I’m back to complete the very delayed final part of my trip to Hong Kong . Although it was the last day, I had to say the meal was one of my favorites of the trip. I’m a big fan of anything wrapped in carbohydrate -ravioli, cream puffs, and various dim sums – so it was not a big surprise that I immediately fell in love with the ever so famous Din Tai Fung. Din Tai Fung is a chain of restaurant originated in Taiwan, specializing in Xiao Long Bao, or a bite-sized culinary delight as I would like to call it. For those of you who may not be familiar with this delicacy, its pretty much a dumpling that has soup inside. As you bite a small whole on the noodle, you slowly savor the flavorful soup that gushes out into your spoon, before enjoying the whole thing in one mouthful. Ahhh, just thinking about it makes me hungry!!
One thing that I need to warn you about this place is the long line. Considering the HK branch was just awarded one Michelin star for 2011, it was not too much of a surprise that we had to wait almost 30 minutes at 11.30 am. The first thing I lovde about this place was its cleanliness; and despite the huge crowd of hungry patrons, we were able to have our own sense of personal space and to enjoye our lunch without getting elbowed by the people at the next table every 5 minutes. The second thing I loved was the easy to navigate menu, since it has branches all over the world, we benefited from the pictures and English translations on the menu.
But, of course, the thing I enjoyed the most was the food. Not only was I fascinated by the sight of chefs working their magic in their steam-filled glass kitchen, I was very pleasantly surprised by how seriously they took their food – out of all the various xiao long baos we ordered, one was filled with truffle, in which we were given a separate spoon just to eat! The server politely instructed us to use the clean spoon for the truffle in order to prevent flavor contamination from other dishes. And, boy, wasn’t I glas that I listened! Because those little dumplings were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
Apart from their specialty, other dishes were very tasty as well. I thought the huge chunk of cucumbers tossed in garlic and chilli was very refreshing and a nice break from other heavy dishes. The mini taro and red bean dumplings were also good, but by that time i was a little bored of dumplings already and wished for something a little more refreshing.
You know what the best part is about Din Tai Fung though? They are opening at Central World in Thailand this year. So, soon, there will no longer be an international flight in the way of me and my dumplings!
Before I end this series of HK entries, I would like to add some pictures of Jean Paul Hevin macarons. Everytime I travel outside of Thailand, I always buy Macarons since they seem to be a little more available abroad. Or should I say they used to be more available else where, because Thailand now has seemed to pick up on this trend, better late that Never, right? Anyways, since there is no Laduree or Pierre Herme in HK either, I went to Jean Paul Hevin instead. I’m a fan of their chocolate macarons, their fillings are always very rich and chocolatey. I actually like their chocolate macarons more than Laduree’s. But for other flavors, they are not my favorites. What I really loved was their packaging though. It was so travel-friendly and my delicate macarons arrived home with me in perfect condition! (Not always the case with Laduree or Herme’s)
Din Tai Fung
3/F, Shop 130, Silvercord,
30 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Jean Paul Hevin
Bar à Chocolat et Boutique
Shop 2045A, ifc mall, Central, Hong Kong
Shop 212, Ocean Centre,
Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Shop 309, Times Square,
Causeway Bay,Hong Kong