Way before Din Tai Fung was ranked as one of the Top 10 Restaurants in the World by The New York Times, my parents and I have been patronizing Din Tai Fung.
Din Tai Fung has become my family’s go-to restaurant whenever we are looking for a good Chinese meal. Din Tai Fung’s emphasis in quality is reflected in that small plate of sliced ginger that accompanies every table. The ginger is as fine as hair and the quality is consistent.
Although I have not tried every item on Din Tai Fung’s menu, these are 10 of my “must-order” items whenever I patronize.
Din Tai Fun’s Steamed Pork Dumpling was awarded own Michelin star by the Hong Kong and Macau 2010 edition of the Michelin Guide.
Oriental Salad in Special Vinegar Dressing 小菜 [$4.50] is an oriental side dish that reminds me of China. Thin strips of dried beancurd, kelp and cucumber are mixed with vermicelli and bean sprouts in a special vinegar dressing. The slightly sour dressing and the varied vegetables make this a refreshing starter.
Someone recommended this Crispy Golden Prawn Pancake 酥脆腐皮虾饼 [$10.30] to me and I have been hooked ever since. Mashed prawns are blended with vegetables such as black fungus and mushroom, which are then wrapped in beancurd skin. The fried beancurd skin is light and crispy, the sweetness of the prawn and vegetable make this dish highly addictive.
Sliced Duck in Crispy Spring Onion Pastry 葱香鸭卷 [$7.80] is a modified version of the famous Beijing snack. Baked duck is sliced and folded in together with chopped spring onions in pastry skin. These are then deep-fried and served on a bed of lettuce. The saltiness of the baked duck is complimented by the crispy spring onions, making this a tasty snack.
Egg Fried Rice 蛋炒饭 [$7.80] looks simple, but it is still the best Egg Fried Rice I have had so far. A good plate of Egg Fried Rice tests the skills of the chef. Every grain is evenly coated with egg and the best part is that it is not oily at all. I order this every single time.
Sure, there are many other noodles available such as Noodle with Spicy Sauce and Noodle Soup with Fried Pork Chop but Special Braised Beef Noodle Soup with Beef Brisket 红烧牛肉汤面 [$7.80] is still my favourite. The handmade noodles have a good bite to them and the soup is rich and flavorful, but the best part about this dish is the braised beef briskets. Beef brisket takes very long to cook. How Din Tai Fung manages to cook the beef brisket till it is so soft it melts in the mouth without drying out the meat is a culinary wonder to me.
Sweet Chinese Delicacy 八宝饭 [$7] is more commonly known as Ba Bao Fan or Eight-Treasure Glutinous Rice. Din Tai Fung only has this on certain days so do check with the staff before ordering. If you are lucky to try this, you will fall in love with the soft glutinous rice complemented by the sweetness of the candied fruits.
Red Dates with Glutinous Rice 红枣圆 [$5.50] is my father’s favourite. Big premium dates are soaked and pitted, stuffed with Din Tai Fung’s homemade glutinous rice.
Din Tai Fung’s Steamed Sesame Paste Buns 芝麻包 [$1.80 per piece, $4.80 for 3 pieces] is definitely the best I have ever had. The sesame paste filling inside is fragrant and rich, yet not too sweet. This is my favourite dessert at Din Tai Fung.
I like that Din Tai Fung’s Steamed Red Bean Paste Buns 豆沙包 [$1.80 per piece, $4.80 for 3 pieces] red bean paste is not too sweet yet retains the natural sweetness of red beans. This is my second favourite dessert in Din Tai Fung.