3.202 Xiaolongbao

Cycle 3 – Item 202

25 (Wed) July 2012



Din Tai Fung

-Myeong, Jung, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with the Family

Din Tai Fung is a Chinese restaurant chain.  Based in Taiwan, the company has numerous branches throughout Asia, 5 in Korea, as well as a few in the United States and in Australia.  Accolades abound – notably, the three Hong Kong branches have each received a Michelin star, one in 2009 and the other two in 2010; and back in 1993, the New York Times ranked Din Tai Fung as one of the world’s top ten restaurants – primarily based on the fame of their most famous dish: xiaolongbao.

Located in Myeong-Dong, near the Chinese Embassy – which is odd, considering the restaurant’s Taiwanese base.
I admire the confidence of a restaurant that builds a waiting lounge, anticipating lines of customers; indeed, the lounge was full by the time we left.
We snagged the last table, near the restrooms.

Alas, the xialongbao at Din Tai Fung Korea wasn’t that great.  The skin was dense without being chewy.  Even the swirled construction was a bit shoddy.  The pork filling was dry and crumbly.  The broth was more oily than soupy.   9,000 won + 10% VAT for 10.  While I don’t doubt that Din Tai Fung branches elsewhere have rightly earned their acclaim, the one in Korea didn’t deliver on the reputation.



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