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Din Tai Fung -is it that bad??

I wanted to take my visiting mother to eat chinese dumplings for dinner tonight. she's visiting from arizona and she only lives there part time but she truly misses asian food (she lives in manhattan the rest of the year).

so i did some searching and thought maybe din tai fung? i did a search on this board and it doesn't get very good reviews. mostly overrated or bad service. is it worth it or is there another place people recommend? what dumplings are good and what's not worth ordering? thanks!

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  1. It IS worth going. Your mom won't find another Din Tai Fung in AZ or NY. I like their vegetable/meat dumplings, xiao long bao, chicken soup, fried rice. The trick is to eat the steamed items as soon as they are placed on your table as the skins are very delicate and they dry out fast.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fdb

      It is worth going to! Here are a couple of threads with some alternatives. We just tried Mei Long Village http://www.chowhound.com/topics/434583 It was delicious but it did not have the atmosphere of Din Tai Fung. I will continue trying the recommendations in the next thread but I will still continue to patronize DTF.http://www.chowhound.com/topics/359048

    2. I am also a big fan of DTF. I think they have one of the best juicy pork dumpling (prefer the thin skin). Also like the appetizer (only 1 kind), veg & juicy pork with crab dumplings, their string beans, and chow mein. We arrive at 10 am at the NEW location which is only next door to get in the first seating. They have the cleanest restrooms you will ever find in a Chinese restaurant, which is an issue for me. There are some items I don't care for and the shrimp shu mai is over priced ($9?) IMO, but I still enjoy going there with my group of friends and we have never been disappointed. We also enjoy the shops nearby. Also like Dumpling 10053 on Valley very much. No juicy dumplings here but veg, shrimp and 3 flavor dumplings are outstanding. Veg with meat sauce and spicy beef soup noodle also on my regular orders. Did not enjoy any appetizers here. They open at 11:30 am but they will allow you to come in early. Prices cheaper here. Restroom acceptable but you need to drive to other locations for shopping.

      Dumpling 10053
      10053 Valley Blvd, Temple City, CA 91731 - (626) 350-0188
      (small parking lot, most spaces are not was wide as standard)

      1. On an absolute scale Din Tai Fung is very, very good. The negative comment relates to whether it's so good as to endure the long wait (perhaps lessened with the opening of the new annex), whether it's superior to certain other excellent restaurants serving similar fare, and the fact that the Arcadia branch is not as good as the original branch in Taiwan.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chandavkl

          Regarding the original branch in Taiwan, I found the chicken soup there to be out of this world.... leagues of richness beyond what passes for chicken soup here. However as for the dumplings, they pretty much tasted the same... and that goes for the branches we ate at in Shanghai and Beijing as well.

          Mr Taster

        2. i think when it comes to negative reviews of din tai fung you're talking to a small group of people that like to FREAK OUT about dumplings. personally, i consider myself among the diseased and i go to din tai fung all the time. mei long village's versions are not anywhere close imo but if you're taking your visiting mother, there's no choice. din tai fung it is. don't forget about the bean dumplings for dessert. mmm....

          4 Replies
          1. re: logan

            Agreed.

            I have eaten at all the xlb places people mention and Din Tai Fung is my personal favorite. You can avoid the long waits by going at off hours. I've had some success in late afternoon but I don't go often enough to give a definitive answer on that one.

            1. re: choctastic

              Since they've opened the second location, I've found the wait to be shorter. Last time they told us 20 mins and seated us in less than 10. I was pleasantly surprised.

              1. re: bsquared2

                Where is the second location? I only know of the one on Baldwin.

                1. re: badmeow

                  As per prior threads, right next door.

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