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.