Din Tai Fung
From a dying cooking oil store to a restaurant selling dumplings and noodles in the 1970’s, Bingyi Yang, the founder of Din Tai Fung has gone a long way to transform his restaurant into a recognized international brand.
Originated from Taiwan, Din Tai Fung has garnered many awards that include the prominent “Top 10 Restaurants in the World” by New York Times. Their renowed steamed dumplings, Xiao Long Bao is claimed to be the best in Asia. With over 60 chain restaurants operating in 10 countries, how does it keep up with the standard?
Having been to Din Tai Fung in Taiwan and Singapore, we are here in KL Pavilion to see how their standard differs with their counterparts.
Din Tai Fung is finely decorated on its interiors and offers a modern and classic Chinese-style atmosphere.
It is not just popular among expats and tourists, the locals love it as well. Though the restaurant is always crowded, their service remains hospitable and friendly.
At Din Tai Fung, the selection and processing of ingredients, the cooking as well as table service must meet the strict standards.
Many of the processes are quantified. For example, in the making of dumplings, every single dough is cut out into an identical pieces with a weight tolerance of less than 3%. That means every dough has to be weighed on the scale before proceeding to the next process.
Din Tai Fung is popularly chosen by the tourists for its authentic Shanghainese servings. The menu shows an authentic Chinese selection covering a great variety of soups and noodles with other recipes.
As you see below, the plate presentation is quite simple. Same goes to the ingredients used. This is what Din Tai Fung excels in: using simple ingredients to create tasty food.
There are so many sumptuous dishes available but nothing beats the famous Xiao Long Bao that almost every table is getting it.
From making and rolling a dough to stuffing the meat and closing it with 18 exquisite folds, there are 6 precise steps to go into making a perfect piece of Xiao Long Bao.
When the dumplings are served piping hot, to get the perfect good taste, dip it with specially-mixed soy sauce and vinegar (1 to 4 ratio), put some sliced ginger and then bite from the top and slowly eat the meat and drink the juice. A lot of people are puzzled over where the abundance of juice comes from. It is actually produced from the premium minced pork during the steaming process.
When you look closer, the skin is translucent and that tells you how thin the skin is and how tough it is to hold the meat and juice inside. Since the juice is the essence of this finely-made cuisine, if the skin is broken when served at your table, the staff is more than willing to replace a new one for you.
After trying the Xiao Long Bao in KL Pavilion, we can’t distinguish the taste from those we tried in Taiwan and Singapore. They are all as good.
The price for the 6-pc Xiao Long Bao is RM10.90.
One thing about Din Tai Fung that we like is the healthy ingredients that they use. This vegetable salad is light and refreshing and costs only RM5.8. The mild sweet and sour aftertaste truly makes for a perfect appetizer.
For many Chinese chefs, to test the skill of their apprentice is to get him to prepare a plate of fried rice with egg. In Din Tai Fung, the fried rice prepared by the chefs is upheld in very high standard. The chefs have to go through strict training to ensure they are able to produce the same taste with the high-grade Japanese pearl rice.
Besides cooking the rice with the right water proportion, the chef has to gauge the oil temperature before the frying process. After frying the rice for a certain amount of time, he has to decide how many eggs to put in as they are varying in size. The quality of scallions play a part and only the finest section is used. If there are too many orders for fried rice, the chef will only cook the portion for 3-4 person at one time. Each process is quantified to ensure the quality is not compromised.
The result is every piece of rice is well separated with the egg bringing out the full aroma of the perfect fried rice. Quality wise, we can’t tell the difference from the Taiwan’s and Singapore’s counterparts.
A traditional Chinese meal normally comes with 3 dishes and one soup. The ingredients for the signature chicken is simple without adding fancy stuff. Each pot contains selected premium fresh chicken, special rice wine, salt and simmered to perfection over six hours. The taste is simple but homely like the one we tasted in Singapore. This dish is priced at RM13.8.
This dish is translated as Noodle with Minced Pork in Bean Sauce. The meat sauce is compatible with the one we tried in other countries but the noodle is not. The noodles are supposed to be handmade but it is not here so the springy texture is not as good. Nonetheless, it is a nice bowl of noodles.
Jeff: An international award-winning restaurant. We are focusing on our brand and quality and committed to satisfying our customers.
Jeff: We would not say that shoppers prefer Din Tai Fung over others as every restaurant has its own unique selling point. However, we believe that our customers trust us because of our brand and quality. Quality refers to both food and service.
Jeff: We have a very strict SOP which we do not compromise on. We are also consistently upgrading ingredients. For instance, we have recently switched our soya sauce is a naturally brewed variety. It is our commitment to our customers to offer them the best dining experience.
Jeff: Quality service is key to this industry. We have our own internal system of training. We send our staff to Taiwan’s headquarter for extra training and our Taiwanese franchisor also send their staff to Malaysia to strengthen our system and impart Din Tai Fung’s unique service culture to us.
Jeff: We will not be expanding at the expense of food quality and will only embark on expansion when we have prepared amply for it.
Din Tai Fung at Mid Valley is located in the lower ground floor at The Gardens Mall. To get there by train transport, you can exit at Mid Valley KTM station that’ll drop you at the Mid Valley Megamall. The Gardens Mall is just adjacent to the Mid Valley Megamall and takes you a few minutes walk to reach.
Pavilion is located in the Bukit Bintang area and is about 6mins walk from the Bukit Bintang monorail station. Once you are in the mall, take the elevator to the 6th floor and walk to the far end to see the prominent “Din Tai Fung” sign.
This shopping center is not easily accessible without a car. Getting there by taxi or a private car is the most convenient way. Din Tai Fung is located at the ground floor.
47500 Subang Jaya, Malaysia
Again, the most convenient way to get to Empire Shopping Gallery is by taxi or a private car. Din Tai Fung is located at the ground level.
Train transport is not available at One Utama. The best public transport to get there is by taxi.