Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ding Tai Fung @ Sogo, ZhongXiao Fu Xing, Taipei

I have been meaning to write about this awhile ago but put it on the shelf when i was actually invited to sample Ding Tai Fung delights at Pavilion after coming back from Taiwan shortly. However timing and stomach space being an issue, that hasn't realised and i thought i might as well finish off writing about Taiwanese food.

Ding Tai Fung is famous for serving Shanghainese food especially for their xiao long baos, and should be no secret that it hails from Taiwan. It's ironic how a taiwanese can so famous for cooking a cuisine that techincally don't belong to them. Even in Shanghai, Ding Tai Fung is preferred to by many as there literally an empire built upon a recipe of xiao long baos as well as their other dishes.

So it was a case of putting on the most particular taste bud as we visit their Zhong Xiao branch for a very early dinner.

Even at like 4pm, queue is like 10-15 minutes long. While waiting, tick what you want and the order is already in the kitchen. This probably cuts down the waiting time and optimises the turnaround time.

The decor and layout is pretty standard and i think it is probably almost protocol to have the same kind of furniture and feel. The waitresses obviously looks prettier and we find that in general the mandarin spoken by taiwanese is far gentler and sweet compared to chinese from mainland China.

As usual i was craving for beef (minus the noodles). The portion was meagre but the soup was spot on as i almost polished the bowl.

I love my drunken chicken and this bird here was well ok. The wine was very strong and fragant but i don't think the bird was drunk enough.

If some of my trips have taught me a lesson, it is the lesson to eat as much fibre to avoid constipation and bloating from overeating. This vegetable is plainly called "A" Vegetable, probably a local breed as the texture and taste was something i never encountered before. However, very enjoyable, sweet and slightly crunchy.

What we came for, the xiao long baos. To be very honest with you, it is comparable with what we get in Malaysia and that means quality control must be very strict. However, i can say the crab meat xiao long bao was far better, probably due to the access of seafood compared to other countries, sweet and totally set the bar compared to the pork version.

So there you have it, is it really far greater in Taiwan? Not really.

Prices are comparable after conversion.


Inside Sogo, ZhongXiao FuXing MRT Station

Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. People have commented what will it take to for me to give 5 stars? Maybe if i was served the crab xiao long bao only, if i didn't have to queue up, didn't have problem finding the place but really, is there a nirvana of a restaurant out there? Ding Tai Fung in Taipei is as usual, well made delights, similar to what you can get in Malaysia but maybe if we had more people there to try more dishes, it could have been 4 stars.


J said...

Hmmm. So there has not been any restaurant that you have given 5 stars so far?

Well, it's ok - Means you have to continue this fun quest of finding the next great meal! :)

Sean said...

actually ya, 5/5 is something that i probably wouldn't award to any restaurant either. no place is perfect, rite =) i haven't had xlb in ages, sighhh. but i do recall the first time i had it ... at crystal jade in lot 10 :D

Life for Beginners said...

DTF has a special place in my heart when I visit the outlet in The Gardens mostly because of the speed of service, haha.

Exactly how drunk must the drunken chicken be to qualify as drunk enough? :P

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

lob: maybe if the chicken was bathe in wine for another few days? haha who knows?

sean: n the risk is that the other person may not find it 5/5

j: near la, but no lor.

zewt said...


so the quality in malaysia for XLB is there eh?

somehow, i feel the one in pavillion is not as good as the one in gardens.

thenomadGourmand said...

Urghh..nvr been to din tai fung yet!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

tng: serious ar??

zewt: haha yeah la..dont doubt us msians, we do occassionally get somethings rite. pavilion quality could b bcos just open, thinking abt it, i think it took gardens over a year b4 i thought their xlb were not bad.

fatboybakes said...

so does DTF originate from taipei? the drunken chicken looks good. here got ah?

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

fbb: yeah its taipei or also got drunken chicken too, lets go!

Selba said...

I love the XLB in DTF... whoa, a long queue? good that here in Jakarta, no need to queue :)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

selba: yeah its a long queue in taiwan!