Friday, 8 April 2011

The World's Most Famous Dumplings

It is impossible to visit Shanghai without eating at Din Tai Fung at least once.  Ding Tai Fung is home to the world's most famous Shanghainese dumpling the xiao long bao.  The xiao long bao is a dumpling enclosed in a very thin pasta-like wrapper and is filled with pork and soupy juicy goodness.  At each of the Din Tai Fung outlets you see the masters dressed in white chefs coats, hats, and mouth covers expertly creating these little masterpieces.  Every dumpling must even have the identical amount of folds.  The original Ding Tai Fung is located in Taipei but they have many restaurants all over the world.  

We ate lunch at the Din Tai Fung in the ever so trendy Xin Tian Di.  The restaurant is located in the back end of Xin Tian Di in a modern glass shopping mall/offices that is part of this redevelopment of traditional Shikumen houses.  Xin Tian Di is the first fashionable development that incorporates these old Shanghainese houses and modern buildings.  The walls of the restaurant are covered with caricatures of famous Asian celebrities but otherwise the decor is pretty plain.  The main star is obviously the food and I could care less what the restaurant looks like.  The food is consistently incredible at this branch and the restaurant is very clean and pleasant.  Dished are presented simply on small white plates or bamboo baskets but I am always too busy shoving food in my mouth to notice much else.  

The little monster absolutely hates Chinese food (apparently I was exactly the same as a child) and wouldn't even try a bite of the mini xiao long baos we ordered for him.  Whatever his loss!  Luckily I had snacks and apple sauce on me to keep him entertained.  The restaurant has high chairs and a baby change located in the mall so it is definitely baby friendly.  On our last day in Singapore we ate at Ding Tai Fung again and this time bought a Happy Meal from the McDonalds across the street to keep the monster busy.  The Shanghai branches are by far superior to the one I visited in Singapore.  Not only is the selection on the menu much bigger but the food was just not as good as the Shanghainese ones.  But if you are ever in a city with a Din Tai Fung you must try it!  Even the not as good xiao long baos are probably going to the best you will ever taste.  Your mouth and tummy will definitely be thanking you.

Unit 11 
2F House 6
South Block
Xin Tian Di
Lane 123 Xinye Road
+86 21 6385 8378


  1. I love the way you do your photos. Very interesting post. It's sound really good. I've never had one, and I must give it a try.

  2. Sounds absolutely delicious!! Have you found a good dimsum in Nappy Valley or nearby? xoxo

  3. Just Royal China in SW6. Oh how I miss Yauatcha and Hakkasan but can't imagine bringing the little one there!