For those who don't know, the xiao long bao is mini little dumplings, with pork filled (sometimes with prawn/ crab, etc) and has the 'juice' in it. You got to carefully eat them with your chopsticks as to not burst them before they get into your mouth. And once bitten, the 'juice' explodes.
Good xiao long baos are the ones where the meat inside is also soft & tender.
Anyway, as we were in Taiwan, our friend suggested we try the Din Tai Fung Taipei. I was stunned as I thought it was a Singapore restaurant. But no, actually, Din Tai Fung started off in the late 80s in Taipei, Taiwan. And yes, they have now expanded to quite a fair bit of countries. Wow :)
Without hesitating, I said, Sure!
She first warned us that we may have to wait for a while as the queue can be very long. It's not that unexpected as even here in Singapore, the queue can get long - to the extend of having to take a queue number - this I usually avoid, or I'll shop first if I can wait.
We were rather fortunate to have gotten seats rather fast - my friend mentioned that this was quite unusual. Though yes, there was a queue, but we waited less than 10 minutes.
First it's the glass panel where one can see the kitchen. And I thought this was Bread Talk's idea (Bread Talk is a bakery in Singapore and is connected to Din Tai Fung).
Anyway, I'm not sure if it is or not, but my friend mentioned that actually Din Tai Fung restaurant was the one with this glass panel allowing customers to see through the kitchen.
This is actually a good way as customers now become supervisors to the staffs - and at the same time can see how the food is being prepared.
And up come next, the must try, must order signature dish of Din Tai Fung! Yes, the yummy & delicious dumplings.
My Taiwanese friend mentions that the Taiwanese outlet dumplings meat is very soft & tender & that is why she always eat them when she comes back to Taiwan. She says it is a lil different compared to the ones in Singapore. Quite true in a way.
The Other Dishes
The other dishes from the Din Tai Fun menu are not too bad either.
The cakes are eaten plain (no butter or any other toppings) and is served hot. Must be careful not to 'burn the fingers'. It melts in the mouth and we had a 2nd helping!
Eating at the Din Tai Fung in Taiwan was great - especially with the very friendly staff, just like the many Taiwanese I've encountered. And I know going back to the Singapore outlets will not be exactly the same, but well, it's the closest to Taiwanese dumplings! :)
*This is at the Zhongxiao branch. They have 3 branches in Taiwan & even at USA, China, Indonesia, Australia, Japan, Korea & Malaysia! In a way, I'm proud to know an Asian restaurant & food that can go global & international.
I've had a fair share of other Taiwanese cuisine & some other interesting ones. Those & more coming up next!