Just got back from a visit to London and the newly opened branch of my favourite restaurang chain in the world: Din Tai Fung.
Famous for their soup dumplings aka xiao long bao, Taiwanese Din Tai Fung has reached fame over the world and now have restaurants in Asia, the US, Australia, and, finally, Europe.
Our expectations were to say the least high, but fortunately not too high as the standard was as good as in Asia. Part of this might be due to that part of the staff have been flown in from Taiwan to work in the restaurant for the first year, to train the locals in the art of the 18 folds soup dumpling.
The usual suspects: pork soup dumplings. Delicate skin, a delicious “soup” broth on the inside and delicious minced pork. Too good.
Wontons in a spicy chilli oil, black vinegar, spring onion and garlic ‘sauce’.
Shumai prawn dumplings.
Premise-made perfect chewy, elastic noodles with a spicy sauce.
Noodles with a succulent Taiwanese pork chop.
Spicy cucumber salad.
Dessert bao buns filled with sesame, taro and red bean paste.
Location: 5 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden.
$$ Price: We paid approximately £110 for the above and some more shared among three people, including a beer each.
Website (including menu without prices)
Whenever I am in a city with a branch of Taiwanese chain Din Tai Fung, I tend to go there for a fix of one of my favourite dishes in the world – the famous soup dumpling, xiao long bao.
Din Tai Fung’s Marina Bay Sands branch is one of the best I have visited (maybe that’s a general Din Tai Fung Singapore-thing though) of the Din Tai Fungs I’ve visited over the world so far. The above xiao long bao pork soyp dumplings were great. Filled with broth and minced pork, then dipped in a chilli-vinegar-soy-ginger dipping sauce, they make your taste buds do the happy dance.
Almost as good as the soup dumplings is the dan dan noodles. Chewy, elastic noodles in a creamy spicy sesame-peanut sauce, sprinkled with spring onions. Mmm-mmm!
Pork buns meets Singapore’s national dish, the famous chilli crab in a – you guessed it – pork and chilli crab bun. This was quite good, although not as good as above dishes.
In the foreground a spicy cucumber salad, in the back – another all time favourite – Din Tai Fung’s Taiwanese pork chop with perfect, slightly oily, egg and scallion rice. Incredibly tasty.
Finally we tried pork and prawn gyoza. Flavour wise it was good but nothing out of the ordinary. Texture wise, however, one of the best gyozas I’ve ever had. Insanely crispy bottom, and light, slightly chewy top.