[Taipei, Taiwan] Din Tai Fung is the world’s most famous Xiao Long Bao (small steamed buns) makers which originated in Taiwan, ranked as one of the world’s top 10 restaurants by The New York Times in 1993.
Over at Hong Kong, Din Tai Fung’s Silvercord Branch (新港店) and Yee Wo Branch (怡和店) at Causeway Bay were also awarded one Michelin star by the Hong Kong and Macau 2010 edition of the Michelin Guide.
You may not know about this, but the characters in the name mean: 鼎, a type of cooking cauldron; 泰, peaceful; and 豐, abundant, and the Din Tai Fung first started not as a dumping shop, but a cooking oil retailer. Surprised?
Founder Yang Bingyi and wife started selling Xiao Long Bao when their oil business was bad, which eventually became so popular they started a restaurant on Xinyi Road in Taipei.
We all have our own ways of eating these delicate dumplings, with some ending in mini-disastrous outcomes – broken dumplings, spilled soup, or worse, scalded tongues. (Read: 5 Things You May Not Know About Xiao Long Bao)
I had the privilege of learning how to make these Xiao Long Bao over at Taipei 101, and was taught the correct way to eat Xiao Long Bao. Always thought you knew what was right? (Read: I Made Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung 鼎泰丰)
Guide to eating Xiao Long Bao
Step 1 – Put some soy sauce and vinegar in the ginger dish. You should first put the soy sauce BEFORE the vinegar, with a suggested ratio of 1 portion of soy sauce to 3 portions of vinegar. (The purpose of the vinegar is to ‘cleanse’ the saltiness of the soy sauce)
Step 2 – Take a piece of Xiao Long Bao and dip lightly in the sauce. Just dip, don’t submerge. (You may want to try the original Xiao Long Bao first without any sauce.)
Step 3 – Place Xiao Long Bao in the spoon and poke a small hole to release the broth.
Step 4 – Pick up a few slices of ginger.
Step 5 – Enjoy Xiao Long Bao with some ginger and the broth. Careful, it can be hot!
And trust the Taiwanese to come up with a little catch phrase that you can use when eating your dumplings. Bet you never heard it before. (English translation my own.)
轻轻提 Pick up lightly
慢慢移 Shift it slowy
掀开窗 Open the window
后品汤 Enjoy the broth
夹姜丝 Pick up the ginger
一口尝 Enjoy the dumplings
Each Din Tai Fung Xiao Long Bao supposedly weights 21 grams (+/-0.4grams) and has 18 folds. Go count them!
Din Tai Fung (Taipei 101)
Basement 1F, No.45, Shifu Rd., Xinyi Dist., Taipei City 110, Taiwan (R.O.C.) Tel:02-8101-7799
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 9:30pm (Sun-Thu), 11:00am – 10:00pm (Fri-Sat)
Din Tai Fung Singapore branches: Paragon, Tampines Mall, Raffles City, 313@Somerset, Marina Bay Link Mall, Junction 8, Wisma Atria, Jurong Point, Resorts World Sentosa, NEX, 112 Katong, Marina Bay Sands
Other Xiao Long Bao Entries
Shanghai Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant
Paradise Dynasty (Ion Orchard)
Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant (Plaza Singapura)
The Eastern Restaurant (Centrepoint)
Noodle Star (Bugis Village)