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Din Tai Fung, Chippendale

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Feasting on roast meats, steamed dump­lings and egg tarts at yum cha are a semi-reg­u­lar at my work­place. We have our reg­u­lar haunt, but it was under­go­ing extens­ive renov­a­tions between Lunar New Year and Easter. So, for a change of pal­ate, we shif­ted from Cantonese- to more Shanghainese-style at Din Tai Fung.

With xiao­long­bao, vari­ous oth­er dump­lings and hand­made noodles and deep fried chicken/​pork to share, I took the chance to try some new items that weren’t on the menu dur­ing my last vis­its.

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I am delighted by all things yuzu, and so it was for this yuzu peach freeze ($8.80). It is every bit as deli­cious as it sounds with the taste of fresh peaches car­ried by the uplift­ing cit­rus kick of yuzu. There’s none of that overly sweet peach fla­vour you find in syr­ups. Yum!

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Another obses­sion is black ses­ame man­ju in Kurashiki, Okayama that are baked to reveal a sur­pris­ing crunchy black skin, super fluffy black dough and smooth black ses­ame paste inside. The ones here are black ses­ame buns ($2.20 each) and more like the steamed ones you’d expect in a Chinese res­taur­ant.

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Dotted with three black ses­ames, these have black ses­ame paste inside a dense white dough. Served pip­ing hot, the black ses­ame paste here was very gritty, and togeth­er with the not-at-all-fluffy dough, it left a rather unpleas­ant mouth­feel that you couldn’t wait to wash down.

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A new addi­tion to the menu is a twist on their fam­ous Golden Lava Buns. Here, they’ve Golden Lava Mochi Balls ($4.80 for 2 pieces), essen­tially jian diu with their sig­na­ture salted egg yolk filling.

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This is the standouts of the desserts I’ve had at Din Tai Fung. It came out pip­ing hot with the crispy toasted ses­ame coat­ing hid­ing a chewy lay­er of dough that encased a bril­liantly golden yel­low salted egg yolk filling. Everything about these mochi balls is bal­anced — the dough is the right thick­ness, the filling is neither too salty nor too sweet, too thick nor too runny. There’s crunch and chew and gooey innards — def­in­itely a step up from the Golden Lava Buns.

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