After the Sephora Suntec City opening event earlier last month, I visited Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐) with a close friend.
This Taiwanese eatery has a chain of restaurants around the world and was recently featured in Grandpas Over Flowers, a Korean variety show that highlights the travel adventures of 4 well-known tv-land halbaes (grandfathers in Korean) and their hapless luggage boy Lee Seo Jin, a famous K-actor. I catch this program every week because it’s produced by PD Na, whose most memorable series to date is 1 Night 2 Days, arguably my favourite K-variety show…before it degenerated to its current state. *shakes fist at the new PD*
Anyway, they went there for the restaurant’s signature xiao long bao (小笼包), pork dumplings that contain a broth within their delicate skin, and seemingly loved the dish. My friend and I ordered this as well and while they didn’t wow me – I equally like the same dish at Crystal Jade and Imperial Palace – they are undeniably good. The skin carries the soup without tearing easily, bursting only in my mouth to release the liquid; while the broth itself is flavoursome and full of sweet porky goodness.
We also ordered fried rice with prawns – the colourful presentation makes such a pretty picture, yes? This was delicious too, thanks to the fresh and juicy shrimp, as well as the fragrant rice.
I have a weakness for suan la tang mian (酸辣汤面), sweet and sour soup noodles. Though this place doesn’t offer this, the staff advised me to order the soup and plain noodles separately. Unfortunately, this was the poorest dish that we had: The soup was bland (it was neither sour nor spicy!) and the noodles were a touch thick and not particularly QQ (elastic/chewy). I shudder when I think about the amount of vinegar I had splashed into the soup to make it taste better!
We also had a plate of crunchy and succulent pan-fried shrimp paste wrapped in tofu skin, as well as a refreshing cold seasoned cucumber appetiser. Though not pictured, they were immensely delicious.
A friend who lives in Suzhou mentioned that this eatery is also popular in China. According to her, it’s one of the few places where you can find good Chinese food there…even though it hails from Taiwan. ;)