Din Tai Fung, the famous xiaolongbao chain from Taiwan, opened a Vegas location last year in the ARIA Resort & Casino. I went here for lunch recently.
I live in San Francisco and we actually have a branch up here in the Bay Area, but it’s in Santa Clara and a bit of a drive for me so I hadn’t tried it - this was my first Din Tai Fung experience. The Vegas Din Tai Fung is in a pretty large and high-ceiling space on the ground floor of the hotel. There was a sizable lineup when I went at around 11am, so it might be a good idea to make a reservation if you want to skip the line.
I was seated at a bar area. They have a dim sum like sheet where you can mark the items you want to order. I had the:
Cucumber Salad ($7.75)
For vegetables I had a very artfully plated cucumber salad dressed in a sweet, sour, salty, and slightly spicy sauce. Pretty good.
Kurobuta Pork XLB ($9.75)
This is what Din Tai Fung is known for. As you can see from the picture the XLB are nicely constructed with some precise pleating on the top. These were quite good. Hot off the steamer, juicy and with nicely textured wrappers that were just the right thickness. It falls in the upper range of all of the XLB I’ve tried (note: I have not been to Shanghai yet to try XLB at the source, nor to Taiwan for that matter).
Pork Chop Fried Rice ($19.50)
I believe Din Tai Fung is also known for both their pork chop and their fried rice, so I tried to kill two birds with one stone by getting the pork chop fried rice. The thin fried pork chop was kind of mediocre. Nicely fried crisp exterior but the interior was a bit dry and it lacked seasoning. The simple egg fried rice beneath it on the other hand was quite good and well fried, with separation between the rice grains and not greasy tasting at all, nice flavor.
I also had a iced lychee green tea ($6.50) which was fine. They have cocktails at this Din Tai Fung as well, like a lychee martini, but I didn’t partake this time.
Very friendly and efficient service.
Cucumber Salad: good
XLB: very good
Pork Chop Fried Rice: pork chop meh, fried rice good
I would come back to try some of the XLB (maybe even the $35 truffle one if I had some luck in the casino), and maybe some of the dumplings and noodle soups that looked pretty good on other tables.