Din Tai Fung

It seems like every Chinese person or every person that knows about Chinese food is familiar with the name Din Tai Fung. The restaurants are world-famous for their xiao long bao (juicy pork dumplings), with locations in Taiwan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Japan, and now in the U.S. I visited the original Taiwan location when I was young, but that was at least 19 years ago, so I have no recollection. However, I’ve also been to this Arcadia location a couple of times (last time was maybe a little over a year ago). And I have to say, from what I remember, that I considered it vastly overrated. So when Han insisted on coming here last Saturday after basketball, I was a little skeptical. But my worries were quickly alleviated…

House Chicken Soup (Steamed) – Very simple soup, with steamed chicken. Nice and refreshing. Made me sweat a lot though.

Vegetarian Dumplings (10 pcs) – I usually don’t order vegetarian dumpling, but these were quite tasty. The skin was a little thick in my opinion, but not to the point of it being doughy.

Fried Pork Chop – I can never say no to Asian fried pork chops. Their version wasn’t breaded, but was still fried pretty well.

Szechuan Style Vegetable & Pork Wontons – We ordered two of these. Doesn’t have the kick or flavor that you get at authentic Szechuan restaurants, but the wontons themselves were good.

Juicy Pork Dumpling (10 pcs) – The main event – the reason to go to Din Tai Fung. We ordered SIX of these = 60 dumplings. Much better than what I remembered. I don’t think that they’re world-class necessarily, but the skin was thin enough as not to break, the filling was delicious, and the juice/soup was great as well.

We went at around 3pm, and still had to wait around half an hour. Despite Han’s numerous requests/complaints to the waitresses, service was still fairly cordial and quick (once we finally sat down of course). I would probably go to Din Tai Fung on a more regular basis if it wasn’t so busy all the time. Just hope that this visit, not my previous ones, is the standard for the restaurant.

Chris Hei grade: B

Din Tai Fung Dumpling House
1108 S Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007
(626) 574-7068

Note: credit Food GPS for the first photo.

4 thoughts on “Din Tai Fung

  1. Did you have room for the dessert? I like their red bean buns. But I agree that the food is overrated. There are plenty of other hole-in-the wall places with good xiao long baos.

    1. No dessert, but (like you said) I heard the red bean dumpling are good. The food was much better this trip, but I don’t know how consistent it can be. And yeah there are a lot of hole-in-the-wall places with better xiao long bao :/

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