Is Din Tai Fung (鼎泰丰) Really Worth the Price in Beijing?
It has been a month since I started living in Beijing. I cannot truly call myself a Beijinger yet (or ever), however, as a self-proclaimed foodie, through friends and such, I have been to many of Beijing’s top restaurants. Discovering the many small family owned restaurants to the top high-end restaurants have taken a lot of my time, increased my pants size, and decreased my wallet size. I’m actually surprised that I haven’t written about the wonderful afternoon tea at Capital M, the royal Sunday brunch at Maison Boulud a Pekin, or the numerous Peking duck restaurants scattered throughout the city. Instead, I am choosing to write about Din Tai Fung (鼎泰丰), a world wide Taiwanese chain establishment, specializing in Shanghainese food, especially the notorious soup dumping, xiao long bao (小笼包).
I am not giving this restaurant a positive or a negative review. For starters, the food here is amazing; the xiao long baos have nice thin, strong skin, with juicy insides, their Dan Dan Mian hits the spot, and their multiple other dumplings cannot get any tastier. They have excellent service, which unfortunately, is not the norm in China, so that’s just topping on the cake.
My issue(s) with this place is the size of the xiao long baos. Now, I am no expert at making xiao long baos, nor have I been to Shanghai (yet), still, I am used to eating bigger xiao long baos, like Joe’s Ginger or Shanghai, or numerous other xiao long bao restaurants. Is the price really worth it at the end of the day for such small portions?
If someone could comment on the reasons why Din’s soup dumplings are so small, or other xiao long bao places in Beijing, that would be wonderful.