A visit to Taipei would not have been complete without dropping by the famous Taiwanese restaurant chain, Din Tai Fung. According to resources online, this chain that has various branches around the world including Thailand, Malaysia and even Australia! However, their roots began in Taiwan, with their first restaurant in Xinyi Road. Therefore, we decided to visit it together with our friends Nino and Lily from Taipei. A drawback about this branch is that it’s not easily accessible via MRT. We took the train to Da’an Station and then a cab to the restaurant. Thankfully, it didn’t take too long and I remember paying around NTD70+ for the cab ride (~RM7+). It would be quite impossible to miss this restaurant since there was an extremely long queue at the entrance! Thanks to Lily and Nino for arriving earlier, we spared ourselves the need to queue up and went straight to our table.
Since Lily had already ordered, we didn’t wait too long before our first dish arrived. The Drunken Chicken was served cold, with a strong Chinese wine aroma. The chicken was smooth and tender, bursting with wine flavour upon each bite. It was the perfect appetizer dish that got us wanting more food.
Xiao Long Bao (Steamed Dumplings)
Of course, dining in Din Tai Fung is synonymous with eating Xiao Long Bao. I have heard multiple stories of how the Xiao Long Bao in Taipei is different from the ones in Malaysia, but both Saucer and I thought they were actually pretty similar! The skin was thin, they were meticulously wrapped and there was no leakage of broth. I’d say their quality control is across borders because we certainly enjoyed the Xiao Long Bao in KL too. I could never get over the fact of slurping warm and tasty soup enclosed within a delicate pocket, topped with some slices of ginger and vinegar. We could easily finish a few baskets on our own!
For something more substantial, we shared a dish of Fried Rice as well. Even though fried rice is a simple dish to prepare, it takes a lot of skill to make it outstanding. The rice was fluffy and delicious, with every morsel evenly coated with a sheen of golden egg yolk. It’s amazing how a simple dish like this can satisfy even the most picky eaters.
Hot and Sour Soup
Our final dish from Din Tai Fung was the Hot and Sour Soup, which was a nice welcome during the cold and rainy season of Taipei. While I enjoyed the sour and slightly spicy flavour of the soup, Saucer didn’t quite like the starchy texture. To me, the starchy texture gave it more substance and a creamy finish, which my stomach didn’t mind at all during the cold weather. The soup was filled with plenty of bean curd shreds and mushrooms, making it a good candidate for comfort food.
Strawberry Shaved Ice Dessert
After dinner, we took a walk nearby and Lily brought us to a street food stall that sold desserts! I was absolutely attracted to the Strawberry Shaved Ice that was displayed in a poster in front of the stall and had to order it even though it was freezing cold that night. I was amazed by the generous amount of strawberries used in the dessert, most of which were sweet and juicy! They were topped on finely shaved ice drizzled with what I assumed to be condensed milk. Yes it was a sinful combination, but one that I did not regret!
Herbal Jelly dessert
As usual, Saucer with his health-conscious mode went for the hot Herbal Jelly dessert which looked quite similar to the ones offered in Snowflake. It was filled with taro balls, sweet potato, kidney beans and longan, among others, soaked in thick and concentrated herbal jelly soup. The portions served were so huge that we couldn’t finish both our desserts in the end!
with the gorgeous Lily
That night, we talked and talked without realizing that it was getting late. It’s incredible how well we clicked considering it was the first time we met each other! The power of blog and twitter have certainly made the world smaller and the people closer. We would like to thank Lily and Nino for their amazing hospitality and the delicious dinner at Din Tai Fung that night!
Group picture (Nino is shy)
Din Tai Fung Taipei Xinyi Restaurant
No. 194, Sec. 2, Xinyi Rd., Da-an District,
Taipei City (entrance of Yunkang St.), Taiwan.
Tel No.: 02-2321-8928
Fax : 02-2321-5958
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri (10:00~21:00), Sat & Holidays (09:00~21:00)
*Note: Read the rest of my Taiwan Escapade here!