Din Tai Fung was on my list of must eat places in Taiwan. Asians love dumplings, and Din Tai Fung is King of the Soup Dumplings. They have their Michelin star to display too. My cousins took us to Din Tai Fung at the Taipei 101 Building. When you go, you'll need to know that they may be a long wait. The store we visited was at an hour wait. Here's several other articles on Din Tai Fung and how to eat the soup dumplings.
Seaweed and Bean Curd in Vinegar Dressing was our first dish.
Xiao Long Bao are the specialty of the house. Americans may refer to these as soup dumplings as they are filled with little pockets of savory soup. These also come with instructions on how to each these without having them tear open like a hungry panda. I like to eat these little lovelies like I eat regular dumplings (boiled) or pot stickers. I dip a little in the appropriate sauce, take a bite out of it, stuff the inside of the other end with the yummy goodness in the sauce (not necessarily the sauce itself) like scallions and fried garlic, and then I eat the rest. With the Xiao Long Bao, I use a spoon to support the dumpling as the wrapper is quite delicate. Once I bite into it, I drink the juice, add some ginger or dab of sauce on the remaining dumpling, and stuff it into my mouth.
More dumplings in a spicy sauce. They weren't actually very spicy just a bit.
Here's another view of the delicious dumplings. The wrapper had substance and spring even when delicate. Look at those perfect folds.
This was a really amazing pork chop. It must have come from a really cute pig. Just kidding, kind of. The seasoning on the pork wasn't exceptionally different, but there was something about the pork chop that was fragrant and satisfying. The fried rice was also quite tasty. These everyday foods that I could, would, and have prepared at home were elevated to something amazing.
And a bowl of hot and sour soup does a body good.
On April 6, 2013, Tom Cruise visited the Din Tai Fung at Taipei 101, and he learned how to make the soup dumplings. I'm going to guess that he's probably still not as skilled as the employees as the art of crafting of the little morsels is a skill that isn't learned overnight.
Look at how these dumplings are made. Each one is hand wrap and sculpted into little baos. Each one is also weighted so that they are consistently 21 grams.
This is the taro dumpling. Each one needs to have exactly 18 folds, or else....
The inside was absolutely perfect. The chewy wrapper was perfect with the interior sticky and mildly sweet taro filling. This was a great ending to an epic dumpling time.