So my favourite baby cousin has been in town and was craving some seriously good “Chinese food” so me and the family decided to take him to one of our favourite lower-mid range restaurants: Din Tai Fung down at TST. I hadn’t been there in about six months and my expectations for this “dumpling fest” were pretty high going in. I was not really disappointed by what I got in the end.
Normally, this chain is really crowded but for some reason today was an exception. Don’t get me wrong, the place was flooded with people but the usual culprits (elder aunties and uncles queuing up outside) were missing which made me feel quite lost at first.
Din Tai Fung is known for their signature xiaolongbao or as they called it “special steamed pork dumplings” ($58/6 dumplings). Apparently this is a work of art in itself – boasting 18 miniature folds twirled to a close at top and is the reason why they have chains in almost every major city around the world (Tokyo, LA and Taipei to name a few). The Michelin-starred restaurant did hold true to its name. Personally, I preferred the “steamed crab roe and pork dumplings” ($90/ 6 dumplings) because it was just more flavourful and richer than its plainer older sister. The flavour of the crab roe really danced on my palette and had a slightly sweeter aftertaste.
We also ordered the beef brisket soup ($80) – another signature dish of this acclaimed restaurant chain – but it disappointed with its really bland tasting soup and lack lustre beef brisket. Other things we ordered were 油豆腐线粉汤 (vermicelli soup with fried beancurd and pork rolls) which left more to be desired with its bland soup (it tasted exactly like the beef brisket soup) and lacked flavour in the ingredients (the pork was completely tasteless and tough) and Pan-fried shrimp & pork dumplings ($76/ 6 dumplings) which were good in that it was packed with fresh ingredients but the tops (or bottom) were a tad oily and could have been fried just 10 seconds longer. I say this only because I’ve been to their Taipei chain in the past and had much better quality dumplings (the bottoms were so crisp and thin, filled with juice) than what we were presented with today. The drunken chicken ($74) was especially good. It had a good balance of alcohol and the chicken itself was smooth in texture. This was an excellent dish.
Overall I would say hat my expectations were met but not exceeded. The xiaolongbao and steamed crab roe and pork dumplings really were excellent, as was the company. I would still return again and recommend this place to others. Din Tai Fung. 4/F. Miramar Shopping Centre. 2898 2499