Another recent store opening, Din Tai Fung has arrived in Australia and brought with it its signature mouth watering dumplings. These parcels of pure delight come packaged with a thin but flexible skin that is sturdy enough to last the trip from the steamer to your mouth. Intricately folded 18 times over the top to form a neat spiral pattern, its a delicate and subtle testament to the quality and artistry of the humble xiao long bao. Once inside, the parcel breaks, releasing the savory juices and a touch of meaty flavor whilst the withering skin soon slips down your throat. Its a precious little bag of wonderment and Din Tai Fung makes these in the millions the world over, with its army of imported dumpling chefs.

The dumplings aren’t all that’s great either. The very simple vegetarian side of seaweed, tofu and glass noodles is highly polished in its refinement. The perfectly balanced flavor and seasoning are aided in part by the cool serving temperature, which matches the slender textural feel of the dish brilliantly. Their beef broth is a deep, dark, ominous brown, yet somehow retains a light and vibrant beefiness that translates very well. The hot and sour soup is also a near perfect rendition of what the dish should be.

Overall, I have to say that, chain store or not, they do a bloody good job of reproducing classic Chinese offerings combined with a certain modernity. Haters might say nobody goes to a Din Tai Fung in Taiwan except tourists but this is Sydney we’re talking about and in my opinion, its probably the closest you’re going to get to authentic, top quality Chinese at pretty reasonable prices.

Din Tai Fung
World Square Shopping Centre, 644 George St, Sydney
(02) 9264 6010
Daily 11am-2.30pm, 5-10pm
20+ pax including a main and some extras.