Din Tai Fung Dumpling Restaurant
At the opening time of 5.30pm there was already a queue at Din Tai Fung, a popular Taiwanese dumpling restaurant in the Korean Town area of Sydney City. We were quickly ushered to our seats as Taiwanese, Chinese and Thai waiters and waitresses dashing back and forth with menus to waiting patrons.
To order we checked the number in the menu and wrote the number we’d like on a folded paper record. This is the perfect way to make sure that patrons not only got what they wanted, but also couldn’t then say they didn’t order it. (A common problem in many cheap restaurants where patrons will reject a dish that they don’t like the look of by saying they didn’t order it!)
We ordered Shrimp and Pork Wonton with Tangy Sauce, Crab Meat and Roe with Pork Dumplings, Shrimp and Pork Jiao Ze, and a coloured dumpling selection known as Dumpling Gems.
The Shrimp and Pork Wonton were quite taste and the tangy, mildly hot chilli sauce added to the flavour.
The Crab Meat and Roe with Pork Dumplings were not as flavoursome as we had expected, the flavour of the dumpling dough seeming to overpower the other flavours in the creation. We continued to use the sauce from the first meal throughout which made things more interesting. However, the cute little dyed dough crab was a nice surprise. It’s quite edible! (I later found that I should really have been adding soy sauce or vinegar to everything. That would have made a huge difference to the taste!)
The coloured Dumpling Gems consisted of seven flavours. Salad Green, Golden Corn, Seafood, Bolognaise, Cheese, BBQ Pork and Garlic Pork. They were all interesting creations though I wasn’t expecting to taste cheese in the bolognaise one. (Being allergic to milk products, that was a kick to the stomach that I only found out after swallowing. Be wary non-dairy people!) My partner had the seafood, cheese, garlic pork and golden corn ones and I had the rest. The BBQ Pork was probably my favourite of the selection.
The Shrimp and Pork Jiao Ze was a nice and tasty way to round off the meal, though there really wasn’t much in the dumplings and I was still hungry afterwards. I recommend doing what others were doing and having a more filling meal from Din Tai Fung’s other menu options first, before following with just one or two dumpling sets.
The Din Tai Fung restaurant chain is well known as THE place to go for dumplings if you’re a dumpling fan. However, as I’m gluten intolerant, dumplings have never held much attraction for me. I did find out later that they do have some gluten free options but that menu is quite small. Still, it was an interesting experience, if only to see the wait staff carrying tall piles of dumping baskets to the tables. And, of course, being able to go to one of the few fast food Taiwanese restaurants that serve wine made it all the more attractive!
If you love dumplings, check out their extensive dumpling menu. I might even go back for their black truffle dumplings one day. I’ll remember to order from the staple meal selection first!