This place is so popular, it took me about six months before I managed to get myself organised enough to try it.
It is also quite expensive, so it is handy that the Entertainment Guide has a 20% off the bill voucher.
However, you can’t use your entertainment voucher on big-event days such as Valentines day or Christmas Day.
So, queuing on a Friday night, you are given a copy of the menu whilst waiting, and a sheet to mark up the dishes that you want, such that you can place your order as soon as you are assigned your table (similarly to Sushisuma).
You can also watch the chefs hard at work, pinching and poking the dumplings into being.
Don’t look for dumplings cooked any other way except for steamed.
The ones to try are the: xiao long biao, or steamed pork dumpling with a little soup or stock inside. Don’t burn your mouth! The trick that I have found is to put the dumpling on one of the soup spoons, and then nibble a corner of the pastry gently, such that the soup spills out into the spoon, before consuming it in two gulps. Yum! (Although, my most recent visit, I do recall this being a bit too salty for my taste).
Another popular one is the crab roe and pork dumpling. Delicate parcels topped with pink, and a rich almost gamey flavour of the roe throughout the dumpling.
The pasty is almost paper thin, and delicate. Very easy to tear, even when trying to pick up the dumpling from the steamer in your chopsticks!
The downfall in sharing a table is that you always want to reach over to your neighbours’ dish and try it out.
Last visit we saw a delicious looking fried rice with a what looked like a gooey and yummy semi-cooked egg.
on top. We tried organising for the Taiwainese fried rice, but it didn’t look the same, and was actually quite oily. Next time I see it, I will have to try use the phrase: “Wo he ta de yi yang de” (I’ll have what she’s having, in Mandarin Chinese).
Lychee and mint mocktail – delicious on first taste, looks wonderful, ends up being too sugary!
Green tea icecream, and Taro sweet bun. Both very nice the taro bun had an aldente pastry!
The vegetable offerings that I have sampled - Fried waterspinach with chilli and Garlic fried green beans, both I have found to be very oily. Disappointing.
So - would I go again - yes. Would I pay full price - no. These guys are a Taiwanese chain. Having spotted the xiao long biao in DTF Taipei city for the equivalent of $9 AUD, we pay twice the price in Australia for the same product. I guess the add-on comes from making the 'same' product all over the world. The DTF index, instead of the big mac index?
Din Tai Fung
World Square Shopping Centre
Level 1, Shop 11.04, 644 George St
(02) 9264 6010
Daily 11am-2.30pm, 5-10pm