Did you know that Din Tai Fung used to be an oil shop? Yes! Back in 1972, when oil was on sale, Din Tai Fung plummeted, so owner Bingyi and his wife turned half of the shop towards making and selling dumplings. Business took off and soon, Din Tai Fung became a full-fledge restaurant it is known today.
Such an inspiring story no?
I learned about Din Tai Fung’s humble beginnings back when I flew to Singapore for work last year. I did my research ‘coz I was curious with all the word-of-mouth and recommendations everyone has been giving me.
People all said, I MUST Din Tai Fung while in Singapore. Peer pressure! Heehee.
The queue wasn’t long so we immediately got a table. I can’t remember if we went early or we went late for lunch.
The earthy tones make dining cozy and idyllic.
Who needs a bag holder (remember those keychain-like thingamajigs which were a hit back in 2013 or was it 2014?!) when you have a bag caddy?! No need to get an extra chair if you’re one of the ladies whose bag just had to have its own place. Lavett!
We decided to order some of their specialties. Oriental Wontons with Black Vinegar & Chilli Oil and Noodle in Fragrant Mushroom and Minced Pork Sauce to start.
I am such a fan of spicy food. The chilli wanton has the right kick to it. It didn’t overpower the flavor of the wanton. Sakto lang.
Stir-fried Dou Miao with Garlic. We inhaled this in 60 seconds. Hihi.
Chili Crab Xiao Long Bao. Also inhaled in 60 seconds. Hihi.
Just the right amount of chili with the marriage of crab and pork, it’s one of those Xiao Long Baos that you want to eat with a bowl of steaming hot rice.
Steamed Truffle & Pork Dumplings
Thankfully, you can taste the hint of truffle. Although it would be better if it gave more truffle flavor to it.
Red Bean Xiao Long Bao
Not a fan of red bean so this is my least favorite from the dishes we ordered. Kaya nag ice cream ako after for dessert kasi tenbits! Haha.
Check out is right before you exit. So once we’re done, we got up, took our order slip and paid at the counter which is also on the same side of the entryway.
Fast-froward to a few months after and The Moment Group, the company behind Mecha Uma, 8 Cuts, Cue, Ooma and Bank Bar to name a few, got the franchise rights of Din Tai Fung here in the Philippines.
Being the curious cow that I am, while doing last minute shopping at SM Megamall over the holidays, Mr. JG & I decided to have a quick snack at Din Tai Fung.
Eh hindi pala quick bilang may bonggang queue! Hihi.
Its signature open kitchen has stairs for kids to peep. Everyone gets to see how Din Tai Fung creates their signature Xiao Long Bao with minimum of 18 delicate folds. Art ang XLB making.
The queue was long but systematic. It is grouped into pax: 1-2, 3-4. 5-6 persons or more, if I remember correctly. So no one is forced to wait until a table for a big group gets served before you, especially if you’re dining for two. Separate ang queuing, so it’s convenient for everyone.
Pila balde pero para sa Xiao Long Bao, willing to wait po! 😀
Prices are inclusive of VAT. In fairness, price is at par with Singapore DTF. Nothing above 500 per dish. Yun lang, still pricey for those with food allowance/budget like us. Deadma na, minsan lang e. Willing to spend talaga ako when it comes to food, as long as I get my money’s worth.
The interior opted for more wood than a mix of elements. Nonetheless, cozy feels pa din because of the use of soft yellow lights which lit up the entire restaurant.
Quotable quotes are found in most walls of DTF in SM Megamall. It also has a private room which I believe you can book/reserve for large groups at a certain minimum order.
Bag caddy is also enforced here in Manila. Well, well, well. Pinoy shoppers like me were thrilled that we can dump our shopping bags and bags inside without having the fear of forgetting anything upon checkout.
No bill shock here. Order list is already given even before your order arrives. VAT inclusive each dish but with 10% total bill service charge. Give na yon, efficient naman ang service nila. Galing given they’re still on soft opening.
Spicy Shrimp Wanton, P175.
It tasted similar to DTF Singapore’s Oriental Chilli Wanton. Same silky wanton wrapper folded exquisitely to our liking.
I can eat this all day, err’ day!
I just had to smother my last Spicy Shrimp Wanton with more spicy sauce. 😀
Classic Pork Xiao Long Bao, 5pcs at P160.
If you blind fold me and give me XLB from different restaurants, I honestly couldn’t tell the difference. BUT, if there’s anything, Din Tai Fung’s XLB has more meat than others which I believe gives them more flavor advantage.
Chicken Wings, P185.
Wings together with breasts are my least favorite chicken parts. Dry and walang meat kasi eeeeee. I can’t enjoy them as much as my favorite leg and thigh parts. Surprisingly, Din Tai Fung’s Chicken Wings won my heart. Crispy skin enveloped its tender meat – there’s meat in these little things after all! Extra rice please!
Din Tai Fung House Special, P155.
Cold appetizer of glass noodles, seaweed, bean curd and bean sprouts. Something unusual for my palette. Keri lang. Next time, I’ll order more dim sum na lang.
Kao Fu, P245.
Spongy gluten at its finest! I never thought I’d enjoy it. Dressed with bamboo shoots, black mushroom, and edamame. It’s something I would order again.
Check out is located on the other side of the restaurant. Strategically put! No confusions as to who enters and exits.
Prepare to shell out P500 per person (or more) if you really want to try their speciality which is the variety of Xiao Long Baos. If you’re not itching to try their XLBs and other specialties, I say wait a few weeks to line up but if you’re like me who wants to get first dibs then by all means, queue as soon as the mall opens! 😀
Would I go back to Din Tai Fung? Definitely. Am I willing to wait in long line again? Maybe.