Although its menu isn’t as extensive as some Chinese restaurants in Singapore, Michelin-starred Din Tai Fung remains one of my favourites in terms of finely cooked Chinese cuisine.
Unlike some of the Chinese restaurants featuring fiery Sichuan-style dishes, the food served at Din Tai Fung is generally mild yet delightfully flavoured.
Here are 12 must-try dishes on Din Tai Fung’s menu for an indulgent dining experience.
(1) Oriental Salad in Special Vinegar Dressing
The Oriental Salad in Special Vinegar Dressing is the perfect choice for a zesty starter. Fresh and crunchy, the colourful mix of julienned seaweed, bean sprouts, chilli, beancurd strips and rice vermicelli is rich in flavour.
(2) Sliced Duck in Crispy Spring Onion Pastry
A unique creation by Din Tai Fung, their tender and juicy smoked duck wrapped in crispy and crunchy spring rolls is definitely worth trying, and you won’t easily find a similar dish in other Chinese restaurants in Singapore.
(3) Century Egg with Diced Ginger
A must-try at Din Tai Fung!
Century egg, also known as thousand-year egg, is either duck, chicken or quail egg preserved in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months, according to Wikipedia.
Though a traditional Chinese dish, few families make it themselves today.
What’s really interesting about century eggs is that after the preserving process, the egg white transforms into a brownish translucent jelly that tastes really unique.
(4) Steamed Pork Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)
Din Tai Fung is the winner of the Best Dumpling Award at the 2019 Golden Chopsticks Awards. Here’s a little-known fact — their steamed pork dumplings or xiao long bao are wrapped with delicately thin skins that are exquisitely folded with at least 18 folds.
(5) Hot and Sour Soup
A really appetising soup that immediately warms your stomach and body up. It is what my friend and I always love to order on cold and humid rainy days.
Packed with ingredients, each spoonful of soup yields a mouthful of minced mushrooms, shredded pork, sliced silky tofu, and egg drop garnished with chopped spring onions that tastes — as the name suggests — sour and spicy.
Noodles and Rice
(6) Dry Noodle Tossed in Special Sauce
It looks and tastes simple, yet it’s one of my favourites. The special sauce that the noodles are tossed in is well-balanced in flavour and tastes really comforting.
(7) Special Braised Beef Noodle Soup with Beef Brisket
The special braised beef noodle soup is another dish you can’t miss if you enjoy more flavourful fare. The hearty beef soup packed with succulent beef and beef brisket allows you to have a taste of what makes beef noodles so popular in Taiwan.
(8) Pork Chop Fried Rice
Din Tai Fung’s fried rice is a favourite of many. Coupled with their tender and juicy signature fried pork chop, you’ll get a full plate of satisfaction by treating yourself to this delicious dish.
(9) Fried Rice with Shrimps and Eggs
An equally (if not more) popular fried rice dish at Din Tai Fung, the Fried Rice with Shrimps and Eggs is not only yummy but also feels healthier as it’s not too oily. The shrimps are very fresh and smooth.
(10) Steamed Chili Crab and Pork Buns
Want to have a taste of buns that are uniquely Singaporean? Try Din Tai Fung’s Steamed Chili Crab and Pork Buns. Fresh and spicy, you can enjoy the goodness of chunks of chili crab without all the hassle of cracking open a crab.
(11) Steamed Yam Paste Dumplings
An interesting creation at Din Tai Fung that combines their ultrathin dumpling skin with smooth and creamy yam paste. I’ve seen some young couples ordering this lovely dish at Din Tai Fung.
(12) Steamed Chinese Style Layer Cakes
Delightfully sweet, soft and fluffy, the Steamed Layer Cake is a super comforting Chinese style snack. You can either take hearty bites of it or enjoy it layer by layer.
About Din Tai Fung: From Cooking Oil Retailer to Legendary Steamed Dumpling Restaurant
Surprisingly, this popular restaurant that serves top-quality Chinese cuisine started off as a cooking oil retailer run by Mr. Yang Bingyi and his wife Lai Penmei, under the brand name “Din Tai Fung” in 1958.
If you’ve ever wondered, Din Tai Fung’s signature calligraphed name that greets you at the entrance was penned by the famous calligrapher Yu Youren in the Republic of China.
In the 1970s, Din Tai Fung’s oil retailing business was battered by the increasing popularity of tinned cooking oil. In order to survive, they converted half their business into selling steamed pork dumplings (xiao long bao), which later proved to be the unexpected lucky turn in their fate.
Their steamed pork dumplings grew so popular among customers that they eventually transformed Din Tai Fung into a fully-fledged Chinese restaurant.