So with the hype of Din Tai Fung, it was only a matter of time before I dropped in for a visit and Stef kindly joined me as we had a whizz quick bang catch up over a mid week lunch.
Knowing in advance there would be queues, we planned to get there just before midday. I was slightly delayed by a last minute phone call (why did I pick up the phone?) and a lack of directions. I knew it was L4 but the lift in Emporium tookk me to L4 and it the Myer store. Stef rescued me with a message directing me to L3 and to take the escalator at one end of the Food Court by Jimmy Grants so I found myself there and she'd already taken a ticket and was reviewing the tick sheet where we place our order.
It's pretty efficient in spite of queues and people. We were told 10 minutes but in reality it was less than that and we were guided through to find our table. The dining room is vast and we walk past table after table of dumpling diners. There are also some private dining rooms with large table so I wonder if bookings are taken; likely for large groups I'd imagine.
A plastic chair cover is slipped over the back of Stef's chair to protect her coat, our order slip is whisked away and our cutlery arrives and is arranged with the efficiency of a Swiss train guard. There's no real personal interaction but who needs a smile when all we want are dumplings!
The Hot and Sour Soup arrives first and it looks appetising with lots of content. The white pepper is on one side so it does need a good stir to balance everything. Less sour and not that spicy, it still manages to be flavoursome and there's plenty of egg, fungus, bits of meat. It's pretty good and comforting for the Melbourne Winter.
- Shrimp and Pork Wonton with Tangy Sauce
- Shrimp and Pork Shao Mai
- Pork Dumpling / Xiao Long Bao
- Cha Jiang Noodle with Minced Pork
- Water Spinach with Garlic - unpictured
Have to say we were impressed with it all from the snowy white xiao long bao, dainty and pretty to the unusually shaped funnel like shao mai. Our dish of water spinach was green and fresh with a hefty dose of garlic just how I like it. The noodles were springy in texture and the minced pork topping nicely seasoned.
The only thing we didn't like were the wontons in the tangy sauce. The wantons themselves were good but the sauce had a note of Sichuan pepper and neither Stef or I like that flavour so I'd forget them next time but would try something else - perhaps something fried or some jiao zhi.
And the good news - no bad meat filling side effects for me! Was that TMI?