This Taiwanese restaurant is fast gaining popularity, so we gave it a try. There’s one in SM North EDSA, which is our go-to Mall, next to Trinoma.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS AT DIN TAI FUNG
I was impressed by their queue system.
The first digit of the number codes represents how many people in a group were waiting in line to eat. So, because we were a family of 5, our number started with 5.
DIN TAI FUNG INTERIORS: BRIGHT AND AIRY
The place has an airy feel with its high ceiling and white walls. Interiors were elegant, specially the ceiling. Look at those magnificent chandeliers! (And my handsome boys! 🥰)
The tables and chairs are adequately spaced, though I would have preferred each cluster to be more far from one another. It still felt just a teeny weeny cramped. For our group, there’s an extra chair with a provision for our packages, like a mailbox, but made with canvas. The server said there’s also a provision under the table to hang my bag, but I wasn’t able to use it because I groped for it but can’t find it. (sorry, no pictures)
The place is fully lit with bright white lights, which I absolutely love, because I want to see clearly what I’m eating. Nice!
EATING AT DIN TAI FUNG
Din Tai Fung is famous for their XiaLongBao or soup dumplings. They’re extremely proud of it.
Before serving them, we even had to go through a “lesson” on how to properly eat them, which the server taught us. You have to pick up each XiaoLongBao with the chopsticks, dip it into the sauce, dump it into the Chinese spoon, and slurp its soup before eating the whole lot. We told the server to leave the card of instructions with us, just in case we didn’t get what she said.
For appetiser, we had their Sautéed String Beans, which I loved. The string beans were fresh with just the right amount of crispiness, not hard to chew or swallow. It was seasoned perfectly!
Din Tai Fung’s Steamed Shrimp and Pork Shao Mai is a beauty to behold. In reality, though, it’s just siomai with shrimp on top. But of course, it has a distinct taste and texture that’s entirely Din Tai Fung’s.
Their Hot and Sour Soup is not too sour for my taste, unlike many soups of this kind. It’s delicious and easy on the stomach.
For our main meal, we had their Shrimp Fried (Brown) Rice. It isn’t oily and it’s full of shrimps! We also had their Sweet and Sour Pork and Hot Garlic Spareribs.
My favourite, though, is their Crispy Beef Strips. It’s crunchy, it’s tasty, with just the right amount of sauce clinging to the meat.
For dessert, we tried their Chocolate Lava XiaoLongBao and Golden Lava Salted Egg Yolk Buns, which are a twist to the usual Buchi.
I love that their cutlery is made of thick, sturdy stainless steel. Their plates, however, are small. Not dinner plates, but more of pica pica plates. Their servers were courteous, clean-looking, respectful, and eager to give us the best service they can provide.
THE RESTROOM AT DIN TAI FUNG
Whenever we eat out, I always see to it to visit the restroom because I believe every paying customer deserves a clean and functional restroom.
Din Tai Fung has one open restroom with cubicles for women, men and persons with disabilities, which is a plus point. The area is clean with newly-installed toilet and sink facilities – but not too private for my liking. I mean, anyone from the men’s or PWD section can come out from their cubicle still zipping up their pants or ogling at me while I’m in front of the mirror!
Hmm… Maybe this restroom design was meant to make us more conscious of how we do our business at the toilet in a public restaurant? (Still… there are the smell and sounds when using the restroom which can easily be shared to other users who may not want to smell or hear such things, right? Oh, well.)
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE IN DIN TAI FUNG
The only thing that did not impress me is their system of checking out or paying our bill. The customer had to line up to the cashier to pay for our not-so-cheap meal. Why? I’m really racking my brains out, thinking of the logic behind this, but I just can’t understand it.
For a restaurant which boasts of a Michelin star, of international renown and charges premium prices, it was, admittedly, a huge disappointment for me.
I mean, I HAD BEEN feeling extra special, being properly served and fed with delicious food – only to be told to line up and pay for our meal at the end of it all.
Our overall dining experience in Din Tai Fung could have been perfect if not for that. The restroom issue is minor compared to this.
TRY OUT DIN TAI FUNG
Anyway, do try out Din Tai Fung for their sumptuous food.
If only for that, it’s worth your time, your money, the not-so-private restroom, and lining up to the cashier to pay.