Read also my old post: Shanghai food without flying to Shanghai at Suzhou Dimsum
On our first night in Taipei, we went to a culinary must-stop, the great dumpling house Din Tai Fung, particularly its first location in Taipei’s Xinyi Road. There was easily a line outside as it was the dinner rush hour. It’s impressive how DTF has become an international chain, with five branches in Taiwan and outlets located across China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, the US, Japan, Korea and Malaysia. The Hong Kong branch, for one, earned a One Michelin Star this year, which is a big achievement for a restaurant selling dimsum and dumplings. Silently, I wished they would open in the Philippines. It would be great to have a fill of their dimsum closer to home 🙂
While waiting, I had a good view of the cooks – their mouths covered – concentrating fully on making the world-famous dumplings. I can only guess that thousands of dumplings pass through their kitchen all day. DTF has quite a busy takeout counter.
Before partaking of the ‘main event,’ we had our fill of their appetizers – the pickled cabbage, the spicy pickled cucumber ( Taiwanese $165 or approximately P220), and the stir-fry water spinach (TWD $170).
I especially liked the last two as they were prepared just right, an indication of how all the food in the Din Tai Fung menu is going to be like.
We must have had six kinds of dumplings, piled on top of each other in their bamboo steamers.We had shrimp, pork, fish, vegetable and red bean dumplings (priced from TWD$160 to $210) but easily the star of the show were the xiao long bao or soup dumplings (TWD$190 or P256). I’ve long learned that you don’t eat at this kind of dumpling while still hot, at the risk of burning your tongue with the soup. But everything about it is divine indeed – from its juice to its meat, texture of the steamed wrapper, and the black vinegar with grated ginger dip, all of which contribute to an exhilarating dumpling experience:)
Their egg fried rice was also excellent (TWD$180) as well as the hot and sour soup (we had the original flavor though, so it wasn’t sour) –
It was, in fact, a simple dinner – made more unforgettable by the resto’s exquisite flavors. The gourmands in our group say Din Tai Fung has equals elsewhere, like Yung Kee Restaurant in Hong Kong, but I simply savored being right there in the heart of Taipei tasting one of the best.
Din Tai Fung (the first restaurant!)
No. 194, Sec. 2, Xinyi Rd., Da-an District
Taipei City ( entrance of Yunkang St.)
Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 9p.m.
Saturdays and before holidays – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Tried the spicy cucumber at Central in SG. Iba ang itsura! The way they cut the cucumber is different. But I guess the taste is the same, they’re recognizably the same dish.
I liked this spicy cucumber in chili oil. Baka iba lang ang cucumber sa Singa. Hmm, am craving for DTF now…there still are other dishes I wanna try, like their rice meals 😀