Are you familiar with Din Tai Fung?
Din Tai Fung is a Taiwanese restaurant chain.
It was founded in 1972.
There are many Din Tai Fung locations: over 150 restaurants all over the world, mainly in Asian and America. It opened its first European branch in London in 2018.
What kind of food is Din Tai Fung?
Din Tai Fung specializes in Taiwanese and Chinese Huaiyang cuisine.
It is known for its signature soup dumplings that are freshly homemade on the spot. Yes, you can see the DTF kitchen staff make, knead and fill the dough. Xiao long bao is the most popular item on the Din Tai Fung menu.
The Din Tai Fung branch in Hong Kong received a Michelin star in 2010 for their soup dumplings.
It lost its star but is still mentioned in the Michelin guide with a Bib Gourmand label, an award for restaurants with friendly service, good food and decent prices.
What is xiao long bao?
XLB, that is short for xiao long bao, is a soup dumpling.
A one biter is what Mark Wiens would say!
It is a steamed dough pocket filled with soup and vegetables, crab or meat.
How is that possible?
By adding gelatine to the soup filling which makes it solidify. Then the filling is divided into portions, wrapped in dumpling dough and steamed.
By steaming the dumplings, the gelatine becomes liquid again.
If you have the chance to eat at one of their branches, make sure to order steamed Din Tai Fung dumplings! There are quite a few kinds of xiao long bao on the Din Tai Fung menu.
We love the pork and crab xiao long bao.
And the truffle and pork xiao long bao.
We just can’t say which one is better so we always order both!
Why is Din Tai Fung so popular?
Again, because of their signature Din Tai Fung xiao long bao.
What also stands out at DTF is their small portions which means that you can order several dishes during a meal and share. Din Tai Fung also has long tables that are perfect for families or large groups of friends who want to enjoy a Taiwanese Chinese style sharing meal.
Another important reason for its popularity is that the Din Tai Fung menu prices are very fair.
Is Din Tai Fung healthy?
The Din Tai Fung menu offers a variety of different dishes.
From their popular steamed dumplings to soups, sautéed vegetable side dishes, noodles, fish, chicken and so on. The small portions allow you to order quite a few different plates.
It is up to you whether you only go for carbs or not.
Can you reserve a table at Din Tai Fung?
At Din Tai Fung reservations are highly recommended if possible.
Some Din Tai Fung restaurants don’t accept reservations in the weekends.
If you can’t get a table straight away on the spot, you will be put on a waiting list. While you wait, you receive a menu and an ordering slip on which to indicate the dishes and drinks that you want.
The minute a waiter brings you to your table your order goes straight to the kitchen. We never had to wait more than 10 minutes before our first orders were ready.
Din Tai Fung’s ordering system and staff work as a well oiled machine.
What we think of Din Tai Fung
We love Din Tai Fung.
So much so that we would see them open more DTF branches in Europe.
The very first Din Tai Fung restaurant we ate at was a the Hong Kong branch in the Silvercord shopping mall. A friend of ours who lives in Hong Kong picked this place for lunch.
And we fell for it.
Delicious food, fast service and for a quite modest price.
Din Tai Fung Menu
The menu can differ a bit depending on the restaurant and the country you are in.
We have been to Din Tai Fung about 8 times now. And that in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Tokyo. Some Din Tai Fung menu items we loved in one restaurant were nowhere to be found in another restaurant.
But rest assured that you will always find their famous soup dumplings!
It is very hard to make a choice.
Everything on the Din Tai Fung menu looks and sounds delicious.
Let’s see which dishes we keep ordering over and over.
Prices are just an indication, they might have gone up over the years and differ a little from country to country as well.
Their famous xiao long bao of course!
Like we said before: we love the pork and crab xiao long bao (€10 for 10), and the truffle and pork xiao long bao (€25 for 10).
Fragrant pork with crushed garlic (€4,90)
Shanghainese drunken chicken (€3,50)
Shrimp and pork wontons in DTF spicy sauce (€5,00)
Sautéed Taiwanese cabbage with garlic (€5,50)
Hot and sour pork soup (€2,70 for a small bowl)
Golden pumpkin with salted egg (€2,50)
Deep fried vegetable and pork wontons (€4,90)
Vegetable and ground pork buns (€2,70 for 2)
On the Din Tai Fung menu are hot and iced teas, smoothies, soft drinks, water and beer.
We usually go for iced tea. Or the Chinese hot tea that costs less than half a euro. You can ask for as many refills as you like. Tea for us is the best companion for this kind of food.
Of course we have tried way more dishes on the Din Tai Fung menu than the ones that we list here above.
The famous Din Tai Fung green beans for example. Sautéed string beans with garlic.
Or a vegetable dish that is listed under appetizers: the Din Tai Fung cucumber salad (2,20). Spicy pickled cucumber in signature Din Tai Fung chili oil.
This Din Tai Fung cucumber salad is a popular copycat recipe on quiet a few food blogs by the way.
Din Tai Fung spicy sauce recipe
Yes, and what about that signature Din Tai Fung chili oil.
It is highly addictive.
You can find it on every DTF table by the way.
We love to add it to wontons and noodle soups. It is spicy but not like overly spicy. Not like the “now I need to drink a gallon of milk” type of Tik Tok challenge spicy.
We have tried to replicate the Din Tai Fung chili oil quite a few times, following Kirbie’s recipe.
Check it out!
How about you?
Have you been to a Din Tai Fung restaurant before?
What is your favorite item on the Din Tai Fung menu?
Do you like Asian food?
Let us know in the comments below.
We’d love to hear from you!