World Square Shopping Centre
Level 1, 644 George St
Sydney, NSW 2000
Din Tai Fung is my holy grail of Xiao Long Baos (ie. juicy pork dumplings). It’s all over Singapore, but for some infuriating reason wasn’t in Australia, which meant we were reduced to eating shoddy quasi-Xiao Long Baos which were all wrong. Well, I can stop fretting now, since they’re now in Sydney and right in the City! They opened a few months ago but I haven’t had the chance to go, until recently when I went 3 times in less than 2 weeks 😉
Expect a queue outside, which already starts just shy of 5:30pm when they open for the dinner rush. The place is understandably packed with Asians all desperate for some real Chinese food. The food comes out quickly though, and you’re expected to gobble and leave for the next table to be seated. No problem at all, since the food is just SO delish that you end up gobbling it all down anyway 😛 The restaurant is large and not as packed together as the other Chinese yumcha restaurants in Sydney are. The key (and by this I mean MAJOR) difference? Their service is top-notch and so so so friendly! Expect to have a chorus welcomes and goodbyes when you walk past, and they’re all smiley and accomodating. Such a far cry to typical Hong Kong yumcha places where you’re scowled at and made to feel like a dirty animal.
The menu is pictorial, which instantly gives the place a thumbs up 😛 Why can’t all restaurants do this? It’s so much easier to select your dish if you actually know what you’re ordering. Judging from the myriad of lemmings, I mean, chefs, dashing around in the glass-windowed kitchen, the most popular dishes are the steamed dumplings. And boy do they do them perfectly. The Xiao Long Bao skin is exquisitely thin, but still holds together when you pick it up, the bottom sagging precariously with the weight of the juicy pork inside until you pop it onto your spoon. Nibble at it after you’ve dipped it in some vinegar and ginger, and suck out the hot soup. Ahhhhhh….. heavenly. These are morsels straight from heaven. I’d eat them every day if I could. Think you’ve had Xiao Long Bao in Sydney before? Think again. You MUST go there!!!
All the other dishes are great too, very satisfying and a far far cry from the Australian-ised Chinese food you find in so many restaurants around. Only downside? It gets pretty pricey since you need at least 3 dishes per person. We generally end up paying about $20pp but I’m never completely full afterwards (then again, perhaps I’m just the greedy one and everyone else is sufficiently fed). I think they should lower their prices by 25% and they would be grade A perfection.
Still, Din Tai Fung is my little slice of heaven when I’m an ocean away from Singapore…. I will be back over and over again 🙂
Din Tai Fung
Lemmings hard at work 😛
The only photo took of us that wasn’t blurry!
Beer and soy bean milk (complete with sanitary straws)
My mecca – Xiao Long Baos
Juicy, soupy, meaty goodness
Hot and Sour soup
Spicy dumpings. The sauce was AWESOME, we drizzled it on everything!
Prawn and meat dumplings. The Xiao Long Bao were still better 🙂
Chicken with Fried Rice. This was fabulous!!
Handmade noodles with mince pork. Nice but not amazing