Some background about Dai Tai Fung. It started as a humble street food vendor in Taiwan and it has mastered the art of dumpling folding. In 1993, NY Times named Din Tai Fung one of the "top ten gourmet restaurants in the world." Subsequently, in 2010, Din Tai Fung's Hong Kong branch was awarded one Michelin star - marking Taiwanese soup dumplings (aka xiao long bao) on the international map as a destination for global gourmet cuisine. Din Tai Fung is now a successful international franchise with a presence in over 12 countries.
Din Tai Fung Chatswood is located within Chatswood Westfield Shopping Centre and it offers a spacious light-filled dining environment. With seats for up to 120, this is Australia's biggest Din Tai Fung restaurant.
There was an impressive queue of people already waiting, even though it was only 11:30 am in the morning. The place was already buzzing with a steady stream of diners. This is a much-loved family restaurant on the North Shore and there is something for everyone.
They have an extensive menu and even offer a banquet option for larger groups. The large open kitchen allows us to watch all the flair and finesse of the chefs at work while we wait for our table.
Once we were seated, we order a watermelon juice and a bubble milk tea to kick off the meal. Bubble tea is a Taiwanese tea-based drink invented in the 1980s. It contains milk tea and toppings, known as "pearls", such as chewy tapioca balls, fruit jelly, sago or puddings. It is becoming Sydney's new favourite sweet drink.
The red and gold colour combination represents lucky colours in Asian culture, with red symbolising good fortune and happiness, and gold for good luck. The red dumpling dough is also made from all-natural vegetable ingredients.
The Good Fortune dumplings were filled with decadent wagyu beef and have a distinctive black truffle taste.
Since we were here, it was a perfect opportunity to revisit our favourite Din Tai Fung signature dishes.
Signature Pork Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) $14.90 (8pcs)
I don't think we can visit Din Tai Fung without ordering their signature soup dumplings. The Michelin-star standard ensures the dumpling skin is consistently thin like fine silk and can reliably hold a large volume of broth with meaty, umami and fragrant filling.
Each dumpling is formed with precisely 18 folds. This number 18 has great significance, it means 'to get rich.' And each dumpling weighs between 20.8 and 21.2 grams and is steamed for exactly three minutes. This commitment to precision is the reason Din Tai Fung was once described as having 'the world's tastiest dumplings'.
The result is fresh, delicious dumplings that are loved by locals and visitors alike.
This is another popular vegetarian dish. Din Tai Fung really know how to spice dishes with more flavours to keep drawing in the crowds. The secret is their addictive spicy sauce that makes a great accompaniment to these juicy vegetarian wontons.
It was a delicious dish and one that will have you asking for seconds.
The green bean was fresh and juicy. It also wasn't too oily or soggy. The quick deep-fry technique preserves the lovely green colour of the green bean, while the minced pork and dried shrimp toppings enhanced the flavour.
This was an outstanding dish full of strong, balanced flavours. We ordered this so we could have our daily vegetable serving.
Egg fried rice is a simple Chinese dish but it is difficult to get right but Din Tai Fung nailed it perfectly. Their Egg Fried Rice is made using short-grain rice which gives it a chewy bite. The rice is very fluffy and fragrant.
The crumbed chicken cutlet deserves a special mention because it is tender and thoroughly marinated. Heavy on flavour and finger-licking good!
Head into a Din Tai Fung store between the 23rd January and 9th February 2020 to try these Good Fortune dumpling for yourself! The limited-edition dumplings are available for $21.60 (5pc), or customers can choose a budget-friendly option, without gold leaf flakes, for $16.80 (5pc).
Din Tai Fung Australia has pledged $10,000 to support Australian bushfire victims and is encouraging their customers to donate to FOODBANK Australia. This is a good cause to spread generosity and love to those in need.