Melbourne CBD . Chinese . $
Emporium, 287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Highly Recommended: Pork Dumplings (XLB) Pork & Prawn Wonton Soup, Kung Pao Chicken
The internationally renown Din Tai Fung has been in Melbourne for quite some time, but it was only recently that I finally had my camera when my dumpling cravings flared up. Everybody that is an avid fan of dumplings will know what Din Tai Fung is. Known to be the 'world's tastiest dumplings', the dumplings are made so precisely they're hand made to a specific "4.8 and 5.2 grams at conception, before being filled to weigh between 20.8 and 21.2 grams."
Despite the hype, I can confirm that a large number of people have said that the Din Tai Fung branch in Melbourne isn't as good as the branches compared to China, Taiwan, etc, and honestly that's always the case for famous restaurant names expanding overseas.
The Signature Xiao Long Bao which is what their famous for had an abundant amount of delicious porky soup within the dumpling. The dumpling skin was firm enough to hold the soup without breaking and the pork meat was delicious and aromatic. The Xiao Long Bao was great but it wasn't super amazing such as the hype implied, regardless I would still come back for these tiny balls of goodness.
The Dumpling Gems were a unique take of the Xiao Long Bao, With each colour representing a unique flavour such as Bolognese, Whilst some flavours were a hit or miss, it was definitely an experience. If you've never had these before I suggest getting a plate for yourself so you can try each flavour.
The Shrimp & Prawn Wonton Soup is a staple favourite for me, the soup was flavoursome and heartwarming whilst the wontons were firm and bouncy.
The Kung Pao Chicken is definitely one of my favourite non-dumpling dishes at Din Tai Fung, I usually order this every time I come here because it tastes so great. The chicken has a crisp skin which works great with the crunchy cashew nuts, but what makes it amazing is the sauce that the chicken is cooked in. The sauce gives the chicken a hearty aroma and strong flavour which is like nothing else I've tried.
Overall Din Tai Fung gets a thumbs up from me, but don't head in expecting their dishes to be the best you'll ever have. There are other dumpling joints in Melbourne that deliver the same quality and at a slightly cheaper price, but convenience-wise it's a great pick.
Food - 8 / 10
Service - 8 / 10
THATFOODIE Rating - 8 / 10
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