My first stop after checking into my hotel in Taipei was to grab lunch at Din Tai Fung. Din Tai Fung is most famous for their soup dumplings aka Xiao Long Bao. The first original shop is located on Da’an Street in Taipei. Due to it’s popularity, there are many branches not only around Taipei, but also all over the world. Unfortunately, one hasn’t made it to New York yet. I stopped by their Zhongxiao Branch which was just 2 blocks away from my hotel.
There are 10 pieces with one order of Xiao Long Bao. In addition, I also ordered a bowl of hot and sour soup and a small dish of sauteed sugar pea shoots with garlic. First, the dumplings were delicious. The wrapper was so thin, yet sturdy enough to not break when you like it up with your chopsticks. They come piping hot, so if you don’t want to scald your tongue with the juices inside the dumpling, let them cool just a little bit. The hot and sour soup was just okay; it wasn’t sour enough or spicy enough. The pea shoots sauteed with just some fresh garlic were perfect.
If I closed my eyes and just listened to the table conversations next to me, I swear I was in Japan. Din Tai Fung is quite popular with Japanese tourist, and all the servers speak Japanese fluently. In addition to Chinese and English the menus also have Japanese.
Din Tai Fung, Taipei Zhongxiao Branch, No. 218, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Rd., Da’an District, Taipei City (Alley 216)