The legendary Din Tai Fung - Review of 15 dishes + Famous Shaved Iced!
Hii Guys!! :D
I have some awesomee news!!! On Feb 24th, I’ll be back in Van!!! Which means I’ll be back to my regular schedule of posting daily!! YIPEE!!! So guys, tell me, what did I miss? Other than the opening of Soft Peaks and that trendy new ramen shop lol!
After getting back from Vietnam a few days ago I got sick and I’m still not feeling so well haha, hence the long gap between this post and the previous post! I’ve been so exhausted lately I haven’t had the energy to type up a blog post, with the amount of editing involved and what not, so sorry I haven't posted since last week!! Hope you guys understand! :)
I haven’t been going out that much either, except for food LOL...the only thing that can get me out of bed ;)
I’m still working on my Malaysia/Singapore post and I’ll have that posted along with my Vietnam
trip when I get back to Van!! I’ll also have a few more posts from Taipei!! I went to a few more restaurants that you guys recommended, Tim Ho Wan dim sum, which was recommended by @Anon, and a stinky tofu place that was recommended by @JoeyYu!! Thanks for the awesome recommendations, you guys have great taste ^^ literally haha, get it? Great taste, and great tastebuds?? ;) ….yea, I’m really lame LOL
So before I start talking about Din Tai Fung I’m going to start with Smoothie House because there’s just too many DTF pictures!
On Day 2 after feasting at DTF, the only logical thing to do was head a few doors down for shaved iced LOL!! Smoothie House (which oddly enough doesn’t specialize in smoothies) which is famous for their shaved iced!! What makes them stand out is that they don’t use standard “hard” shaved iced pieces, they use milk shavings, similar to Frappe Bliss in Aberdeen!
We ordered their mango panna cotta flavour, the lychee and oasmanthus flavour, and their mango sorbet and it was BOMBTASTIC!! The mango one was pretty predictable but the osmanthus/lychee combo just blew me away. I’m salivating just thinking about it!
Another thing that I love about Smoothie House is that you can ask for extra syrup/jam at no extra charge!! And they’re not mean about it either!! :D
Hey, it's Doraeamon!! <33
Lychee Snowflake w/ Osmanthus
Hands down, the best shaved iced combo EVER!! The red stuff they drizzle on it is osmanthus jelly, and letmetellya, that stuff is addicting!! It’s loaded with osmanthus, and really sweet! The shaved iced itself was super soft, pillowy, and melts in your mouth!! There were 5 large pieces of juicy lychee which helped balance out the sweetness of the jelly.
Super Mango Snowflake w/ Panna Cotta
This was awesome as well, but pretty predictable. Tasted just exactly as described haha. The milk drizzle is the best part, because it imparts that milky sweetness, which pairs really well with the acidity of the mango! The panna cotta on top was smooth, and tasted like condensed milk!
This stuff is legit!! They don’t add any milk or added ingredients, but its still super rich and smooth! The mango flavour is really strong and the sorbet itself isn’t cloyingly sweet.
I asked for more jam and they were really generous!! :D
(Click to Enlarge) Here's a look at their menu!
So yesterday and today I FINALLY went to Din Tai Fung!!! Yes, I ate at DTF two days in a row LOL. What can I say? Im hardcore ;) jkjk
I’ve been wanting to go to Din Tai Fung the entire time I’ve been in Taipei because I’ve been hearing people rave about them for ages!!
I’ve even heard people say “I’ve never eaten at Din Tai Fung - said no foodie ever” LOL
DTF has locations all over the world, in the US, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Malaysia, and China, the closet one to Vancouver being their Bellevue location! They've won numerous rewards and they were even bestowed with 1 Michelin Star!
So, did it live up to the hype? Yes and no. Yes, the food was delicious and the XLBs themselves were intricate works of art. But was it as life changing as some people made it out to be? Not quite LOL. But all in all, it was still nothing short of amazing!! :D
I went to their original location, on YongAn St!! The first day we went we were seated right away, which was really shocking, since DTF is known for their horrendously long line ups lol. The next day we went we had to wait a hour because we went around noon! They have this neat numbering system where they divide the waiting lines into 3 groups, 1-2 person, 3-5 persons, and 6-More persons! If you’re willing to share a table with another group you’ll get a seat even faster!
There are a total of 6 DTF locations in Taipei (I think? I could be wrong.) The YongAn St location spans 4 floors, but its super tiny!
One thing that really sets DTF apart is their washrooms LOL, as weird as it sounds. The washrooms were amazingly clean, every time a person would come out, someone would go in and sanitize the toilet for the next person!!
The food came out pretty fast, but what really impressed me was how well paced they served the dishes, they wait until you’re at least half way done one dish before they serve the next dish! The waitresses were professional, polite, answered our questions, and quick to tend to our needs!
We tried all of their XLBs (pork, chicken, crab roe, and green squash) except for the truffle ones, because my mom thought it was too expensive LOL. They were 420 NT (for five) and the other flavours were all around 120NT!! She was like “You can't taste the truffle anyways, just order more of whatever else!” haha
The guys at work! :D
The art of the zen long!!
Seww cute!! I bought a mini keychain version hehe! ;)
The little fake XLB he was holding lol! It looks like they're filled with taro! They actually do have taro filled XLB on the menu! :D
As soon as we sat down we were offered shredded ginger pieces in a small dish which you’re supposed to mix with their condiments, their signature non GMO soy sauce and vinegar. They offer to mix the sauce for you and we were told that the proper mixing solution is 3 parts soy sauce and 1 part vinegar. Intricate eh? LOL
They recommend that you eat everything without sauce first for its “natural” taste because the added condiments will overwhelm the delicate flavours of the XLB.
Pork & Crab Roe XLB
The mastery of DTF’s XLB is in the folds. Just look at how intricate the folding is!! Each XLB is handmade in house, and steamed to order! The skin is super thin but it’s strong enough to hold the soup without breaking, which is a feat in it of itself!
The crab XLB was my fav savoury XLB out of the bunch! You can really taste the crab roe, because it isn’t overwhelmed by the pork! The filling itself is super juicy and moist!
See the mini crab next to the centre xlb? They use little cartoons in the shape of the "flavour" to differentiate the xlbs from each other!! Cute eh? ;) They're edible too!!
Their signature XLB!! Fragrant and really porky LOL! The flavours are really delicate so added sauce would definitely overpower the other flavours.
I don’t know, I guess I was expecting more, taste wise LOL. It was good, but it wasn’t 4.5/5 stars good haha. But don’t get me wrong, still the best/well made XLB I’ve ever eaten, that’s for sure!! :D
Pork Sticky Rice Sao Mai
This was well executed as well! There was a woodiness from the bits of mushroom and the rice grains were sticky and perfectly QQ!! The sao mai wrap was super thin and elastic, and held the rice without losing shape!
Red Bean XLB
This was awesomeee hehe!! They also have a taro version, but I didn’t order it haha, because I’ve been having problems with my skin lately and taro is supposedly bad for your skin lol.
The red bean was super silky, creamy, smooth, and it wasn’t too sweet. I think they added something extra in it because I could think I tasted some chinese herbs in there!!
Pork/Shrimp Wontons in Signature Spicy Sauce
This was delicious!!! Probably one of my favourites out of everything we tried! Their signature spicy sauce is a mouthwatering blend of spicy, sweet, savoury, and it just tickles your senses!! The wonton wraps were super soft and QQ, and the pork/shrimp filling was juicy and fragrant!
This one was good as well, but it wasn’t my favourite! The chicken flavour was strong, but there wasn’t any other distinguishing flavours.
This was my first time eating fish dumplings haha! The fish was really soft, fragrant, and didn’t taste fishy at all! :D
Minced Pork Dry Noodles (Taiwanese Zha Ziang Mien)
Taiwanese Zha Ziang Mien is basically minced pork rice, in noodle form!! The noodles are served to you in a rectangle, and you have to mix it with the sauce! The noodles were really well made, al dente, with bite! The sauce was noticeably salty with a definitely pork hit.
All mixed up! :D
Green Squash XLB
The green squash was awesome!! The natural flavours of the squash was further accented by the pork. They grind the squash into small pieces with the pork and the flavours work together beautifully!
As soon as we sat down the waiter brought over a selection of cold appys for us to choose from!! He recommended we go with their House Special (upper right hand corner) so that's what we got!
Din Tai Fung House Special (Cold Appy)
Simple, but oh so yummy! I loveee eating cold seaweed, especially with sesame oil! The fact that they added bean sprouts made it even better!
Taste wise, they weren’t particularly remarkable, but on the inside, the vermicelli/mushroom/veggies were so finely grounded and chopped, definitely not your average dumpling!!
Taiwanese 5 Spice Pork Chop
The seasoning itself was delicious, very peppery with a noticeable 5 spice hit, but the pork chop itself wasn’t juicy enough, a tad bit dry, and hard to chew.
Egg Fried Rice
What am I doing ordering fried rice at DTF? LOL. At first I was hesitant, but literally every single table had one, so I gave in haha. Plus I was craving rice haha
The fried rice was okay, the rice itself was fine, chewy, and not too “wet” but it lacked good wok and the flavours just fell flat.
Sorry for the bad picture haha, my flash failed on me :(
Red Bean Rice Cake (Bottom)
The texture of this was awesome! It was super QQ, with bite, just really fun to eat. The cake itself was subtly sweet (perfect for asian tastebuds haha) but to me it was borderline bland. The rice bean bits in the centre were a bit hard but it wasn’t that big of a deal.
Steamed Chinese Style Layer Cake (Top)
The cake itself was a bit denser that your usual layer cake, but flavour wise, it was super eggy with just the right amount of sweetness!
Din Tai Fung Pineapple Cake
So after paying I spotted their pineapple cakes at the door, so I asked for a sample hehe. And it was awesome!!! Super flaky, buttery, with real pineapple bits! Better than Hyseng’s version (a famous Taiwanese bakery) I had tried a few days ago!! I’m considering going back and buying a box ;)
How cute are these keychains I got?!! Mr. Zen Long Man, and xiaolongbao man!! hehehe :D
Here's a look at their menu if you're ever planning on going!! :D
(Click to Enlarge)