Din Tai Fung

Whenever premium-quality Chinese food is mentioned, Din Tai Fung (鼎泰丰) is one of first to come to mind. Today's dinner bring us to this Taiwanese franchise restaurant at The Gardens Mall in Mid Valley.
One of Din Tai Fung's signature delicacies is none other than Xiao Long Bao (小笼包, RM10.90). Each serving comes in six pieces arranged in a bamboo steam container. The dumplings are made to order to ensure freshness.
The masterful technique to prepare Xiao Long Bao is demonstrated through the 18 folds (褶纹) on each piece of dough skin. The thickness of this translucent skin is extremely sensitive; too thick causes flour to dominate over the taste of pork; too thin causes the skin to puncture prematurely.

Sealed within each dumpling is a heavenly portion of minced pork fillings and a sip-sized amount of savory broth. As each order of Xiao Ling Bao is made fresh, the steaming duration also needs to be timed to pin-point accuracy.
That much being said, we are exceptionally impressed with Din Tai Fung's signature Xiao Long Bao. The lovely pork and soup inside each dumpling make this one of the best dishes to indulge in a lifetime!

Also amazing but inferior when compared to Xiao Long Bao, we are glad to sample a serving of Spicy Shrimp Pork Wanton (红油虾肉馄饨, RM11.00). The wanton (馄饨) prepared in orders of six pieces, and are served over fiery chili paste.
Like Xiao Long Bao, the pork fillings in the wanton are very fresh and succulent. The spicy chili paste serves to give a distinctive level of enjoyment to our gratifying meal.
Moving on to something more filling, we ordered a bowl of House Special Steamed Chicken Soup La Mian (元盅鸡汤拉面, RM16.50).
Similar to restaurants like Dragon-i (笼的传人), the kitchen panel of Din Tai Fung is transparent so that customers can observe how the chef skillfully stretches a lump of wheat dough to form long, springy strands of lamian (拉面). I personally prefer Dragon-i's lamian by a small margin, but this does not affect our enjoyment of Din Tai Fung's version.
As for the bowl of steamed chicken, the soup is simmered for extended period of time until the chicken becomes very soft and smooth. At the same time, the soup becomes saturated with savory chicken essence that works perfectly with the bowl of lamian.
Another crowd favorite at Din Tai Fung is the Shrimp & Pork Fried Rice (虾仁肉丝蛋炒饭, RM16.50). This dish is a defining test of the chef's "wok hei" (镬气) skill because the rice must to be cooked quickly using intense fire. Din Tai Fung comfortably passes this litmus test by presenting us a wonderful plate of fragrant fried rice.
The most prominent ingredient in this fried rice dish is the magnificent prawns on the top. Crunchy and sweet, these prawns cannot be made any fresher. We like how light the prawn feels, yet commands respectable degree of flavor within each bite. Apart from prawns, there are also lovely pieces of pork which contribute flavor to this amazing dish.
Our beverage of choice is Chinese Tea (中国茶, RM2.50 each), more specifically jasmine tea (茉莉花茶). The tea is served free-flow.
Anyone who has not tried Din Tai Fung just does not know what he/she is missing. It is no surprise that the restaurant is packed especially during weekends. A long queue is definitely expected.

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