I think the best part of this second branch of Din Tai Fung is that there is no wait, no queue. Located in the new wing of the venerable Al Ghurair Centre on Al Rigga road, this incarnation is double, maybe triple the size of the first one in MOE. But all the hallmarks are there, like the kitchen display area where a number of white coats frantically make their famous Xiaolongbao buns and dumplings – it’s a sight to watch. It’s at this new branch where you see the true, simplistic nature of the franchise. Many don’t realise that Din Tai Fung was one of the first value for money restaurants to be awarded a Michelin star, most up to then had been snooty, super expensive, fine dining restaurants. Of course, many such eateries are awarded Michelin stars these days. But Din Tai Fung was one of the first.
The food is superb and, maybe even better than at the MOE branch. I have a weakness for the Truffle Chicken Xiaolongbao which at AED15 a piece is borderline criminally expensive…until you eat the first one.
I never leave Din Tai Fung without also ordering their House Special Chili Noodles; it’s the chilli sauce I have a weakness for, not the noodles (although I love them too). I will either order the noodle or dumpling version depending on how many dumplings we start our meal with.
If you like soup, I recommend their most basic, Traditional Steamed Chicken Soup. Even if you don’t like your greens, order the Sautéed Kang Kong; it’s deliciously savoury and garlicy (although they don’t always have this vegetable, known in the West as water spinach). Without wanting to overburden your order, I recommend you also consider their Hong Kong Duck which is served ‘wet’, and totally different to the Crispy Peking Duck you may be used to.
I love their Black Pepper Beef too. and rounding off the meal, perhaps an order of Garlic Egg Fried Rice.
Service is fast and furious, but definitely more friendly and smiley than at the MOE branch. There are also a lot more of non-Chinese staff members. Din Tai Fung has very little competition on the Barsha end of town. In Deira, it has plenty of authentic Chinese (and before anyone says anything, I know they’re originally Taiwanese) competition, so it’ll be interesting to see how this branch does. If this meal of mine is anything to go by, and of course their track record almost everywhere in the world…it should be stellar, and well worth a detour.
Waste NOT. Want NOT.