We - me, Fish and Hui had the bestest dinner ever at Din Tai Fung in World Square, Sydney. I have read a lot of reviews about this place and have been there around 6 times since its opening. But this meal was the best. Some reviewers complain about the waiting time. I admit, the waiting time is long, but there are ways to circumvent it. Dinner service starts at 5pm. If i am going there for dinner, i try to leave my house latest by 4:30pm. I reach there for an early dinner around 5:30pm. There are some people waiting, but i never had to wait for more than 1/2 hr. However, if you do decide to come later, the restaurant is full and the crowd outside waiting starts to ballon at around 6pm. It looks like there's a party going on outside the restaurant. It is that packed. Luckily, the waiting area outside is very big and airy. They provide tea and have heaters for cold nights. So, go early and solve waiting problems - i have never felt hungry later in the night. =)
There are some dishes that are staples, that we definitely order. Appetizers. We will surely order the - i dun remember exactly what it is called - something like "Vegetarian Delight"?. Anyway, you can't miss it. It has improved since their opening. The portion is larger and it is served colder and better. The other dish you see on the left consists of soft tofu, pork floss and century egg. We only eat this if hui comes along because we wouldn't be able to finish. It tastes really light and great with the floss and century egg. Although we do think that more century egg is needed for it is a huge slice of tofu. =)
Next we have another staple. Pork and Vegetable dumplings in a concoction of chilli oil and vinegar maybe? Anyway, it tastes damn good! One of my favourite dishes! I actually ordered 2 bowls of this. HaHa.. The dumplings are well shaped. I don't think you can see from here, but each dumpling has a loop where you can hold it with using your chopsticks. I highly recommend this dish. It has the right amount of spiciness and sourness. I don't, but hui and fish uses the mixture to add to their rice and noodles. Delicious!
I usually have fried rice, but today i decided that i will go for noodles. I tried their Braised Beef Noddle Soup. The soup looks oily, but it is really light and delicate in flavour. This is not a soup for those who like robust and strong flavours. Although one might be still able to appreciate it. The beef falls apart at the light press of the chopsticks. I love the soup and because i don't eat much meat, i gave them to hui and fish. However, i don't really like their noodles. This is just me because Fish obviously loves their noodles. So since he was still hungry, he had 1/2 of my noodles and the beef and the three of us shared the remaining soup.
This is what i usually eat. Fried Rice with Chicken Chop. I first ate their fried rice in Singapore and loved it. They cook it a little different here, but i can't really compare as it has been a while since i ate the one at Singapore. The chicken is crispy and nicely fried. The fried rice is well fried and delicate in flavour. I usually use their chilli which is like chilli flakes in chilli oil. Tastes good together and i just love it. =)
And of course, we definitely have to eat the Xiao Long Bao. With hui, we order 2 baskets, if not, we only order 1. It has 6 dumplings in a basket which is different to the one in Singapore as you can choose to have regular or large (as in the number of dumplings, not the size). I love their dumpling. I have never once broken a dumpling before - the trick is to hold it at it thickest portion, which is where all the folds are. I don't like vinegar and ginger, so i can't say anything about that. =)
This is the first time we tried this. Well, it tastes good obviously, but i think the next time we can skip it and try something else. It didn't make that much of an impact and since fish don't like prawns, the chances of eating this again are slim. =)
I have been waiting the whole night to eat this!! Aren't they just the cutest?! I ate this the last time and fell in love with it! Inside has soft mashed taro, a deep lavender color which tastes so good. The thickness of the skin can be tasted when you bite into it and it's perfect! Since i don't like sweet sweet items too much, this was perfect - you could taste the fragrance of the taro and it is accompanied by a lovely mild sweetness. I loved it so much, i ordered another basket to take away, which i had for breakfast the next day, but its still best eaten fresh. Heavenly!
Shi Hui took away the red bean version - but i have no idea how it tastes cause i have not had the chance to ask her. But i think it would still be really good!
How tantalising does this look?! OMG. Just looking at it makes me so totally wanna go back and eat again! Click on it to get a big big close up picture - i betcha you will so totally wanna eat it!
All in all. This was a wonderful meal, we all had a good time and definitely good eat. =) There were some dishes that i neglected to take photos of though, like the zha jiang mian that fish ate cause he started eating it so fast and the food were all arriving so i had to start eating and stop taking pictures!!
The service is wonderful there. We Chinese are different from Caucasians in a way that we don't like to place our bags on the floor - there is nothing more i hate. Imagine my disgust when i saw 3 Caucasians who were eating at Yishun Coffee Shop and they just threw their bags on the floor which is so so so dirty!! I could never never bring myself to do that. Here, they have - i don't know what to call them - like baskets (pretty ones) where they place next to you for you to put your belongings in and they cover it with a piece of dark red cloth. Also, if you have jackets which you place over the back of your seat, they have a cover, also in dark red to cover over your jacket just in case if any unfortunate incidents were to happen. =)
Some find the service a little too overwhelming and pushy. Maybe just a little - but still very very good service - i kinda feel like they have one waiter per table and a head waiter for each area. One of the services i have experienced - though the waitress that was serving us seem to be new - still friendly nonetheless albeit a little blur. =)
This meal was much more expensive than what it would normally costs. For 3 huge eaters - AUD$125. Usually me and fish eat for less than $45 but it was sort of a special occasion and we were really hungry - so..you know. =)
Definitely be going back and eating more of their delicious foods!!