Din Tai Fung has been awarded a one Michelin star again within Hong Kong and Macau in 2011. The restaurant specialise in dumplings, especially siu long bao (小籠包). It first opened in Tawain and now has branches around Asia including Hong Kong. There are two branches in Hong Kong and we visited the one in Tsim Sha Tsui branch, which is on the 3rd floor of Silvercord.
We arrived for a late lunch and there was no queue, but we were asked to wait for a few minutes. However, we saw some empty table, so was not too sure why we still had to wait. My only assumption was that section had closed at that period.
It is a self ordering where you mark your order on a paper menu, but you are also presented with a picture book menu. It is always an advantage to have a menu with pictures to get an idea what the dish you are ordering could be like. But I feel it is also a way to tempt people to order the dish.
As one of their speciality was siu long bao we had to order a portion to try if they are good as critics say. There is a variety of siu long bao, each with different filling. I was tempted to have the crab meat filling but finally decided for the pork filling.
My verdict is this was good siu long bao – thin pastry that is filled with lots of tasty broth.
The restaurant provide each table a Chinese, English and Korean instruction on how to eat siu long bao. In summary:
- In the small dish that already has thinly sliced ginger, pour some soya sauce and vinegar.
- Take siu long bao and dip in the sauce.
- Place siu long bao in the spoon and poke a small hole to release the broth
- Enjoy the siu long bao with some ginger and the broth.
As well as siu long bao we also tried some of the other dumplings including pork and glutinous rice shao mai (糯肉燒賣) and steamed mashed red beans buns (豆沙小籠包).
As well as dumplings there are varieties of other dishes including rice and noodle. We decided to order a few to try including the recommended Dan Dan noodle (台式擔擔撈麵), which is noodles mixed in sesame and peanut sauce. Maybe because I am not a big fan of peanut that I could not find the excitement in this dish.
The Fried Pork Rib (油炸排骨) was surprising, since it said ribs I was expecting bones. However there was not a single bones to be found. It was like eating a tender pork with strong black pepper flavour.
Apart from siu long bao, the Drunken Chicken (紹興醉雞) would have to be my next favourite dish at Ding Tai Fung. This is a cold dish and as the name says the chicken was infused with the flavour of Shao Xing wine. Each piece of chicken was full of flavour and the texture of the chicken was velvet smooth.
Dumplings are not just savoury dish but they can be sweet as well. For example the steamed mashed red beans buns (豆沙小籠包), which is like siu long bao. But instead of filling them with meat/seafood and broth, they are filled with mashed red beans.
There are a variety of sweet dishes to choose and the restaurant will serve these as dessert. So you can almost get a three course meal here.
As well as the steamed mashed red beans buns we also ordered the Steamed Chinese-style layer cake (千層油糕), Steamed red bean rice cake (赤豆鬆糕) and Bean paste shou bao (豆沙壽桃).
The steamed red bean rice cake to me was something new. It look like a cake so it gave me the impression that it would have the texture of a cake. But instead you get the chewy texture of rice cake, which was interesting.
However, the steamed Chinese-style layer cake was disappointing, since this was a cake which I expected it to be soft and fluffy, but it was not the case.
The bean paste shou bao (豆沙壽桃), that had six in a portion I consider was well made. The texture of the bun itself was soft. We called so many dishes that we had to take some of the bean paste shou bao home with us. Even the next day when it was all cold the bun was still fluffy and soft.
Although the steamed Chinese-style layer cake was disappointing, overall Din Tai Fung produced some great tasty dishes with good service. I would definitely visit again.
Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐)
Shop 130, 3/F Silvercord,
30 Canton Road,
Tsim Sha Tsui