Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hong Kong - Din Tai Fung

If dumplings are your thing, then Din Tai Fung is your place.  It's not great for much else but the dumplings definitely steal the show.  I'm not a dumpling fanatic but I always leave satisfied.  The only exception was the outlet in Singapore's Paragon.  I haven't verified this but I'm told that there is definitely a difference between a real Din Tai Fung and a franchisee and that's the reason for the variation in quality.  I've had the good fortune to try the original in Taipei and am happy to say the one in TST's Silvercord mall is pretty darn close, and a lot more comfortable.

The winning appetizer to start is the jelly fish and radish salad, julienned to be the exact same size and blanched to be almost similar in crunch too.  Tossed lightly in sesame oil, the only difference between the 2 is the taste of the sea from the jellyfish and the sweet taste of the earth from the radish.

Not to detract from the dumplings, the Xiao Long Bao(小笼包)are perfectly done.  The skin is thin but strong enough to hold a juicy meatball on the inside.  The meatball is loosely packed so as to be able to disintegrate as you pop it in your mouth, and the accompanying soup stock within the dumpling is sweet and satisfying.  Dunked in the accompanying Zhejiang or black vinegar with thin strips of young ginger, it is the perfect mouthful.

The other dumplings we like are the meat and chive dumplings in a vinegared chili oil(红油抄手).  The dumplings are a tasty combination of meat and vegetables also wrapped in a thin but firm and slightly chewy skin which pick up the sauce adequately to give it the taste and with enough heat so as not to overpower.

The other dinner is actually the fried rice with deep fried spareribs (炸猪扒炒饭).  The spareribs are competently done but what is most impressive is actually the rice.  The use of pearl rice grains means the rice is individually tasty and each grain absorbs the flavors of the frying process and firm to the bite.  The  simple accompaniments of egg and spring onions give it rough flavor for you to enjoy the rice just on its own.  If you don't like pork, there is a shrimp version which is equally good.

Stick to the favorites, and you'll have a wondrous meal here.

Shop 130, 3/F, Silvercord
30 Canton Road
Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: +852-2730 6928

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