When I first visited Taipei back in December 2015, I fell in love with it for many reasons. The architecture is amazing. It has a superior high-tech infrastructure. And one will find countless innovations on food whether on the street or in restaurants.
What I particularly grew fond of is the little dim sum called Xiao Long Bao. It looks like an ordinary dim sum on the outside but it has a secret up its sleeve: it has soup inside. So one gets to enjoy a meaty filling and a soupy broth at the same time.
There are a lot of establishments selling such delicious treats. However, one of the most popular restaurants serving Xiao Long Bao is Din Tai Fung.
Din Tai Fung
Founded in 1958 in Taipei, Din Tai Fung became known for the Xiao Long Bao. They are known to generate massive lines outside especially when they received international accolades including Michelin Stars. Much to our delight, The Moment Group acquired a franchise for it and brought Din Tai Fung to the Philippines.
Now, we don’t have to fly to Taiwan anymore just to satisfy our Xiao Long Bao craving. Those who still haven’t tried it yet can conveniently try it just like our French friend who visited our country.
Our French friend, Yves, told us that back in France where he came from and/or Italy where he currently works, there is no diversity in Asian cuisine. Thus, this prompted me to bring him to Din Tai Fung BGC as I’m sure he will like Xiao Long Bao.
Xiao Long Bao
Going to Din Tai Fung BGC means that ordering their Xiao Long Bao is a MUST and that we did. We actually ordered two kinds of it.
5 pcs. CRAB ROE AND PORK XIAO LONG BAO, PHP 285 (or USD 5.6)
5 pcs. CHICKEN XIAO LONG BAO, PHP 160 (or USD 3.16)
What I noticed with their Xiao Long Baos is that they put a small dumpling wrapper shaped according to the filling of the order. For instance, we ordered one with crab roe so there is a little crab-shaped dumpling wrapper. It is indeed super cute.
Anyway, the pork xiao long bao is delicious as it is. However, with an added crab roe, there is a bit of ocean taste that makes us reach out for more. The chicken xiao tastes fine too. Each dumpling is dribbling with a satisfying broth that can be eaten as it is.
The recommended way of eating it though is to put 1:3 ratio of brewed soy sauce and rice vinegar in the given soy dish that has ginger strips. One then gets a dumpling and lightly dips it in.
Afterward, the Xiao Long Bao has to be placed in a spoon and is supposed to be poked with a hole as to release the broth. Pick a few strips of ginger and eat it to your heart’s content.
6 pcs. SHRIMP AND PORK WONTONS IN SPECIAL SOY SAUCE, PHP 175 (or USD 3.51)
Din Tai Fung BGC also offers other dumpling options. An alternative is wontons filled with shrimp and pork and are placed under a bed of a special soy sauce.
Contrary to how it looks, it is not too spicy. It also has a combination of sweet, savory and garlicky taste that makes for a wonderful appetizer.
HOT PRAWN SALAD WITH MANGO AND PINEAPPLE, PHP 395 (or USD 7.8)
It has crunchy prawns softened by the creamy savory sauce. With the added fresh mangoes, we get a taste of summer all year round.
BRAISED BEEF NOODLE SOUP, PHP 295 (or USD 5.84)
Din Tai Fung BGC may not specialize in Taiwan’s national dish. However, they still did it beautifully so you’ll find this satisfyingly good. Tender beef and noodles are in a rich broth with mild heat. The star anise added fragrance and a bewitching flavor which made us slurp the broth again and again.
FRIED RICE WITH SWEET GARLIC AND SCALLIONS, PHP 115 (or USD 2.27)
We complemented our viand with a rice that is peppery in taste but not overpowering.
3 pcs CHOCOLATE LAVA XIAO LONG BAO, PHP 115 (or USD 2.31)
It is Xiao Long Bao. But when poked or cut, it oozes with molten chocolate. We found the quality of chocolate to our liking that three pieces of it aren’t just enough.
GOLDEN LAVA SALTED EGG YOLK, PHP 85 (or USD 1.7)
Although chocolate is good, this is my personal favorite. It has a balanced taste of sweet and salty egg yolk inside a fluffy bun.
Three Reasons Why We Love Din Tai Fung
1. We get to watch the preparation of their world famous Xiao Long Bao.
Seeing that the Xia Long Baos are delicately handmade made us appreciate it more. Also, watching them make such is a fun way to wait to be seated or wait for one’s orders.
2. We don’t have to wait for the waiter just to settle the bill.
All Din Tai Fung restaurants have the same concept
3. Their Xiao Long Baos taste spectacular and the exclusive Philippine dishes offered are delicious as well.
If you think about it, Taiwanese dumplings are, in reality, simple to make. Din Tai Fung’s Xiao Long Baos though are really tasty that it became world famous. It may be pricey for some, but the sheer quality of these dumplings makes it all worth it. Our French friend loved it as well so that is a plus.
Din Tai Fung BGC
Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
Operating Hours: Mon. to Thurs. 11 AM to 10 PM and Fri. to Sat. 11 Am to 11 PM.