Din Tai Fung: where xiao long bao is just *wow*

Forget bak kut teh, forget chicken over rice and forget kaya toasties. There was one thing on my Singapore food list I would not have left without: Din Tai Fung‘s xiao long bao. It has been a while since I’ve had decent dumplings and God knows the ones in Londontown would never compare to the ones we have in Asia.

My date was clearly excited. So was I.

We went to the one in Resorts World Sentosa, for a much needed power lunch before our kids’ date out at Universal Studios. There was already a bit of a queue but we only had to wait for 15 minutes which I suppose wasn’t bad considering it was a Saturday. Gave us enough time to browse the menu and tick all the munchies we wanted to order.

They served us the hot and sour soup first and I was surprised at how massive the small serving was. The soup itself was quite tasty and had the most amazing consistency and texture. I hate extra thick, extra chunky, corn starch laden soup so this was great. The only thing I found lacking was the element of spice; it wasn’t as hot as I hoped.

On to the next one: classic pork xiao long bao!

It was as good as I remember: the broth aplenty and the filling perfectly porky. I know people usually eat xiao long bao with vinegar, ginger, soy sauce, etc but I like being a purist with these babies. I’d put a bit of chilli oil every now and then for a heat kick but the broth is super tasty on its own so there’s really no need to change the flavour profile.

Delighted with my dumpling

Plaid Boy ordered the deep-fried ‘specially marinated’ pork chop with special fried rice.I’m not a huge fan of pork chop but I actually liked this one as it was lean and tender. Whatever it is they put on their ‘special marinade’, it works!

It was already a (relatively) healthy meal but of course we had to have our 5-a-day portion so we also had  some kailan (aka Chinese broccoli) stir-fried in a classic concoction of oyster sauce, soy, and oil. Plus lots of fried garlic.

Did you think six pork dumplings would serve our bellies full? Of course not. We also ordered the crab and pork xiao long bao.

Remember my review on Yauatcha’s king crab and pork xiao long bao? No comparison to Din Tai Fung’s version. The former was so full of extenders that neither of the flavours stood out. Plus the broth was bland. The latter, on the other hand…

You can actually spot the crab bits! The balance of flavour is interesting; you bite once and the dumpling is distinctly pork, you bite twice and it’s distinctly crab. My mind was initially confused by it but I stopped wondering after the second piece because it was just so delicious. I could definitely live on this if I had to.

We were pretty full at this point but one of the servers dropped our steamed chilli crab and pork buns (which I think we kinda forgot about).

Look at the filling, look how generous they are with pork and crab:

Like the steamed dumplings, it was packed with pork and crab meat and had a good kick to it.

Excuse me while I burp at the thought of all that.

Ahhh. I can’t pinpoint what makes DTF’s fare so special. I like that you get the same quality grub whichever branch you visit. I also like the fact that the place is not poncey at all; despite international fame, everything at DTF reflects its humble beginnings, focusing on authenticity and respect of flavour. I also like that it’s a total value for money (and they were so generous with the stuff!)

Overall my xiao long bao craving of x years was extremely satisfied and my belly reveled in gastronomic glee. What an awesome kick-off to a wonderful date. <3

Din Tai Fung
(Resorts World Sentosa) 26 Sentosa Gateway #01-217 Singapore 098138  | +65 6686 3565
Ave spend pp: £15 OR LESS!

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