If I was asked to choose the best all-round Chinese restaurant (in Dubai) it would probably be the Din Tai Fung chain. Sure there are Chinese restaurants which are posher or cheaper, more Chinese, more Indian, more American but none are as consistent in delivering an authentic Chinese dining experience in the controlled environment of a mall as well as this Michelin starred group from Taiwan. Speaking of which, this Nakheel Mall branch is Din Tai Fung’s fourth and newest outlet in Dubai. Its interior follows the now familiar corporate uniform which starts at the dumpling kiosk at the entrance follows through with copy-paste seating, be it a little more separated and compartmentalised (in compliance with C-19 guidelines).
The beauty of Din Tai Fung is that no matter which branch you’re at, the food quality, quantity and taste are the same. Whether I’m there with friends or family (in this case both) we always start with Xiao Long Bao soup dumplings of some sort – I could eat these juicy little suckers forever. If you haven’t already, try them even if you’re not a ‘dumping person’. Invariably we also order a House Special Salad and some Deep-Fried Chicken & Vegetable Wontons. It’s soup season so consider their amazing Wonton Soup or the savoury Braised Beef Soup or (my favourite) the Traditional Steamed Chicken Soup which some people surprisingly find a little bland.
Other family favourites are the Szechuan Wontons and the very similar House Special Chilli Noodles as well as Sauteed Kang Kung. All the Fried Rice and Chow Mein variants are excellent. I prefer the Black Pepper Beef Medallions to the Crispy Beef we ordered this time. The Kung Pao Chicken is also very good as is the Sweet and Sour Prawns our food buddy Jack introduced us to this time. I’m not big on Chinese buns nor do I ever have any space left to try their desserts so no comment there. The rest of the menu through, I am quite familiar with. Not as familiar, I must add, as my daughter who even knows the dish numbers by heart.
Service at all Din Tai Fung branches (including this one) is excellent, especially now that they have started bringing on other nationalities. And yes, by this I’m openly implying that some of the original staff (when they first opened) were less friendly than what we are used to in Dubai. Other than that, the only negative thing about Din Tai Fung was the fact that we always had such a long wait at the Mall of the Emirates branch…which makes these new branches all the more attractive. So, if you’re in the vicinity of Palm Jumeirah and fancy an excellent, affordable, authentic Chinese meal either visit this new branch at Nakheel Mall or….order from them. Yeay!
#1 Food Blogger on Zomato Dubai – 2018, 2019 and 2020
Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join his culinary journey on Instagram: @ravenousxerxes or reach out to him via email on email@example.com.