Situated on Level 1 at World Sqaure, the long awaited Din Tai Fung finally opens its doors in Australia. This restaurant is veyr popular in Taiwan and known for the queues outside to get a taste of their Xiao Long Baos.
We arrived on a Sunday night at 8pm and almost instantly got a table without waiting (my Aussie attempt at broken Mandarin included). The staff are trained to be almost too enthusiatic, and each one bows and says “ni hao” to every customer entering the restaurant, possibly imitating the Japanese ritual. The kitchen is in full visible view from both the outside and the inside of the restuarant, dumpings and buns piled high in their bamboo steamers on some sort of sophisticated industrial steamer.
You order by writing the quantity of your dishs onto an order form. And no joke, within 60 seconds of our order put through, the drinks arrived. By the 2nd minute, our first food plate arrived. In such a high turn-over restaurant I was blown away by the lead time.
First the drunken chicken arrived (unpictured) which was very fragrant, the Chinese wine flavours perfectly soaked into smooth, tender chicken flesh.
I then ordered the Tofu with Pork Floss and Thousand year old egg – which I loved!
Their specialty – Xiao Long Baos (I ordered the one with the crab meat and pork) was consistently nice, although not nearly as good as the one I had in Hong Kong, still a very high standard for Australia. Nice and soupy on the inside, though the dumpling skin could be a tad thinner.
Shrimp and pork wonton noodle soup
Other dishes ordered that were unpictured: the Snakebeans with mince (四季豆) which was just slightly undercooked – with great flavours, the garlic Spinach was nicely made though it’s hard to get that wrong; the fried rice was fluffy and tactile which contrasted with the pork chop beautifully; and another order of wontons that were in a spicy sauce, which adds another layer of appeal to the usual soup wontons.
Great place for a quick meal – although I can’t help but feel extremely rushed. That’s Fast Food at its best, I suppose! You’ll walk out with a food coma and 15 people smiling with “Xie xie“.