Finally. It’s here. Din Tai Fung, arguably the world’s most famous dumpling specialists, has opened their first venue outside of New South Wales and their biggest Australian restaurant yet at Emporium Melbourne.
Shrimp and Pork Jiao Ze
Like each venue, the restaurant features Din Tai Fung’s signature glass-enclosed dumpling kitchen. The theme of ‘yin yang’ with a mainly monochrome fit-out exudes a casual and comfortable surrounding.
The Din Tai Fung brand has earned cult status since introducing Australia to its world-class Xiao Long Bao dumplings seven years ago (2008) at its flagship World Square Sydney restaurant and it is easy to understand why.
Avocado Chocolate Swirl; Mango Tango
Pork Dumpling / Xiao Long Bao
While many Chinese restaurants serve Xiao Long Bao, Din Tai Fung’s variety are a cut above. The allure of Din Tai Fung’s legendary Xiao Long Bao lies in their gracefully delicate pastry skin enveloping rich pork-seasoned broth.
Usefully, Din Tai Fung’s staff are on hand to provide instructions on the recommended steps for consuming the Xiao Long Bao - steps which involve piercing the pastry skin to suck out the broth within and then subsequently flavouring the remaining pastry and minced pork dumpling with black vinegar and shredded ginger.
These soupy morsels may demand more effort than your run-of-the-mill pork dumpling, but we assure you - you will be rewarded.
Truffle Xiao Long Bao
An absolute show stopper was the bespoke Truffle Xiao Long Bao. The steamed pork dumplings were infused with shaved truffle and truffle oil and tasted nothing short of amazing. It was a decadent dumpling with fragrant aromas.
Water Spinach with Garlic
Shrimp and Pork Wonton with Tangy Sauce
With the extensive publicity received by Din Tai Fung’s Xiao Long Bao, the Shrimp and Pork Wontons with Tangy Sauce, which prevail in both taste and texture, can easily be overlooked. These pork and prawn filled wontons are wrapped with a blissfully silken wonton pastry and bathe in a mind-blowing concoction of chilli oil and sesame oil. Cooked with the perfect amount of heat, these wontons certainly tantalised the taste buds.
Vegetarian Jiao Ze
Shrimp and Pork Shao Mai
The Shrimp and Pork Shao Mai was yet another highlight. We loved the slightly thicker dumpling pastry which was beautiful in texture and the decadent broth accompanying the prawn topping.
Our evening at Din Tai Fung concluded on a sweet note with a duo of their most popular desserts.
Taro gelato with Golden taro Bread
The taro gelato was wonderfully creamy and went well with the taro bread which was perfectly crisp on the outside and featured gooey luscious taro on the inside.
Mango ice dessert
A towering mango slushy ice dessert, we loved the use of fresh mango with the shaved ice. It was a playful dessert which rounded out our decadent meal.
Din Tai Fung is certainly a welcomed addition to Melbourne. With its superb execution of Chinese cuisine and dumplings which are made with the same surgical-like precision that Din Tai Fung is renowned for, there is no doubt that this new outpost will soon be firmly entrenched as a Melbourne dining institution.