Din Tai Fung, Chippendale


Din Tai Fung is fam­ous for its dump­lings. People rave about it all the time. I’d vis­ited before as a mid-morn­ing snack, which didn’t live up to all the hype, but I’d nev­er had a prop­er meal there before. We tried once, but the queue at World Square (pre­vi­ously the only branch in Sydney) was far too long and we were hungry.


So, when a branch opened up at Central Park and cer­tain people I know had spent upwards of $500 with­in the first month of it open­ing, N and I popped in for lunch. With the cov­er of its menu boast­ing to have ‘the world’s tasti­est dump­ling’, we had to try it for ourselves. For the high price deman­ded for each dish, we had quite high expect­a­tions.


We ordered the xiao­long­bao, which are pock­ets of mince with soup. These held up quite well — the dump­ling didn’t pop and spill all its soupy juices every­where when you picked it up with chop sticks. The soup wasn’t boil­ing hot so it didn’t burn your mouth when you bit into them. As for the mince, how­ever, I’d have pre­ferred it to be less salty.


We also ordered these veget­able and chick­en dump­lings because N likes her greens, and when is order­ing pure veget­able dump­lings a good deal any­way? These were quite dis­ap­point­ing. The vegetable:chicken ratio seemed to be 9:1 — I could barely see, let alone taste, the chick­en.


And then because 7 dump­lings each didn’t seem like it’d fill us up (it didn’t), we ordered a noodle soup dish with fried chick­en. The fried chick­en was very juicy and tender, but the crumbed bat­ter left an unpleas­ant floury after­taste. The noodles in the chick­en broth how­ever, were quite tasty — the noodles had bite and had absorbed much of the chick­en fla­vour into it. So, over­all, I wasn’t that impressed with Din Tai Fung. I’d spent far less at sushi trains and left com­pletely full and nurs­ing a food coma for the after­noon. But this didn’t even leave me feel­ing full. There is, how­ever, one sil­ver lin­ing –


The drinks! Which, hon­estly, shouldn’t be the high­light in terms of taste or price. But it was, alas. The left is the lychee and mint frappe, which I’d tried before and decided it was too minty. N ordered it again this time and the mint no longer over­powered the lychee, which made it quite a refresh­ing drink. And the right is the Italian green apple soda. I love apple fla­voured things, and this was no excep­tion — I’v nev­er tasted a green apple soft drink quite like it — it is sweet with a crisp apple fla­vour to it.

Din Tai Fung is loc­ated at Central Park, Level 2, R201, 28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008.