Destinations Recipe Index

Din Tai Fung, Sydney

Sometimes, my food cravings take over and there’s little I can do to divert from the warpath. This time, the target was Din Tai Fung, and I was on a mission to eat there from the minute we arrived in Sydney last week. Sure, we’ve had delicious dumplings before. But there’s something about Din Tai Fung’s renowned precision (they literally measure each dumpling to within .2 grams of each other!) that lured me in. During their visit to Australia earlier this year, my brother and sister-in-law confirmed that their meal here was as delicious as their previous Din Tai Fung visit in Taiwan. Good enough for me… we were not disappointed.
When we arrived, we were given a beeper and a menu and told it would be about 10 minutes. Based on some reviews I’d read, I expected 10 minutes to mean something more like 30. But in less time than it took us open the menu (literally), we were being summoned to our table. A pleasant surprise, considering the restaurant was packed for the lunchtime rush. On the way to our table, our waitress asked for our order. I found this both charming and hilarious – we hadn’t had a chance to see the menu yet, but hey, they were obviously running a tight ship.
One of the first things we noticed through the glass outside was the sheer amount of cooks in the kitchen – insanity! Even more impressive were the stacks upon stacks of steamers being quickly rotated and shuffled out to diners. I was happy to be seated in plain sight of the kitchen doors – plenty of room for spying…
We ordered some drinks to start. I chose the avocado smoothie. Mild and rich with chocolate swirls… so yummy and half a meal in itself. He ordered the lychee-mint smoothie, which in comparison was much lighter and fresher.
First arrival: Minced pork, edamame and fermented tofu noodle. Super well balanced flavors – the saltiness of the pork and tofu was mellowed by the mild broth and firm (and almost sweet) edamame. I would have ordered 2 more of these for myself if not in public…
Luckily that’s when the pork xiao long bao arrived! Gorgeous minced pork and silky hot soup broth folded ever so precisely into perfectly uniform dough. Oh, my heart.
Yum – xiao long bao up close. They absolutely lived up to the hype. Each one really was identical in structure and taste. The pork wasn’t too dense (I dislike biting into a mince brick), with just the right quantity of soup for slurping. Just after these, an order of prawn + pork jiao zi, and a steamed pork bun came out… gobbled too quickly for a photo.
Finally on the side, the water spinach with fried garlic. The perfect complement to cut through all the fatty, salty goodness of the multiple rounds of dumplings.
What’s a meal without dessert? This golden red bean bread was a real standout for us – starchy-sweet red bean paste wrapped in a really light and crispy fried toastie, dipped in sesame seeds. Really unique, like nothing I’ve had, and I hope to have plenty more where that came from very soon. Anyone know if there’s a nice spot for this stuff in Melbourne?
We rolled out the door an hour or so later, relieved that we arrived on time to enjoy such a spectacular meal. The restaurant had practically cleared out by the time we paid – unbeknownst to us, they were only open for lunch until 2:30! Close call. Overall a fabulous experience that left us with surpassed expectations and stuffed to the brim well past dinner.
Din Tai Fung
World Square Shopping Centre
Level 1, Shop 11.04, 644 George St
Sydney 2000
(02) 9264 6010

Din Tai Fung on Urbanspoon

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  • Reply Martyna@WholesomeCook 05/09/2011 at 5:32 am

    We have always loved Din Tai Fung – the kids happily polish off a basketful and then some of XLB on their own and they are yum. Although I have to say that after a 45 minute wait last Saturday we were served wine in a lipstick stained glass and found a hair in one of the dumplings… Service was so so. The quality has slipped me thinks.

  • Reply Candace 23/07/2011 at 11:21 am

    Another wonderful post full of amazing photos and descriptions of food. I’ve got to go find breakfast….fast! 🙂

  • Reply Two fit and fun gals 19/07/2011 at 12:55 am

    hey i love your pictures! ive been oncem, and totally loved the desserts (they had so many to choose from it was such a hard decision hehehe)

    have you been to chefs gallery? its about 2 blocks from dintai fung, they serve really nice chinese food there as well 🙂

    i also noticed you are fairly new to sydney- i hope you are enjoying it!

  • Reply Iron Chef Shellie 12/07/2011 at 6:45 am

    I am definitely going here too!!

  • Reply Hong Kong Badger 07/07/2011 at 12:26 am

    Din Tai Fung is one of my favourite places in Hong Kong – they do make the best Xiao Long Bao! Good to know they are consistently good elsewhere, hadn’t realised they had branches outside HK….

    Will keep an eye out for the avocado smoothie, that sounds really interesting!

  • Reply Nicole 06/07/2011 at 6:12 pm

    Avocado smoothie! Sounds very nice!

  • Reply Divya 06/07/2011 at 1:48 pm

    Sounds like an awesome meal! *Drool* 😛

  • Reply Quay Po Cooks 06/07/2011 at 1:14 pm

    We have this chain at the mall near my house. My favorite dish there is the ‘tan tan mien’.

  • Reply kyari0919 06/07/2011 at 10:30 am

    Yum! I think im going to have noodles and dumplings for lunch today! Looks so good!! Made me extra hungry! Anyway visiting from FTLOB!

  • Reply Ashley 06/07/2011 at 1:08 am

    Wow! I’m absolutely enamoured with the xiao long bao, I don’t think I’ve seen them that pretty anywhere in Melbourne yet! (although i don’t go out of my way to look for them) Very pretty indeed!

  • Reply Natalie Murray 06/07/2011 at 12:08 am

    Haha, great minds think alike as they say?? 😉 This is a great post and your pics are fantastic… love the sneaky snap into the kitchen! Good to hear Sydney dim sum lives up to its Asian parents, although it makes me a bit homesick to read this… give Australia my love 🙂 Nat (Diary of a Girl Abroad) xx

  • Reply Prerna@IndianSimmer 05/07/2011 at 9:03 pm

    Ooo, I want those dumplings and that dessert and that noodle dish!! I want to gobble them all. Sure you had a great time at this place because everything looks scrumptious!

  • Reply Tanya (a Taste of T) 04/07/2011 at 5:07 pm

    Every bit of this post made me so hungry

  • Reply Adrian (Food Rehab) 04/07/2011 at 11:09 am

    Ah yes, I remember going here when I was down in Sydney. The broth was amazing huh?! And the place is huge!

  • Reply msihua 04/07/2011 at 12:43 am

    Lols.. I keep putting DTF out of my list whenever I visit Sydney. Only because I’ve tried them in Msia, and wasn’t too keen to waste space (to an extent). Glad you liked it! Now I really want XLBs.. Mmmm

  • Reply Mina Joshi 03/07/2011 at 2:21 pm

    What a spectacular meal!! Wish I knew about this place when I visited Sydney.

  • Reply Blithely Unaware 03/07/2011 at 2:19 pm

    That looks SO delicious!!

    I looooooooove dumplings.

    I’s midnight now I want dumplings!!!

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