Din tai fung (101 branch), xinyi district

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It’s always busy outside the original Din Tai Fung in Taipei, Taiwain

I have sầu an obsession with Din Tai Fung. Visiting the original location of Din Tai Fung was at the top of my danh mục of must vày things in Taipei.

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Din Tai Fung was founded in 1972. Along with Taipei, there are branches in Hong Kong, Mainland Đài Loan Trung Quốc, and eleven other countries. The restaurant has become an international phenomenon for their Taiwanese soup dumplings known as xiao long bao. The restaurant chain is considered one of the best in the world và one of the most acclaimed.

After visiting the observatory of Taipei 101, I had one thing on my mind, xiao long bao. While I knew there was a branch located in the Taipei 101 Mall basement, I made it a priority to lớn visit the original location of Din Tai Fung located just down the way on Xinyi Road.

If you are looking for more information about Taipei, I highly recommover you pichồng up a guidebook such as Lonely Planet Pocket Taipei

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Waiting for a table

When I arrived at the restaurant, I was not surprised lớn find a 30 minute wait for a table. I was actually expecting a longer wait being the original location. If you have sầu eaten at Din Tai Fung anywhere in the world before, then you know the routine.

There was a display above the hostess with the approximate wait time to lớn dine in, so I could get a sense of how long the wait was before putting my name in.

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After putting my name down with the friendly hostess, I was handed a small clipboard with a pen, a paper with a queue number, and an order sheet.

In the window just lớn the right of the hostess was a television displaying three different numbers. The number on the left was for groups of 1 or 2, in the middle, groups of 3 or 4, while on the right for groups of 5 or more people. These were the queue numbers. When you see your number, your table is ready. Since I was dining alone, I waited around until the first number displayed my number, 1592.


While I was waiting, I was instructed lớn fill out my order sheet. The order sheet, more of a mini thực đơn, listed each chiến thắng and price. I marked each chiến thắng I wanted, và after a few minutes, a worker came by và took my order sheet. I really liked the system that Din Tai Fung has implemented. It ensured that food arrived quickly once my table was ready, helping the turnover rate of the busy restaurant.

After 30 minutes, my table was ready.

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First floor of the restaurant
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One of the dining rooms on the upper floors

From the outside, I was surprised khổng lồ see how large the restaurant was. There were dining rooms on multiple floors.

I was led khổng lồ a table on the second floor where the cold beer I ordered was waiting for me. To get a seat quicker, I choose to sit at a table with other people, common in Taipei. You can choose lớn have sầu your own table, but the wait might be longer.

The decor was simple. On each floor were narrow open dining rooms. The rooms were bright with wooden tables. A few paintings could be found hanging on the otherwise empty beige walls.

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Busy workers making thousands of dumplings a day

On the first floor, just past the entrance, was the kitchen. I love sầu how all Din Tai Fung locations let customers peak through the glass windows into lớn the kitchen.

They must have sầu the hardest job in the world. The chefs work non-stop from opening to lớn closing, rolling, stuffing, and steaming dumplings. Make sure you stop by for a peak on your way in or out lớn see it for yourself.


Din Tai Fung Menu

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The thực đơn at Din Tai Fung

The hardest part about visiting Din Tai Fung was deciding what to lớn order.

The thực đơn had so many different items lớn choose from. Appetizers, xiao long bao, dumplings, shao mai, buns, soups, stir-fried dishes, noodles with & without soup, fried rice, wontons, deserts, sticky rice wraps, drinks, và even gift. The menu went on và on.

A few things to remember: cash only and last Call at 9:00 PM on the dot.

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Guide to eating xiao long bao

Did you know there is a proper way to eat xiao long bao? Surprisingly, there is & if you need help, you can read the supplied guide to eating xiao long bao.

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First pour some soy sauce và vinegar into the small dish with julienned ginger. The suggested ratio was one part soy sauce to three parts vinegar.Now use your chopsticks lớn pichồng the dumping up và dip it into the sauce.Take the dumpling and place it in your spoon.Use your chopsticks, or your teeth, khổng lồ puncture a small hole inkhổng lồ the side of the dumpling. This will release the soup broth into lớn your spoon.You can now eat your dumpling và finish it off with drinking the broth.

Sounds lượt thích a lot of work, but it’s really simple.

Spicy Hot & Sour Soup

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A small bowl of the spicy Hot & Sour Soup

I was surprised how large và colorful the small bowl of Hot và Sour Soup (TWD 80 or about $2.74) was. I had the option of original or spicy, và of course, I went for spicy.

The broth had some thickness to lớn it without being gloppy. The flavors were a balance of spicy, sour, và savory though the broth wasn’t as hot or sour as I was expecting. Each bite had a rather distinct tang khổng lồ it while the bright red chili oil balanced the flavor with a mild kiông chồng of heat. I would have preferred it to lớn be spicier though. The broth became increasingly sour as I made my way towards the bottom of the bowl.


In the bowl was a generous amount of thin round noodles reminding me of egg noodles. The short noodles didn’t have much texture but were filling.

Mixed in with the noodles were thin strips of seaweed and small pieces of tender rich pork. The seaweed and pork added much needed texture to each bite.

Pork Xiao Long Bao

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An order of the popular Pork Xiao Long Bao

Din Tai Fung has perfected the art of Pork Pork Xiao Long Bao (80 TWD or about $2.74). The unique always remains the same. Xiao long bao is to Din Tai Fung as the Big Mac is to lớn McDonald’s. Every time I visit, I expect the same quality.

The most important part of any xiao long bao is the skin or wrapper. The skin must be thin & delicate with identical folds (18 khổng lồ be exact) while thick enough khổng lồ hold the pork and hot liquids hidden inside. These dumplings were perfect. I can’t describe it any other way. Each dumpling was delicate with just the right thickness và chewy bite.

Using my chopsticks, I punctured a small hole in the side of the dumpling, releasing the rich golden broth inlớn my spoon. The hot broth, infused with pork flavors, was well balanced without being too salty or oily. A dip in the soy sauce, vinegar, & ginger enhanced the flavors of each bite and added a tangy acidic bite.

The large pork meatball inside was flavorful but not as juicy as other locations I have visited, but it was anything but dry. I did arrive right before closing, so that could be the reason. I enjoyed how the pork tasted lượt thích pork, not overly sweet or salty.

There really isn’t anywhere else that does pork xiao long bao so well. Though small, they were packed a lot of flavors.


Steamed Shrimp và Pork Shao Mai

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My favorite thành tựu to order, the Steamed Shrimp and Pork Shao Mai

Since I love sầu pork và I love shrimp, ordering the Steamed Shrimp & Pork Shao Mai (80 TWD for 5 or about $2.74), was a no-brainer. These dumplings are another one of my favorite.

These shao mai were similar khổng lồ the xiao long bao except for one big difference, the large pieces of bright shrimp poking out the top of each dumpling.

Just as with the pork in the xiao long bao, the shrimp và pork were a little overcooked than usual, but not a dealbreaker. Luckily, the flavors were on point. The combination of rich pork & salty briny shrimp was an explosion of flavors that just works so well together.

I seriously love these things.

Pork Buns

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An order of the Pork Buns

I decided khổng lồ finish off the meal with Pork Buns (80 TWD for 2 or about $2.74).

The skin of these dumplings was a lot thicker than the xiao long bao or shao mai. The texture was more like trắng bread with a salty & sweet flavor.

You want to eat these pork buns like a hamburger after a quick dip in vinegar, soy sauce, and ginger.

Inside each bun was a large ball of salty and rich pork. I was expecting the pork lớn be somewhat dry but it was not. The pork was cooked to perfection, juicy and slightly pink on the inside. This was the chất lượng I have come khổng lồ expect with Din Tai Fung.

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These buns were simple but flavorful.

Service

No matter which Din Tai Fung branch you visit, you will receive sầu excellent và efficient service.

Pros

High unique dlặng sumEfficient service

Cons

Cash onlyExpect a wait during lunch hoursStaff only knew limited English

Hours

Monday-Friday: 10:00 AM - 9:00 PMSaturday-Sunday: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Address

No. 194, Section 2, Xinyi Road, Da"an District, Taipei, TaiwanGPS Coordinates: 25.033477,121.530111