Every year for Christmas, my friend Emma and I treat ourselves to dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant. Our little tradition started 4 years ago when, fresh out of uni and backpacking, we had our Christmas meal at the Pizza Express near Hakkasan in Mayfair, and we swore to ourselves that the next year we would be walking in there instead of passing it. It’s an expensive night out but we work hard, it’s once a year and it’s worth it.
Now imagine buying Michelin starred food for pittance. Imagine getting it to take away and eating it out of plastic containers in front of a movie. Imagine eating the leftovers at 4am after a big night out. Well, you can. Din Tai Fung is an institution across metropolitan Asian cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok, even reaching across to Oceania to infiltrate Sydney’s very own food courts. There are even a few branches on the West Coast of the USA.
Din Tai Fung originates in Taiwan and its excellent reputation for quality and flavour has spread across Asia over the years like wild fire. When you are next in a major Asian city or Sydney or LA or Seattle etc etc, please go to DTF. The first thing you must do is order their Xiao Long Bao, little soup dumplings filled with pork that you must gently cradle between your chopsticks as you nibble a little hole in the dough and slurp the porky goodness out, before chucking the whole thing in your mouth whilst you let your eyes roll back into your head against your will. The soup contained in them might be a little bit of heaven. And although dumplings may be what Din Tai Fung are (quite rightly) famed for, that doesn’t mean that the rest of their menu goes amiss. Their Kung Pao chicken is among the best I’ve had with the chicken tender and their soups beautifully balanced; their vegetable dishes well cooked and their pork buns perfectly juicy.
Chinese take away has never been so delicious. Don’t miss it.