I have a serious love for xiao long bao (pork broth dumplings), and Din Tai Fung is definitely one of the best places to get them. I’ve recently had a special opportunity – visiting the first and original Din Tai Fung location.
I’ve written about Din Tai Fung before, but that was in Tokyo. Din Tai Fung actually originated in Taiwan in the 1980s.
The food here was similar to the Tokyo branch, but the Tokyo location is in a fancy shopping mall, whereas this Taipei location definitely shows its “first, oldest, original” character…
It’s the darker building to the left in the photo above.
Upon entry, you’ll make your way upstairs to a suitable seating area.
The tables and decor are very plain and simple. Nothing very fancy. The food is the star.
We started with some appetizers, quickly devoured with chopsticks.
Hot and sour soup which was very rich and good.
Spicy egg noodles… one of the highlights of the meal.
More dishes… dumplings with chili oil sauce.
And of course the famous xiao long bao.
So our second experience at Din Tai Fung was very good. I don’t think a visit to Taiwan is complete without it!
The chain has become the name-brand dumpling of the east and, in fact, Taiwanese locals seem a bit jaded about it. There are good dumplings available, cheap, everywhere in the country, and I sort of got the impression that Din Tai Fung is regarded as a tourist’s luxury rather than a local favorite. On the other hand, I see that DTF is still voted and ranked very highly by locals and tourists alike, for just about all of their locations, so I think the food speaks for itself. It’s good. Still the best dumplings (and some of the best food in general) I’ve ever eaten.
There is also a recently-opened branch in the gigantic 101 building, if you prefer something more modern. I think it was fun to see the original location.
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