Calling all dumping-lovers everywhere, Din Tai Fung is the best place to go for soup dumplings. Period! Originate from Taiwan, it has built up a reputation of being on top of foodies must-eat lists.
This place only does walk-ins therefore you need to line up, give your details to the host and they will text you when your table is ready. I went on a Wednesday evening when we waited for an hour and 5 minutes in the restaurant while they set up.
The bar is the first place you see when enter the restaurant, where you can kick back a few drinks while you wait. When your table is ready, you will walk past the kitchen where the infamous dumplings are being prepared, separated by glass so that the dinners are able to view the process. The building itself is constructed with an open room in the center, much like historic extravagant dining places in ancient chinese dramas. I am a sucker for double imperial staircases that gives a regal feel to your dining experience. The dining area spreads across 2 floors and is spacious although with all that space and tall ceilings it can get a little loud especially due to the muffled echos. I adore the atmosphere however the other people who I was with didn’t like it due to the noise, I would liken it to a home dinner experience with other people doing the same.
We ordered quite a range of food and unfortunately there are a few duds on the menu starting with the drunken chicken, this was a little disappointing as the rice wine taste was a little too mild and the texture of the chicken isn’t anything special. Turning a complete 180, the chicken and ginger rice wine soup was jam packed with flavour with the chicken having a fall-off-the-bone quality to it plus paper-thin ginger slices, despite it being a small bowl it was worth it money and more. We also tried the sweet and sour soup, not being a fan of this soup in general, it didn’t interest me much however I would say that is it one of the best sweet and sour soup I’ve had so if you are a fan I would highly recommend this dish. We tried out two main dishes, the pork braised noodles and the beef noodle soup which was pretty disappointing as the Taiwanese are well-known for their beef noodle soups. Due to the tough beef and average tasting soup, I feel like the dish was lackluster and overpriced. We also got a side of vegetable and prawn which tasted fresh, homemade and flavourful.
Now for the main event, the soup dumplings, this came in a basket of eight, and with the first nibble of the skin I knew that it was special, the skins had the right balance of chewiness and softness. The skin has the heavenly balancing of being seemingly delicate whilst carrying a mouthful of soup. The meat tasted fresh and had a good bit of texture to it, you can tell by the end of the meal that they do not add any MSG as your throat doesn’t feel dry at the end of the meal.
Din Tai Fung has a unique range of deserts, from mango tapioca pearls pudding and chocolate black beans dumplings which was… interesting. I’m not a fan asian desserts but if you are interested in trying something new, do explore the dessert menu.
A fun fact about this place is that it has a bidet toilet, which is common in places like japan where the seat are heated and water gets sprayed which gives you a cleaner feeling. Initially it does feel weird the first time however the result feels way more hygienic.
LVL Overall: The menu overall has a lot of hits and misses, pricey but the soup dumpling is well worth the money. For an individual person I would recommend getting a whole basket of soup dumplings for yourself plus the chicken and ginger rice wine soup.