Din Tai Fung (lets call it DTF) started in Taipei in 1959 as a cooking oil retail business but in 1972 became a steamed dumpling and noodle restaurant and eventually expanded into the US. DTF was the first ever Taiwanese restaurant in Taiwan to receive a Michelin Star at the time. Their most popular dish, xiao long bao, aka soup dumplings (or soup dumps for short) is their claim to fame... but for us, it wasn't the best thing on the menu.
When you visit DTF, you can't miss the soup dumps because, I mean, this is what they're famous for. But there are so many other amazing things on the menu that make the wait (1, 2, 3 hours) worth it every single time (there is ONE location that takes reservations and we will get to that).
The menu is pretty complex in Taiwanese dishes and has everything from kale and cucumber dishes to pork chop soup. If you're white like me, this could be a very complicated menu situation. Thankfully my husband is Taiwanese and knows just how to order here!
With his help and the multiple times I've gotten to experience DTF, I feel like a pro.
pro tip dine here with a large group so that you can order and try everything on the menu.
Here's how to eat and order at DTF...
- Order the spicy wonton sauce for the table. You will want to dip everything in this so make sure to get extra for yourself if you are with a group.
- Boba tea, it makes everything taste better and will get you through the killer anticipation.
- Order the hot & sour soup but order a small because it's extremely full of flavor.
- Don't over order soup dumplings, they're good, but again, not the best thing on the menu. I suggest starting with an order large enough that everyone can have one. Order the rest of your food, eat, and then see how you feel. If you want more of anything, you can always order later. We like the more traditional pork xiaolongbao.
- I suggest the shrimp an pork shao mai too!
- Don't skimp on the greens! I don't know how they do it, but they make broccoli taste like magic.
- Fried rice is a given. But there are A LOT of options... you really can't go wrong with any of them, but we LOVE the shrimp.
- You will want to order extra shrimp & pork wontons with spicy sauce (obviously extra of this sauce at the beginning of your meal).
- Don't save room for dessert. The savory food is the best part here.
how I eat soup dumplings
- Wait. They will BURN you so don't eat them too quickly after they've been sat down at the table.
- Add vinegar and ginger to your spoon.
- Grab the soup dumpling carefully with your chopsticks and add it to your spoon as well.
- Spoon the whole thing into your mouth.
more pro tips
Don't go on a weekend if you're in a hurry. Allow plenty of time to wait out the line.
This is not the place for a nice quiet meal. This place moves fast and everyone is starving!