Last night we finally ventured outside of our neighborhood, Tienmu. I’ll try and make a long story short, so here it goes – When we were in Phuket at Christmas there was a couple staying next to us at the resort. We started talking and he mentioned that he has spent a little time in Taipei, and had fond memories of one particular restaurant, Din Tai Fung. We hadn’t heard of it yet, but that was about to change. When we returned to Taipei and were talking with friends someone mentioned a restaurant that we really needed to visit, Din Tai Fung. Then a few days later in a completely separate conversation it came up again. At this point we decided we really needed to do something about this coincidence.
It’s worth the wait. When we arrived we were table number 81 and they were just seating table 48. Don’t worry though, it went fast.
Ordering is done outside while you wait. Luckily the menu is translated into English and has pictures to show each dish.
Last night we headed downtown with our friends Alli and Shawn to check out this restaurant that kept getting our attention. Our friends had been there before and told us that they serve simply the best dumplings around. OK, Taipei is full of dumpling shops. We can probably walk out of our house and find 10 different dumpling shops within a five-minute walk. You would think that a dumpling is a dumpling is a dumpling, but it’s not true. You can find hamburgers everywhere, but there are some places that just make a better burger. You can get pizza everywhere, but you probably have a favorite place.
The waiters and staff are well rehearsed on getting dumplings and other dishes to the FOUR floors of this restaurant.
At one time Din Tai Fung was listed by the New York Times as one of the 10 best restaurants of the world. They were right. As we sat around the table dissecting what makes their dumplings so good, we couldn’t put our finger on it. Maybe it was the perfectly rolled dough that wraps the dumpling, maybe it was the simplicity of each type of dumpling and maybe it was because the restaurant has an instruction card at each table on precisely how to eat a dumpling. Regardless, it was perfect and by far the best dumplings we’ve ever had.
How do you eat a dumpling? There’s a reason why you should follow this precise method.
Round one and two of the many rounds that night. This is their shrimp dumpling, but we also ordered vegetable dumplings, pork dumplings and crab dumplings.
I’ll be the first to admit that this does not look appetizing. This is one of their dessert dumplings. It’s a sesame dumpling and was much better than you’d think. Imagine warm, soft bread with a semi-sweetened peanut butter inside.
The heart and soul of Din Tai Fung. You have to walk through the kitchen on the way up to your table. They must make thousands and thousands of dumplings each day and all by hand.
Here’s a promise to everyone that comes to visit us while we are in Taipei, we will be talking you to Din Tai Fung.