It’s finally arrived!
My favourite Singapore restaurant has come to London and I am in dim sum nirvana.
Let me introduce you to Din Tai Fung.
For those who have had the pleasure of frequenting any of the Din Tai Fung’s around the world (and there are 160 of them), London is no different. The menu is the same, the dishes taste the same and your bags continue to be placed in a cloth covered holder for safe keeping and smartly prevent any splash resistant mishaps whilst you eat.
That’s what I call consistency.
What is noticeably different is the elegant music whilst you dine and plain plastic chopsticks are replaced by swankier grippers.
And the best bit, Din Tai Fung Henrietta Street has a bar!
The queues have been reported as being four hours long due to its, no reservation policy but if you can get there at 10:30am before it opens at 11am you are on to a winner. Whilst it’s chilled hanging in a queue in flip-flops and summer dresses in Singapore, it’s not so pleasant in the biting wind that London currently has to offer.
The interior is light and spacious, staff are friendly, welcoming and wearing a constant smile.
The chefs are proudly on display as they create fresh little works of art on a daily basis, carefully measuring and filling each piece for steaming.
But now to the food. No London establishment has so far been able to match the Din Tai Fung Singapore experience so this was a huge deal for me, not only wanting to relive the luscious flavours but to be able to share them with friends. Our selections were submitted in a jiffy with a softly spoken waitress kindly advising they have a no take-out policy, I think it was her pleasant way of telling us that we had over-ordered.
As expected, the flavours didn’t disappoint. Delightful memories of Singapore flooded my thoughts and being able to share the tastes I have excitedly chatted about was a pleasure.
The delectable dishes just kept coming, we absolutely over-ordered but as all good friends do, they reassure you that it is completely acceptable with a smart justification that it was simply a strategic move to order pretty much everything on the menu for taste testing purposes.
I was, of course, immediately convinced.
Devouring this dumpling is a great experience, with an explosion of rich, steaming, hot soup oozing onto the groove of your tongue.
~Ken Hom, The New York Times
It was a pleasure visiting the latest expansion of this international brand, Xie Xie Ni (thank you), Mr Bing-Yi Yang, for introducing me to the world’s tastiest dumplings.
You will find Din Tai Fung at 5-6 Henrietta Street, London WC2E 8PS.
And as we approach Chinese New Year and celebrate the Year of The Pig…
…Gong Xi Fa Cai!
By Nicci McShane