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Din Tai Fung
10am - 10pm
2/F, Raffles City Plaza, Sect. 4th, South Renmin Rd.
028 8338 3003

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Susan Johnson (more chengdu)
The Chengdu branch of Taiwan dumpling house Din Tai Fung opened late April to far more buzz than usually greets a new restaurant in town. They specialize in soup dumplings, or tang bao, the little packets that magically hold filling in soup. The early reviews have been mixed and MORE dropped in recently to try the goods.

A good soup dumpling is a feat of engineering, with skin that is thin but still firm and flexible enough to contain the filling while diners use chopsticks to pick up the dumpling, dip it in the vinegar and ginger dressing, and eat. The dumplings at Din Tai Fung are small enough to eat in one bite, and the many folds at the top show the thinness of the wrapper and also do a good job of soaking up more vinegar. They are a universe away from street tang bao, and one dumpling at Din Tai Fung is the same price of a whole basket of the ordinary variety. We liked the best selling pork filling the best and were underwhelmed with the specialty crab filling. We also sampled the shrimp shao mai, which were tasty and also had a soup filling. The shao mai dumpling skin was stodgy compared wih the soup dumplings though; we will stick with street shao mai.

We thought the eastern interpretations of Sichuan dishes were interesting. The dry fried green beans had dried shrimp in the meat topping, and the dan dan noodles, arriving beautifully in a rolled bundle had so much peanut sauce they bore more of a resemblance to Wuhan hot and dry noodles than our local dan dan noodles. We also enjoyed a coconut milk dessert.

The walls are decked with watercolours of famous people who have eaten there with their autographs, making guests feel like we are dining in esteemed company. The space is spotless and the servers are among the best trained we've come across in Chengdu. We saw quite a few family groups gathered for a weekend lunch, but the buzz makes it but not a place to linger. Bills will be around 150 per person.

Din Tai Fung
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