Cha for Tea, only to be presented with a block of ice and a scoop of beans, I’ve been put off a little by the idea of crushed ice ..but I must sayyyy ..this was NOTHING like it at ALL.
Rivulets of strawberry puree drizzled down a pyramid of soft, crunchy pieces of ice infused with a sweet vanilla-y liquid.. I thought it tasted like vanilla ice cream but Grace was convinced it was condensed milk (and she was probably right – and this just means that you aren’t munching away on plain old ice, either!)
There were fresh strawberries swimming in the creamy puree, soaked in condensed milk and topped off with a single scoop of strawberry ice cream. Although I thought this strawberry ice cream was a little too artificial, and a little too sweet, this was definitely the first time I actually wanted to eat more ice. The dessert comes in mango as well, and for $9.80, it is a steal ! I am definitelyyy going back for it.
Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐) (visited 07/06/09)
Shop 11. 04 Level 1
World Square Shopping Centre
644 George St
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9264 6010 / 6012
Fax: (02) 9264 6013