Most people I know have eaten here and unanimously everyone loves their dumplings. It's pricier than other dumpling offerings but worth it in my opinion.
By far the most popular drink of choice is Lychee Mint Juice ($6.50). Whenever eating at the restaurant one is bound to see one floating through the crowd en route to a table every few minutes. It's almost a dessert in itself, icily thick, sweet with lychee but a refreshing kick of mint balances it out. I do like this, but personally I prefer Soy Bean Milk ($3.00) which to me is a perfect match for Taiwanese cuisine.
Shanghainese style Drunken Chicken (chicken drumstick deboned and marinated in a blend of Chinese rice wine, $8.80) is a cold dish which everyone likes. The flavour is lovely but the serving size is a little small and we're all joking about it being a 'shrunken drunken chicken'.
|Soy bean milk, the ever-popular Lychee Mint and (shrunken) drunken chicken.|
Hot & Sour Soup (regular size, $9.00) is by all accounts a good version. I say all accounts because I didn't get any - thanks JC for finishing off your additional bowl which happened to be the last! But luckily I've had this on previous visits and from memory Din Tai Fung's version of the classic soup is a nice balance of tang and heat. Shrimp fried with Medium Grain Rice ($13.80) is just a fancy name for fried rice and makes for a good filler. Silken Tofu with Pork Floss & Century Egg ($7.50) is a Taiwanese favourite which is a nice combination of flavours and textures. The silky tofu is a light base for the century egg which is an acquired taste. And pork floss? I've always loved this curious food invention, strange as it is!
|Hot and Sour soup (was it good JC?), Shrimp fried with medium grain rice, Silken tofu with pork floss and century egg.|
Noodles are a little more substantial, we choose Braised Beef Noodle Soup ($15.80), Pork Chop deboned noodle soup ($12.80) and Dan Dan Noodles (noodles with sesame and peanut sauce, $10.80). When their noodles are served fresh they are very nice (on occassion they seem like they've been sitting there for a short while before being brought out and are a bit stodgy). I like the flavour of the beef noodle soup and the sauce in Dan Dan noodles is flavourful without being too overpowering. The pork chop is probably the least favourite - the flavour and texture of the pork not having much to recommend it.
|Braised beef noodle soup and Pork chop deboned noodle soup.|
But the one thing you do come here for is of course dumplings. Xiao Long Bao (steamed pork dumplings, 8pcs for $10.80) is by far the best in Sydney if you ask me. The pork filling and soup are flavourful but light enough to match the delicately thin dumpling wrapper - yum!
|Dan Dan noodles in nutty sauce, and you'd be nutty not to order the Xiao Long Bao (steamed pork dumplings).|
Desserts are good too. Mango Pudding ($5.80) is nice with an ample amount of evaporated milk served on the side. My choice is Green Tea Icecream ($3.80) which is a rather boring choice but it's surprisingly good - the texture is creamy and the green tea flavour is strong, and it's a decent serving size. But the favourite amongst the table is definitely Taro Gelato & Golden Taro Bread (1 roll, $6.80) and nearly everybody wants to order this! The kitchen reports back that they've run out and can't give us as many serves as we'd like and I don't think anybody wants to give up their taro dessert so compromises are made. The gelato has the tell-tale purplish-grey taro colour and the flavour to match. The golden taro bread is actually tastier than my memory's recollection with the crunchy bread holding a tasty, sticky taro filling. It goes really well with the taro gelato and we all enjoy watching NfOrCeR show us just how to enjoy this dessert (hee hee!).
|Mango pudding, Taro gelato with Golden Taro Bread, Green Tea Icecream - all winners in my opinion.|
It's another enjoyable "Supper Night" with good food and even better company - can't wait for the next one!
What: Din Tai Fung
Where: 644 George St, Sydney 2000 (02) 9264 6010 (there's also their food court stall at Westfields Sydney)
How much: See website for menu and prices