Din Tai Fung now in Sydney
How does it stack up to its mother branch in Taipei?
I don't know - I haven't tried it yet, but am looking forward to it, as I LOVED the one in Singapore!
I can't compare to the Taipei branch unfortunately.
I enjoyed but as I went solo could only order one dish (naturally the xiao long bao (locally dubbed "soup dumplings").
And whilst I really liked them, I felt it was all a bit sanitary, contrived and dull in comparison to the many dumpling joints around Sydney - not to mention far more expensive.
I'll go back, but for me it was a little contrived, and an attempt to get the suits and foodanistas to try something they normally wouldn't because it's (a) too far from their shiny office or (b) not cool enough.
I have enjoyed myself more at other Taiwanese owned establishments in Sydney, namely, Cho Dumpling King (Thomas st, Haymarket behind the UTS language buidling) and Blue Eye Dragon (a bit more upmarket).
As a many time visitor to Taiwan, I've been to both the old original and the newer branch in Taipei (loved it!), and the new branch in Sydney. The main thing with the Sydney branch is you get fewer soup dumplings so it seems more expensive, less value for money.
The secret with the soup dumplings is something like bone marrow gel which is solid at room temperature during mince/preparation, but which turns into hot liquid soup when steamed.
Yes they're excellent for a special experience, but until they lower their prices slightly or give you more dumplings for the same price - I won't hurry back to the Sydney branch.