Din Tai Fung about to open in Manhattan

I’m in the minority who doesn’t think DTF makes very good xlb (lacking flavor is my main complaint), but I do like some of their other stuff.


I’ll join you in the (growing) minority.

Best thing DTF makes (and has ever made) is their steamed chicken soup.


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This is close to my office so I am waiting with great anticipation. What a combo, you can either workout before your meal at Equinox next door and eat with abandon or workout after the meal to assuage your guilt.


We have a strong family following for the soy noodle salad, and I spent much of the pandemic trying to approximate their broccoli and green beans.

Plenty of other stuff they do well, but so do many other Taiwanese places.

The perfectly dainty XLB with barely any flavor just drive me batty though.

Still, I don’t doubt I’ll go.

Dtf is ok for those who haven’t had good xlbs. There are plenty who offer xlbs at similar quality, without the wait and without the price tag.

With that said, there’s a really big range in quality across the different Dtf around the world. We have had anything between ‘great we need to come back again’ and ‘why am I paying for this overpriced average food?’

The last time we went, none of us were full after the initial round of food turned out insufficient. But none of us wanted to order more.


What flavour are you looking for? More pronounced marinade for the meat?

I’ve only been to the ones in HK and Singapore, though multiple times. The food in HK was quite a step above what I had in Singapore.


Seasoning, meat & crab flavor? :joy: The XLB I enjoy in nyc have a very flavorful broth. Not so much the DTF ones I ate in San Diego. But their wrapper thickness and tenderness and dumpling size were just perfect, whereas there’s usually a lot of variance on that front elsewhere — wrapper too thick, too chewy, etc.

As you said about quality varying by location, my fingers are crossed for the nyc location.

(That said, you can’t have an empire like this without forcing consistency of recipes, so I’m not overly optimistic either.)

DTF is good for XLB for those who don’t really appreciate XLB.


But I do think the Xinyi OG location in the Da’an District in Taipei City was superb when I tried it.

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I’ve also thought Taiwanese palate vs original (Shanghainese?) might be a factor.

Maybe but the other Taiwan locations were pretty subpar. Esp. the ones in Kaohsiung and the Mall.

We rarely ordered the xlb with crab. But they should theoretically be able to produce much flavors without crab.

Our introduction to Din Tai Fung was the original on Xin Yi around the corner from a teeming night market where our hosts warned us to save our appetite as we made our way past plenty of temptations. The novelty and taste at DTF were memorable – the assembly kitchen area in full view of the sidewalk before the staircase to the dining room. We’re told that location is now only takeout.

Years later, we stumbled onto a DTF in Singapore, and thought, why not, we could eat now . . . Hit the spot.

Nothing else to report.

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My experience is that the DTF’s definitely vary in quality by location too. I went to one in Taiwan and it was pretty damn good (not the original one). I went to one in Hong Kong - and there are at least 2 - and I only found it so so. Probably could have easily found better soup dumplings in HK.

I’d definitely try it if I were in NYC, but I would temper my expectations. Especially in a city where there are already good soup dumplings to be had. The one thing for some reason I always crave when I’m at DTF though is their cucumber with chili oil appetizer. Something about how they do it is always delicious across any of the stores.

Almost here… right on the subway plaza level too :joy: