After a tiring and long day at the Summer Palace, Ben brought me to Din Tai Fung for a late lunch or early dinner.
Din Tai Fung is an award winning restaurant with it’s origin from Taiwan. They are famed for their Xiao Long Bao and being called by the New York Times as one of the Top Ten Restaurants in the world. Two of their restaurants (in Hong Kong) has one Michelin star.
When we got there, the restaurant looked empty. It was because it was way past lunch hour and too early for dinner.
It is bright and clean. The service was, as expected, very good and the fuwuyuan (waitress in Mandarin) were dressed immaculately. Ben was curious how all of the waitresses had their hair done exactly the same way. He was trying to figure if they were wigs or something.
I’m sure the board which served as a decor of a wall must be filled with signatures from some of their more famous customers. Too bad, I think they don’t know about chowtimes. Anyway, even if they know chowtimes, there are no more space on the board for us.
How can we not order this from Din Tai Fung. We had a basket of their famous Xiao Loong Bao. They have a lot of versions of these XLBs. Some of them are really really pricey (for Beijing standards).
The Xiao Loong Bao was baggy with very neatly pleads, certainly up to it’s fame. Look at the golden juice from the Xiao Loong Bao.
We had Fried Rice as filler. It was quite nice with large prawns in it. But the serving was really small.
We also ordered some spicy wontons. It was what expected too. The wrapper was soft and perfectly cooked and the meat fillings were a lot. I wish it was a bit more spicier. We had so many really spicy ones in Beijing that this one does come across to us as a little bland.
Lastly we had a bowl of beef noodle to share.
The hand made noodle was really good. We enjoyed the beef noodle so much that we even finished the last drop of soup.
The bill came to RMB 185 (about $31 Canadian). For such food, it is pricey in Beijing standards. But then it is Din Tai Fund and they do charge a premium.
There are four Din Tai Fung restaurants in Beijing alone. The one that we went to is in the shopping area of Xidan. That shopping area is unbelievably full of people – mostly youngsters. They have overhead bridges for pedestrian that connects every shopping complex around that area. It is a good idea seeing how busy this area is.
We went for a little shopping around Xidan after the meal before we called it a day.
This Post Has 10 Comments
Really enjoying your Beijing series, Ben & Suanne! I was there a few years ago and it would have been nice to have your reviews handy. 🙂 Have you been to the Din Tai Fung in Bellevue? Just curious as to how that compares.
Hi Gigi: Glad to see your comment. 🙂 We had never been to the DTF in Bellevue although we had been saying we wanted to go ever since the rumour of the opening! As a matter of fact, the DTF in Beijing Xidan restaurant was our very first DTF meal. Ben
Thanks for the wonderful tour of Beijing and its culinary wonders!
I’m just as curious as Gigi. The DTF in Bellevue was awful. I was fully expecting it to have better XLB than Vancouver. Unfortunately, they use a different type of flour or ingredient in their dough to create a texture that’s quite weird for my taste. I came from HK (before DTF was opened there) and have been to Shanghai. I must say Vancouver is at least on par for XLB.
Hi Franklin: Hehehe … I think those XLBs in Bellevue are Hispanic XLBs. I saw reports that DTF Bellevue had a crash course for the new staff (non-Chinese) to make the XLBs from scratch about one month before they opened. Frankly, when I read that I was really wondering if anyone who had never eaten XLBs before can be taught to make first class XLB within a month. Ben
I’m actually amazed (maybe just being naive) that a Taiwan-based chain can be established on mainland China, and thrive !
Hi LotusRapper: One thing that I was amazed with is how many successful Singapore based chains are operating in Beijing. The one that came to mind is BreadTalk and also the large food courts called Food Republic.
I’ve been to the Din-Tai-Fung in Bellevue and it was REALLY BAD… The Xiao Loong Bao wasn’t even done properly, no juice, meat was soggy, really gross. I am not racist at all but I was expecting Chinese Xiao Loong Bao makers, they have an open kitchen and all I see are white and Mexican Xiao Loong Bao makers.
I have had way better Xiao Loong Bao in Vancouver. Have you tried 小南角 at Alexandra Road in Richmond?
Hi Kelly: What is the English name for 小南角 at Alexandra Road?
It’s call Shanghai Morning at 8291 Alexandra Rd, (778) 297-6098
Never been there, Kelly. Will most definitely check out Shanghai Morning one of these days. Ben