Taiwan is known for their soup dumplings and the infamous place to have them is Din Tai Fung. This Michelin star restaurant is known for it’s soup dumplings and is now popping up all across the globe.
This post isn’t about any of those locations though. It’s about the flagship store at Dongmen station in Taipei, Taiwan.
They even have a soup dumpling mascot by the door at each of their restaurants for you to take photos with 🙂
From what I know, the menu at all their locations are the same. Although they are known for their soup dumplings, this isn’t all they serve here. They also offer a variety of appetizers, noodle soups, rice dishes, and entrees. I wouldn’t leave without getting at least a steamer or two of soup dumplings though.
One of my favorite thing about restaurants is when they have an open kitchen so you can get a look into their daily operations. At all the Din Tai Fung locations I have been to in Taiwan, they always have a clear glass for you to look into the back of the house.
Here, dumpling “masters” as they call them, roll out and wrap each individual soup dumpling to order. I can’t even begin to imagine how much time and effort each dumpling master put into perfecting their skills.
Surprisingly so, each dumpling master had their own task. Some rolled out the dough, some shaped it, some filled them, some wrapped them and some put them into the steamers. This reminded me of an assembly line and they worked so quickly together! I could watch them all day!
Upon being seated at the restaurant, you are presented with your cutlery, tea and a small dish with shredded ginger in it. This will be used as your dipping sauce.
If you have no idea how to mix your dipping sauce or eat your soup dumplings, no worries because they have a pamphlet explaining it all to you!
Old bean and I decided to get two baskets of soup dumplings and call it a meal since we had already eaten all day before this so we were too full to have any more than this.
We started with a veggie dumpling. It had silk melon on the inside. As you can see, the dough of each dumpling is super thin. So much so that you can see the filling inside. This helps identify what type of dumpling you have.
These weren’t as flavorful as ones with meat would be but they were tasty nevertheless. The silk melon gave them an interesting flavor contrast though because they were a little on the slimy side for lack of better words.
Next we decided to get the pork and crab roe dumplings. To help identify the dumplings, they put a crab on the steamer basket. Ingenious if you ask me.
As you can see, the dumpling is packed with filling on the inside. The dumpling was juicy and tender. I’ve had quite a few soup dumplings in my life but these were definitely one of the best I’ve had. It’s less so about the flavor of them and more about how delicate they all were. Despite the fact that they had such a thin wrapper encasing the dense filling and soup, they were still able to hold together. The thinness of the dough helped emphasize the flavor of the filling because you don’t end up just tasting the dough!
And at the end of your meal if you’re up for dessert, they offer chocolate filled soup dumplings as well! We weren’t adventurous enough to try these though. Would you be up to try them?
Want to read more about my Taiwan food adventure? Start with reading about my visit to the Shilin night market.