Article By Eugene Lombard
1F-44, Gpark, No.22, Xing Huo Road.
(029) 6566 2787
11:00am – 9:30pm
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 120RMB
I’m not always the most adventurous person when it comes to trying different foods. In fact, I’m fairly easily pleased when served a bowl of beef noodles or digging into lamb kebabs at kaorou. But when asked if I’d like to try xiao long bao, I said yes without hesitation. What awaited me was a culinary journey into the finest dishes Zhejiang cuisine has to offer.
Din Tai Fung restaurant is a hidden gem located in the G Park shopping complex. With restaurants located throughout various cities across the globe- Los Angeles, Sydney, London and Kuala Lumpur to name but a few – it’s great having a world-renowned restaurant right here in our very own world class city, Xi’an. I’m a big fan of Chinese cuisine and I’ve tried many delectable dishes but this was a totally new food experience for me.
The first thing you’ll notice when entering the restaurant is the very friendly and helpful staff. We were well taken care of the minute we set foot in the restaurant. The staff are incredibly knowledgeable and are at the ready to advise you on any questions you may have. Special attention to detail is given throughout the service. From serving you tea, talking about the different dishes and serving the food.
Din Tai Fung show a lot of pride in their dishes and the hard work that goes into producing them. This is evident in the stories they tell about each and every dish. Ingredients are sourced from all over China, carefully selected to create amazing flavor combinations.
They are very well known for their xiao long bao (小笼包) or “small basket buns” named for the bamboo baskets (long笼子) they’re steamed and served in. The buns get stuffed with soup and a variety of fillings ranging from crab, chicken to pork and truffle. Fun fact, each xiao long bao has 18 folds (you can count them!) and weighs 21 grams.
With quite an extensive menu, they do offer more than just steamed buns. The menu is available in English and pictures of all the dishes are available.
Throughout the evening our cutlery was exchanged on the regular. The reason being, at Din Tai Fung they believe the change of dishes should be celebrated and therefore each new meal is treated as a small ceremony. Hence the need for new cutlery.
We tried an assortment of dishes, all highly recommended by our friendly waiter. In order of light to rich. We started off with spicy pickled cucumber, Din Tai Fung – a house special invented by the founder’s wife, Kao Fu – and sweet and sour pork spareribs. Followed by chicken soup, hot and sour soup – absolutely delicious – stir fried green peas and river shrimp and fried rice -the house specialty. We slowly moved on to the hearty stuff, the xiao long bao. We tried pork; truffle and pork; and pork and crab – all served with soy sauce and ginger. The xiao long bao were followed by steamed pork and shrimp shaomai, and ended off with vegetable and ground pork wanton soup, which I’ll definitely be going back for.
We ended off a splendid meal with a creamy almond jelly shaved ice dessert, an ice cream-styled jelly or jelly-styled ice cream. Either way, it was delicious! An excellently fresh dessert for both those with or without a sweet tooth it is also a very popular dish on the menu. It uses almond nuts from both Northern and Southern China to create a very unique flavor. They make limited portions per day, so you are advised to arrive early if you want to try this dessert.
The dishes vary in price, depending on the ingredients used, but are still affordable. They definitely cater for everyone’s pocket. It’s the perfect spot for a light lunch, quick after work bite, or a luxurious birthday dinner.
To summarize, Din Tai Fung was a memorable experience and an experience I’d like to revisit in the near future. There is so much to choose from. Each dish a culinary voyage, made so much more enjoyable by the wonderful and colorful stories. I can highly recommend this restaurant. Whether you’re a first timer like me or want to indulge in familiar flavors, you won’t be disappointed.
Eugene is an avid city cyclist living in Xi’an. If not cycling he’s drinking coffee or beer.
If you give this a try, let us know about your experience by messaging us at firstname.lastname@example.org.