Wherever the topic of Din Tai Fung (DTF) comes up, my friends are flabbergasted when we mention that we have never eaten there, whether in Hong Kong or Singapore. To be honest we are not fans of dumplings nor xiao long pao, which DTF is famous for. During our trip to Taipei last December, we mad it a point to visit DTF from whence it was born. We visited their Sogo Fuxing branch and not the original branch.
When we got there a little before 6pm, there was already a queue of around 15 people ahead of us, we went to the receptionist and reserved a table, then we were given a pen, order slip and then we asked for an English menu. It was all very organized probably since they were accustomed to handling big crowds.
While waiting we busied ourselves watching them make the wrappers for xiao long bao thru the big show windows. Lauren was even observing the people and singling out who was the fastest worker.
I also was surprised they had a number of DTF memorabilia featuring their mascots for sale at the takeout counter. I bought myself a set of small magnets which are now parked on our fridge door.
On to the food. We already ordered quite a number of dishes when a waitstaff came over peddling appetizers on her big tray, we could not resist ordering a couple or make that three plates.Stewed Beancurd with Honey, Peanuts and Bean Sprouts.Among the three, i liked the stewed beancurd the best, an unusual thing
House Steamed Chicken Soup (NT198 or almost P300). One of the highlights of the meal, I just had one sip of this before it was appropriated by Lauren who finished all the soup and left the virtually tasteless chicken meat since all the flavor was already in the soup.
Fried Pork Chop (NT100 or P150). Not worth ordering since it was nothing special, I think we cook a better and tastier porkchop at home.
Pork Xiao Long Bao (NT114 or P171). Each container has 6 pieces of xiao long bao. I made sure to piece the flour dough container before eating the whole bao, lest I burn my tongue. I liked the soup inside as well as the chewy outer dough but I’m not really fond of the meat inside the xlb.
Steamed Shrimp and Pork Shiaomai (NT192 or P288). I felt this had the same pork filling as the xlb just with an added piece of shrimp on top. I have to admit it looks very pretty but I’d rather have the normal siomai.
Steamed Vegetable and Pork Dumpling (NT108 or P162). I actually liked this one the best among the three, maybe because it had a little more vegetables mixed with the pork to tweak the taste a bit.
Stir Fry Pea Shoot (NT360 or P580). Quite an expensive plate of vegetables but still could not risk ordering them since they are my favorite vegetables ever and only available during cold weather.The stalk are crispy and the wilted leaves have lots of flavor. you could leave me with a plate of this and plain white rice and I would be happily devouring them both.
Shrimp Fried Rice with Eggs (NT180 or P270). Plump, crispy shrimps mixed in fragrant fried rice. A perfect companion to out meal.
Did I enjoy the experience at Din Tai Fung, not really but maybe this was because I’m biased again its signature dish the, Xiao Long Bao. Service was very good and the place was nicely done since it was in a department store and not the old branches.
I still encourage those who have not tried it to check it out in any of its branches in 12 countries.
Din Tai Fung
B2, No.300, Sec. 3
Zhongxiao East Raod, Da-an District
Taipei (Fuxing Sogo Department Store)