Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Taipei: Dumplings at Din Tai Fung

Our family headed to Taipei the day I landed in Hong Kong. Obviously as soon as we'd checked in to the hotel, we went straight to Din Tai Fung aka home of the best dumplings on earth. Our mistake for going to the location in the Sogo department store was that it is usually the most crowded spot of all. We were quoted a 2 and a half hour wait at around 2pm. Still hopeful, we figured we could wander over to the food court and pick at something, then return to Din Tai Fung just to eat dumplings and nothing else. Our hunger won over, and we ended up eating a whole Japanese lunch. Out of curiosity and because there was still some hope in my heart that I could have dumplings for dessert, I went back to Din Tai Fung and looked to see if my number had been called. Not even close. So... the next morning we arrived a few minutes before the restaurant even opened at 10am. Dumplings for breakfast. Excellent.

All Din Tai Fung restaurants feature the dumpling makers at the entrance! So fun to watch them make each one. Precision here is key; they use scales to weigh them too.

10am is probably the only time the restaurant is not overly packed with people.

小龍包 Original pork dumplings, NT120 (US$4)
What makes the Din Tai Fung dumplings so incredible is a number of things-- consistency of the product no matter which city/location you visit, the perfect ratio of juice to dumpling, and the tender and amazingly flavorful meat. The only thing better than this is the crabmeat dumpling below.

蟹粉小龍包 Crabmeat dumplings (also comes in a set of 6), NT204 (US$6.50)
I dream about these dumplings! This may actually be my favorite Chinese food item ever. Also, please note how finely sliced the ginger is! Delicate and perfect.

A half eaten crabmeat dumpling.

蝦肉紅油抄手 chili oil shrimp pork wontons, NT160 (US$5) 
The chili oil seems simple but adds such a great kick to the wonton. This dish is a must!

Din Tai Fung/鼎泰豐
B2 at Sogo Fuxing
No. 300, Sec. 3, Zhong Xiao East Road, Da'an District
*No reservations.

Several other Taipei locations:

It still baffles and upsets me that there is no Din Tai Fung in New York! 

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